2015-'16 Season Coverage
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Glenbard South blows past ICCP
Updated Jan 5, 2016 11:52 PM
Someone did their homework those last few days of Christmas break. Glenbard South wasn’t keen on dropping the title game at Romeoville’s holiday boys basketball tournament but used it as a learning tool for its first game of 2016.“We’ve been trying to work on controlling the ball more on offense, not turning the ball over as much, and playing more aggressive defense and trying to force turnovers,” said Raiders senior forward Johnny LaPonte.Done and done.Glenbard South beat IC Catholic Prep 77-44 in Metro Suburban West action Tuesday in Glen Ellyn. Trapping ballhandlers at the point and on the wings, Glenbard South (10-4, 4-0) forced IC Catholic into 22 total turnovers and scored 43 first-half points on 18-of-35 first-half shooting.At that point Glenbard South led by 18, but after IC Catholic (9-5, 2-2) shot 2 for 11 in the third quarter that margin ran to 62-30 entering the fourth.Behind the height and size of 6-foot-5 Billy Bair, not-so-little brother Charlie Bair and active, 6-2 Povilas Riauba, the Raiders grabbed 34 rebounds to the Knights’ 21. “They’re a big team, a strong team, and we knew the size would hurt us,” said IC Catholic coach T.J. Tyrrell. “We tried to pack it tight in a zone, they came out and hit a few 3s and from there it was downhill. Need to do a much better job against their pressure.”Outnumbered, IC Catholic’s one true big man on the floor, 6-4 Will Lyles, mustered 8 points with 7 rebounds. Guard Troy Burrows scored a team-high 10 points.The Raiders scored inside and out with Charlie Bair notching 11 points and 7 rebounds, Billy Bair with 7 points and 4 assists. Riauba scored 16 with a pair of 3s and 4 steals, Tim Marks added 10 with two 3s and LaPonte came off the bench for 13 points and 4 of his team’s 16 steals.In other words, Raiders basketball. “Everybody contributed,” said coach Wade Hardtke. “I thought we were able to set a tone defensively. Ultimately we were able to play at kind of our pace or our tempo. When we can dictate both ends of the floor that certainly gives us a level of confidence.”
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Paul Michna | Staff
Bibbs brothers propel West Chicago past East Aurora
Updated Dec 19, 2015 10:56 AM
West Chicago’s boys basketball victory over East Aurora provided a bonus. The Wildcats won handily and also left things to work on.Without playing its best West Chicago still cruised to a 78-62 decision on the road at Ernie Kivisto Gymnasium. Improving to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division, it’s the Wildcats’ best start since opening 12-0 in 2004-05.Wildcats senior Mikey Bibbs and junior brother Tai Bibbs tied for game honors with 23 points apiece. Jourdan Habecker scored 10 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter to keep East Aurora (2-5, 0-2) chasing.“We’re happy with a win, always going to celebrate a victory,” said West Chicago coach Bill Recchia. “We’re happy with that, but at the same time we know that was not our best effort tonight.”As Recchia noted, in the first quarter West Chicago dictated action to make 8 of 15 first-quarter shots with 12 rebounds and just 2 turnovers for a 23-9 advantage. East Aurora then applied pressure and capitalized on 8 Wildcats turnovers to get within 36-25 at halftime.That pattern repeated. West Chicago’s 23-point third quarter was answered by a 27-point fourth-quarter flurry by East Aurora, which was led by Michael Stewart with 16 points, 11 from Traevon Brown and 10 from Ron McBride before he fouled out with 5:21 remaining.West Chicago led 65-35 with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter.“We talk about it every day, how we’re our biggest opponents and we’ve just got to play our game — all game, every game,” said Wildcats senior guard Peter Dolan, who scored 6 points with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.“We missed a lot of box outs, they scored a lot of second-chance points. We had a lot of turnovers. Those are just things we need to work on, but if we keep playing our game we’ll be fine,” he said.Be it driving to the hoop or hitting outside jumpers the Bibbs boys looked pretty fine. Mikey converted two three-point plays and scored 10 third-quarter points, with Tai scoring 8 in the quarter. Tai Bibbs added 6 rebounds, 5 steals for the game.“We want to make the game our pace, we don’t want the other team to put us at their pace,” Mikey Bibbs said. “If we’re in our pace we have a good chance to win the game, a better chance to score, better stops.“Our defense is usually very good. We gave up 62 points today, that’s not characteristic of us.”
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St. Charles East knocks off Streamwood
Updated Dec 19, 2015 8:14 AM
It’s the time of year when giving is better than receiving, and St. Charles East guard Evan DiLeonardi epitomized that spirit at Streamwood Friday.The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior guard gift-wrapped a season-high 8 assists in a 72-57 Upstate Eight River boys basketball win.“We like getting everyone involved,” said DiLeonardi, who also scored 9 points. “It makes everyone feel good and gets everyone’s confidence up.”Sophomore forward Justin Hardy (6-foot-3) was a beneficiary of DiLeonardi’s good will toward man. He led all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and had 3 rebounds.Several Hardy shots were layups, thanks to DiLeonardi assists after his penetration drew the Streamwood defense.“As Evan said, we share the ball really well,” Hardy said. “And our offense sets us up for success. We roll hard to the basket and that sets up shooters. If they don’t tag on our roll man, we’re just going to get easy buckets down low.”St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods liked what he saw from Hardy in his third game back from injury.“He was a monster and he’s just going to continue to get better,” Woods said. “He’s playing with more and more confidence. He shot well and he was a presence on the board. I also thought he did a good job leading us out there.”Streamwood (2-7, 1-3) had trouble answering the bell in both halves. St. Charles East (7-2, 3-0) bolted to an 18-2 lead behind 10 points from Hardy, but the Sabres used a 13-2 run to get back in the game. That surge was keyed by 8 points from 6-2 senior Jaleel Jenkins, who finished with 14.However, the Sabres couldn’t maintain their focus as the Saints responded with a 17-7 run to take a 37-22 halftime lead.St. Charles East opened the second half on a 7-0 run, capped by a Hardy steal and breakaway dunk to establish a 22-point lead.“It might be that group we’re sending out in the beginning, but it comes down to intensity and being focused all the time,” Streamwood coach Paul Kowalyszyn said. “Our losses are coming from our lack of attention to detail. We’re losing little battles on the floor, a rotation here, keeping a guy in front of us. And they get (the lead) out to 20. Then we get it back to 10 because we’re doing all the little things right. Then we start slipping again and losing our focus.”The Sabres were able to slice the deficit to 61-51 with 3:57 remaining when senior guard Joey O’Halloran sank his third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter. He scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the final eight minutes.The Saints answered with an 11-4 push to close the game, keyed by a 3-pointer from 6-5 senior Grayson Brucato and the last of Hardy’s inside buckets.