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December 11-12, 2009
Stars were aligned Friday night...
Rich South accomplished a BIG win in front of a sold out crowd, 61-47, and a major statement behind the hot hands of junior Macari Brooks, who scored 27 points and 7 rebounds.
The Stars came out sparkling making taking an early lead and never looking back including a 46-36 point lead at halftime. Throughout the game, Rich South's defense pressured the Warriors into numerous costly mistakes and frustrated the team.
"We're looking for a little respect," Rich South coach Scot Ritter said. "All you hear about around here are Crete-Monee and Hillcrest. Our kids are doing a great job. Our kids focused on what they had to do. Crete-Monee is a very athletic team, but our kids caused them some problems."
After the game, a frustrated coach, Rock Hill of Crete-Monee said "six of our kids missed the team bus. We're not doing things the right way. It's very embarrassing. This isn't about wins and losses. It's about doing things the right way."
In addition to this, it didn't help matters that junior standout James Crockett hurt his ankle late in the first half and was unable to play the rest of the game. He scored 6 points during his time of play.
A bright spot from the Warriors was the play of Raymond Lester, who finished the contest with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
It must be noted that the Stars are accomplishing wins and desire while
University of Illinois-bound senior Crandall Head is recovering from a
knee injury. roots for his teammates on the sidelines while missing the
entire season with a knee injury.
But a pair of key free throws from sophomore Donald Moore sealed the slim victory of 58-57, but not without some drama. Thunderbirds' senior Dorian Caridine could have tied the game up at the charity stripe but missed a pair of shots. Then the Trojans turned the ball over on the inbounds pass and just watched helplessly at long-range shot by Rodney Smith that bounced off of the backboard as time expired.
"This was a game that we should have put away, pretty much, in the first
half," Bloom coach Jasper Williams said after the game. "We've got a lot of
young kids, and once they've got a team down they've got to learn how to
step up and make free throws, make the right decisions, run the offense
correctly. We're not there yet."
The team is visibly smaller, after losing three seniors who were over 6 feet tall, but faster than last season. From here, they used this advantage to force 8 turnovers during a second quarter run of 17-0.
"We try to make it a full-court game because we can't get stuck in a half-court game when other teams can use their height," Young coach Corry Irvin said. "Morgan Park is pretty big. We were trying to pressure the guards and make them not be able to get the ball into (the post players)."
The Mustangs are young but still very competitive behind three starting sophomores, Debra Jenkins, Kendyl Nunn, and Gabrielle Richmond. Junior guard Raven Nelson scored 14 points and senior forward Ayanna Hardy-Fuller, who is committed to Jackson State University, had 13 points.
"We're young and inexperienced, but we learned a lot from this game," Mustangs coach Thomas Johnson said. "We learned how to be the best. They're super quick, very aggressive. It was a great test for us."
NOTE: The Mustangs earned a forfeit win Saturday morning when Proviso West
was a no-show for its 11 a.m. game.