By Steve Robinson | December 31, 2017 - 10:11 pm

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – Like every team in the Small School Boys’ Bracket at the 39th annual State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Tournament, El Paso Gridley head coach Nathaniel Meiss’ boys’ team was looking for a title. But being seeded 8th proved a double-edge sword for the Titans: Lose your first game and immediately go into the loser’s bracket, or win your first game and find yourself facing top seed Winnebago in the second round. The Titans found themselves with the latter prospect, and finished the tourney in 7th place as a result.

Champaign St. Thomas More Hands EPG An Opening Loss: El Paso Gridley’s boys’ basketball team extended their winning streak to seven games after winning their opening contest against Champaign St. Thomas More to open the State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Tournament Dec. 27 at Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University ’s campus. The Titans did that staying in front of the Sabres to earn a 63-55 victory. The victory marked EPG’s seventh straight victory moving their overall record to 9-1.

After a 4-4 tie to open the game, the Titans broke the game open thanks to one bucket from senior guard Hub Halvorsen and a pair of deuces from senior guard Aaron Steiner for a 10-6 advantage. The Titans continued the surge with Halvorsen adding another basket, upping the lead to 12-7 before a three-point play by St. Thomas More’s Alec Blomberg cut the score to 12-10. Halversen added one more basket to close out the scoring for the quarter for the Titans handing them a 14-10 lead.

Sophomore forward Jack Weber opened the second quarter with a bucket to extend the Titans’ lead, 16-10, but St. Thomas More replied thanks to junior Riley Morris’ deuce, 16-12. Weber made his team’s next basket, putting the Titans up, 18-12. Blomberg responded with a deuce for the Sabres, cutting EPG’s lead to four, 18-14. It was followed by a Halvorsen deuce putting EPG up, 20-14. A free throw by a fouled Bryson Lee and a jumper by junior Spencer Neitzel pulled the Sabres within three, 20-17. the quarter ended on a pair of unanswered Sabres treys, cutting EPG’s lead going into halftime, 28-24.

A deuce by Morris pulled the Sabres within two, 28-26, at the 7:33 mark in the third quarter, but EPG was able to get a four point lead thanks to a basket followed by two free throws by junior guard Teron Fairchild pushing the Titans’ lead to 32-28. from there, Weber hit three straight unanswered deuces which were answered by a trey from the Sabres’ Noah Herr. That gave EPG a 38-31 lead. Fairchild and Morris exchanged deuces giving EPG a 40-33 lead and Titans forward Aaron Steiner’s deuce put EPG up, 42-33 at the 1:52 mark in the quarter. Junior Dominic Magrini hit a jumper and two free throws that followed which nudged St. Thomas More within six, 42-36, to start the fourth quarter.

After Fairchild and Halvorson opened the last quarter with back-to-back unanswered deuces pushing EPG up, 46-36, St. Thomas More went on a 9-0 run with a pair of threes by Morris being featured. That reduced EPG’s lead to five, 46-41 with 4:48 left in the contest. Back-to-back unanswered deuces by Fairchild and Weber gave EPG a 50-44 lead which the Sabres reduced to four, 50-46, on a Blomberg deuce at the 3:37 mark, prompting the Sabres bench to call for a timeout.

After that, EPG outscored the Sabres 7-2 on buckets by Steiner, Weber, and Fairchild, giving EPG a 57-48 lead which prompted EPG to call a timeout with 1:43 left. Once out of that time out, Sabres fouls put Fairchild at the line twice and Weber and Smith once each sinking a combined 6-for-7 to close out the contest.

Halvorsen led EPG with 18 points followed in double-digits by 16 from Fairchild and 15 from Weber. Blomberg proved a one-man scoring machine in a losing cause for the Sabres sinking 21.

EPG head coach Nathaniel Meiss said he felt his team handled the pressure St. Thomas More brought during the contest well and that was despite his team having been off since Dec. 19. “The Sabres were scrappy but I’m pleased with how we finished the job. The contest began at 10:30a.m. On the tourney’s first day and the Titans had not practiced for nearly two weeks, partly because of the Christmas holiday. They recently practiced the day after Christmas as a result. “I knew it was going to be tricky,” Weiss said.

“We did a pretty good job on their big guys,” Sabres head coach Matt Kelley said. “They did a good job at the rim but we didn’t do a very good job stopping their drives. We shot a little better the second half. But we made a run but couldn’t really get over the hump. EPG answered every run we had and that’s something we have to get better at.”

State Farm Holiday ClassicTop Seed Winnebago Drops Titans In Second Round: But winning that first round contest put the Titans immediately in line to square off with the bracket’s top seed, Winnebago, in their second round contest at Shirk Center . EPG outscored Winnebago in the first and third quarters, but the Indians outpaced the contest in the second and last quarters. EPG led 19-14 after one quarter, trailed at the half, 33-30, before outscoring the Indians in the third quarter to take a 48-46 lead going into the last quarter. But the Titans could only account for 9 points in that last quarter while Winnebago scored 15 leading to the final score.

