A hectic week for York, Downers Grove North

  • York's Jake Brandolino, center, grabs a rebound in front of Benet's Matt Reid, left, at the Orange and Black Gym in the eighth annual Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament championship game in varsity boys basketball Monday night.

      York's Jake Brandolino, center, grabs a rebound in front of Benet's Matt Reid, left, at the Orange and Black Gym in the eighth annual Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament championship game in varsity boys basketball Monday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/22/2020 2:41 PM

As if four boys basketball games in three days weren't enough, York and Downers Grove North added a bit more exhaustion to their week.

After finishing play Monday in the Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament, both teams were scheduled for West Suburban Silver games on Tuesday. The Dukes (21-2, 6-0) beat Proviso West 55-49 as Nate Shockey notched his 1,000th varsity point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We were able to use our bench on Saturday and that made a big difference," said York coach Vince Doran. "The kids always say they want to play games so we'll see how they respond."

The Trojans (10-10, 3-2) were supposed to head to Hinsdale Central on Tuesday, but the game was postponed to Wednesday because electrical issues at Downers North forced the building to close right after school and the players couldn't get their gear.

The extra day helped the legs, but Trojans coach Jim Thomas felt his team was ready to go on Tuesday -- especially after they lost three of four games at WW South.

"The kids are able to clear their heads pretty well and they want to get that bad taste out of their mouths," Thomas said. "It might rejuvenate their legs and bodies a little bit, but they were ready."

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Chemistry:

It took only 13 games for Naperville Central (14-4, 3-1 DuPage Valley Conference) to eclipse last season's 10 victories.

The turnaround, according to Redhawks coach Pete Kramer, comes down to one thing.

"The chemistry is just so much better," Kramer said. "They all share the ball. No one's trying to force anything."

The senior cornerstones are 6-foot-6 Cam Dougherty, a Harvard water polo recruit, and 6-9 Chris Conway, who's committed to Oakland University. The third-year starters have combined for about 30 points a game.

Their consistency has been bolstered by the junior backcourt of Aidan Kramer and Kyle Baskin, although Kramer missed the last four games due to a concussion. In his absence teammates Mike Wood, Matt Murphy and others have stepped up.

Once Aidan Kramer returns to the lineup, coach Kramer hopes the Redhawks can regain the form they showed earlier in the season.

"We've had guys step up, but we've just been kind of out of sync lately," coach Kramer said. "We'll get it back."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

When Sides Collide:

Fans can enjoy the best bargain in the basketball business at the eighth When Sides Collide Shootout on Saturday at Glenbard East.

"For eight bucks they're going to get four great games, and for a basketball fan to come out for the whole day, they'll see a lot of great stuff," said Glenbard East coach Scott Miller.

Miller's Rams (11-6, 7-2 Upstate Eight Conference) kick things off at 2:30 p.m. against Aurora Christian (12-3). The Eagles are Class 1A, but feature Taaj Davis, who earlier this month had consecutive games of 56 and 54 points and scored 44 on Tuesday.

That's the tip of the iceberg.

At 4 p.m. it's Bloom-Evanston, which entered the week ranked Nos. 6 and 2 by the Associated Press.

At 5:30 p.m. Max Christie and Rolling Meadows face Fenwick with Bryce Hopkins, two of the top college prospects in the nation.

The 7:30 p.m. nightcap pits perennial superpower Simeon versus Notre Dame, the No. 1 team in Class 3A with wins over Bogan, Fenwick and Morgan Park.

"I just think it's going to be a great day of basketball, beginning to end," Miller said. "It's probably the best field we've had, depth-wise."

Glenbard East, to be tested Thursday at Fenton (12-8, 6-4 UEC), is an up-tempo squad led by the tough backcourt of Deon Cook and 1,000-point scorer DaRon Hall.

Rams such as forward Jack Rivas, LaDaylin Dew, Terrence Spencer and the scrappy Joe Hamilton have Miller in a good place in his final season before retirement.

"It's been a fun group to be around and coach," Miller said. "They're very unselfish, they play good, hard-nosed defense, and they're playing for each other. It's kind of like the Rams teams of old."

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