Halvorsen’s 14 points followed by 12 from Fairchild led the charge for the Titans. Senior forward Ty Waller and senior center Andrew Morrissey each pocketed 18 points in the victory that sent the Titans toward a third game bracket which would potentially lead to finishing 5th in the tournament depending on the outcome.

Annawan Win Sends Titans To 7th Place Game: On Friday, day three of the tourney at Shirk Center , the Titans found themselves having to stay within range of the 5th seeded Annawan Braves, trailing by four, 17-13 after one quarter, but outpacing their opponent 11-10 in the second quarter to stay within three, 27-24, at the half. Winning would give the Titans a shot at 5th place. But after outrunning the Braves 14-8 in the third quarter to take a 38-35 lead, the Braves offense combined with a tight defense, outscored the Titans in the last stanza, 23-6 en route to a 58-44 win.

That loss sent the Titans into a fourth game where a win would mean 7th place against Rock Falls . Senior guard Owen Landwehr led the Braves’ scoring with 18 points, followed by 15 points from senior forward Ben Buresh and 11 from senior guard Brendon Shaw. Fairchild’s 11 points accompanied by 10 from senior guard Dylan Smith helped the Titans keep pace.

Titans Outpace Rock Falls For 7th To End Day 3: What turned out to be the Titans’ third and last day at The Classic turned out to be a two-game day, as, once the Braves closed out the Titans morning effort, Meiss’ troops prepared to compete for 7th place at IWU against 3rd seed Rock Falls in the afternoon. Jumping out to 10-7 first quarter lead helped EPG as both sides scored 14 points in the second quarter allowing the Titans to hold on to a 24-21 halftime lead. EPG outpaced Rock Falls by a 13-12 margin in the fourth quarter to lead by four, 37-33, but both sides scored 20 points apiece leading to EPG’s 57-53 victory.

Fairchild’s team-high 15 points led the charge for the Titans. He was followed in double figures by Halvorsen and Weber who each pocketed 11 points, and Steiner who scored 10.

By Steve Robinson | December 28, 2017 - 10:14 pm

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – For both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from Normal Community High School, the road to take a championship wasn’t easy, and their endings turned out to have differing results. The 5th seeded boys’ Ironmen cruised to a victory over second seed Chicago North Lawndale while the 5th seeded Lady Iron faced, chased, and lost to 2nd seed Morton.

NCHS Boys 58, Chicago North Lawndale 46: Head coach Dave Witzig’s boys’ team advanced to 12-2 following the victory Saturday, having outpaced 12th Springfield, 4th seed Rock Island, and top seed Wheaton Warrenville South to be able to square off against 2nd seed Chicago North Lawndale for the The Classic’s Large School Boys’ title. The Ironmen (12-2 following the championship game) sped out to a 21-5 first quarter advantage on the strength of threes each contributed by senior guard Trey Heffner, junior guard Blake Foster, and senior forward C. J. Christian. Senior guard London Stamps’ trey and a deuce by junior guard Demetrius Douglas were the only offense the Phoenix could muster in the opening quarter.

Chicago North Lawndale (10-2 after this game) seemed to find their collective footing in the second quarter on threes by senior guard David Forrest, junior guard Daquan Tucker, senior guard Rayjon Williams, and junior guard Isiah Thomas. Their efforts helped Chicago North Lawndale outscore NCHS 25-11 in the second quarter, but the Ironmen still led 32-30 at the half. A basket by junior guard Daylen Boddie and a pair of deuces by junior center C. J. Wilbourne helped NCHS keep their lead at halftime, 32-30.

Boddie led his team in scoring with 15 points. He was followed by Wilbourn’s 14 and 12 from Christian. Tucker was the lone player in double figures for the Rocks with 19 points.

A pair of treys from Boddie and one from Chicago North Lawndale junior guard Marquese Earskines help both sides keep pace, although the Ironmen led, 45-35, going into the fourth quarter.

NCHS’ defense held the Phoenix to just 10 points in the fourth quarter while the offense behind a pair of baskets each by Christian and Wilbourne led the charge to the finish.

Christian led the Ironmen’s charge with 14 points, followed by 12 from Wilbourne, and 10 from Boddie. Forrest was the sole player for the Phoenix in double-digits with 12.

Witzig said after the game that he forgot to caution his players after the first quarter that “this game wouldn’t be that easy.” He said he wished he had issued that caveat because Chicago North Lawndale “went on to play a great second quarter. They scored 25 points in the second quarter and that’s a lot for a high school game. Our defense really came through for us in the second half.”

Chicago North Lawndale head coach Lewis Thorpe said he didn’t believe there was any in particular about NCHS’ play in the first quarter that caused his team’s lack of scoring. During that quarter, he said, “We just weren’t playing good basketball. We just weren’t making shots.” He added the coaching staff will study game tape and start their next game with five players who show him “consistent energy.” He said he didn’t believe his players played with that ingredient during the contest.

Thorpe said he thought NCHS’ toughness “was the key to the game. They wanted it more than we did.”

State Farm Holiday ClassicMorton 61, NCHS Girls 56: A pair of treys – one from Morton sophomore guard Lindsay Dullard and one from junior guard Tenley Dowell started the Large School Girls Championship game for 2nd seed Morton against NCHS’ Lady Iron. Morton owned 19-11 lead going into the second quarter. That set the tone for the contest with NCHS (13-4) spending the bulk of the contest chasing the Lady Potters who increased their record to 14-1. To get to the championship, head coach Marcus Mann’s team beat 12th seed Geneseo in the opener, 4th seed Wheaton Warrenville South in the second round, and top seed Peoria Richwoods to get to the championship.

Morton (14-1) stretched their lead further with two treys by senior guard Kassidy Shurman while Lady Iron baskets by senior guards Caelyn Steffens and Summer Stoewer, junior forward Abby Feit, and senior forward Hannah Johnson tried to keep pace to try catching them. But at the half, the Lady Potters held command with a 38-23 lead.

A trey by Morton sophomore guard Lindsey Dullard gave added push to the Lady Potters efforts to in front in the third quarter, but baskets by Steffens, Feit, sophomore guard Maya Wong, and Stoewer help NCHS maintain a pace that gave Morton a 49-35 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Back-to-back baskets to open the fourth quarter for NCHS by Feit and a free throw by Steffens cut Morton’s lead to 49-40 with 5:49 left. from there, the pace of the last leg of the chase accelerated with baskets by sophomore guard Kylee Schneringer, Wong, and Steffens, capped by a Stoewer trey with 36.5 seconds left to allow NCHS to come within five, 58-53, before Lady Iron fouls sent senior guard Josi Becker and senior forward Caylie Jones to help Morton go a combined 3-for-4 on the line. Wong hit NCHS’ last shot of the night – a trey – for the eventual final score.

Dullard let Morton in scoring with 18 points, followed by Jones’ 13, Dowell’s 12, and Becker’s 10. Feit and Wong led NCHS’ charge scoring 18 and 11 points, respectfully.

By Steve Robinson | December 16, 2017 - 10:04 pm

Steve RobinsonIt’s that time of year again: Planning and having parties, writing Christmas cards, buying gifts, and celebrating. Once that day has come and gone as quickly as it always seems to do, in the sphere of local sports, the first of the tournaments local and county teams play in will be here.

In the Twin Cities, the State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Classic, or The Classic for short, will run from Wednesday, Dec. 27 through to its championship day on Saturday, Dec. 30 at various venues in town. Illinois Wesleyan University ’s Shirk Center , Normal Community High School , Normal Community West High School , and Bloomington Central Catholic (BCC) are the primary venues for this year’s event. The boys’ tournament, the original tourney that started it all enters its 39th year this year while the girls’ tourney enters its 17th year.

Small School Boys Open At IWU: The Small School Boys bracket gets started on Wednesday at IWU’s Shirk Center with tournament newcomer Winnebago seeded first. El Paso Gridley is seeded 8th and will face 9th seed St. Thomas More from Champaign at 10:30a.m. Downs Tri-Valley is seeded 12th and will face 5th seed Annawan at 3p.m.; and 11th seed BCC will take on 6th seed Piasa Southwestern to top off the day at 9:30p.m.

Large School Boys Open At Normal West: In the Large School Boys bracket, where Normal Community West High will play host on day one Wednesday, Wheaton Warrenville South has the top seed, and just two local teams are present – 5th seed NCHS and 14th seed University High. The Ironmen will take on 12th seed Springfield High at 6:30p.m., while the Pioneers will square off against 3rd seed Joliet Catholic at 12 Noon.

Small School Girls Open At NCHS: BCC’s girls’ team has the highest of any local seed throughout the tournament and will face 14th seed Elmhurst IC Catholic at 5p.m. Wednesday on their own home court, where all the games for Small School Girls bracket action will be played that day to begin the tourney. Two county teams will be there competing as well, with 15th seed LeRoy facing 2nd seed Danville Schlarman at 10:30a.m. EPG girls will take on 6th seed Brimfield in a 6:30p.m. contest.

State Farm Holiday ClassicLarge School Girls Open At BCC: In the Large School Girls bracket, NCHS gets the second highest seeding among in-town teams being placed 5th against 12th seed Geneseo Wednesday at BCC in a game that ends the day with a 9:30p.m. tip-off. U-High is seeded 16th in this bracket and will face top seed Peoria Richwoods at 5p.m.; 10th seed Normal West will meet 7th seed Rochester at 1:30p.m.; and 11th seed Bloomington High will face 6th seed Chicago St . Ignatius at 12 Noon.

Dave Oloffson, Tournament Vice President, said the tourney committee looks at how teams were seeded from the perspective of “Who is the best team regardless of where they’re from. We try to go into it as unbiased as possible, and truly see each of the brackets for teams 1 through 16.” He added other factors committee members look at include making sure two teams chosen for the tourney don’t belong to the same conference or aren’t already facing each other already during the season.

“We track every team, every score, who they’ve played,” Oloffson added. “We try to find out as much as possible so that if a good player for a certain team is missing or gets injured, we’d know it before we went into our seeding meeting.”

There are three new teams in the mix this year. Winnebago in Small School Boys bracket, Canton in Large School Girls, and Chicago Simeon in the Large School Girls bracket. Oloffson said having such diverse teams participate in the event’s 64-team field “is a credit to our committee and who we look at and the fact we’re able to attract good teams and go out and find good teams.”

Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout, Friday, Saturday: The Classic also has a tournament within a tournament – The Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout featuring a number of Special Olympics basketball teams from around the area and the state. That tournament will run Friday and Saturday at Shirk Center . I’ll have a column on that event within an event next time.

Normal West Boys In Pekin Holiday Tourney: The Twin Cities isn’t the only place local fans can get a fix over the holidays for high school hoops. Normal West’s boys’ team returns to the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament to see if they can go from runner-up, as they did last year after losing to Springfield Lanphier, to champion. That tournament runs Dec. 27-29. The Pekin Tourney only seeds the top four teams, but the Wildcats aren’t one of them even after last year’s showing. Lanphier is the top seed this year, followed by Peoria Richwoods seeded second, Lake Zurich seeded third, and Moline seeded fourth. The Wildcats will have an early wake-up call for their first game Wednesday, which tips off at 9a.m. at Pekin Community High School .

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – University High School’s girls’ basketball team went from a semifinal double overtime loss to Morton Dec. 29 into a chance at third place within the Large School Girls bracket Dec. 30 at the State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Tournament. In their final game of the tourney, the 6th seed Pioneers faced 5th seed Rochester.

Beating Rochester in this final game of the tourney would put the Pioneers back on a winning course after starting the season going 11-0 before falling to the tourney Large School Girls bracket’s number two seed, Morton, in double overtime, 42-39.

But the Pioneers were only able to keep pace with the Rockets in the third place game for a little more than half of the contest before dropping a 47-40 decision as a crowd of roughly 300 watched at Shirk Center. The loss left the Pioneers facing a two-game skid while claiming fourth place for the bracket.

U-High PioneersAfter a deuce by Madison Faulkner to give Rochester a 2-0 lead, U-High (11-2) went up 4-2 on a deuce and two free throws from forward Raven Hughes with 4:48 to go in the opening quarter. But a quick trey by Nicole Robinson followed by a deuce by Faulkner put Rochester up, 7-4. Hughes responded with a deuce at 2:08 to cut that lead, 7-6. Jessica Baker’s deuce with 53.7 seconds left put the Pioneers up, 8-7. But Faulkner’s next basket allowed the Rockets to blast into the second quarter with a 9-8 lead.

A basket by Jasmayne Lawrence followed by two free throws by Hughes to start the second quarter pushed U-High up, 12-9 at the 5:56 mark. But Rochester’s Angela Perry sank a trey at 4:06 which tied the game, 12-all. A deuce by Pioneers’ Addy Loeffler and a trey by Hughes sandwiched a basket by Perry helping U-High go up, 17-14 at 3:06 in the quarter. Faulkner hit two free throws to put Rochester up, 18-17 at the 2:07 mark. It was followed by a trey by Hughes which put U-High up, 20-18, and Rochester’s Aubrey Magro hit 1-of-2 free throws to slice the Pioneers’ halftime lead to 20-19.

Two free throws by Lawrence were sandwiched between a deuce and a trey from the Rockets which allowed Rochester (12-3) to take a 24-22 lead with 5:26 left in the third quarter. Lawrence’s jumper at 5:14 tied the game at 24-all. Rochester’s Lyric Boone and U-High’s Loeffler exchanged deuces after that tying the game at 26-26..Perry and Boone hit back-to-back unanswered deuces after that, giving Rochester a 30-26 lead with 3:15 left in the quarter.

A Hughes jumper pushed the Pioneers within two, 30-28, before back-to-back deuces by Faulkner and Havilyn Dulin pushed Rochester ahead 34-28 with 14 seconds to go. Four seconds later, Hughes hit one of a pair of free throws to cut the Rockets’ lead, 34-29.

Back-to-back unanswered baskets by Boone gave Rochester a fast fourth quarter start and Rochester its biggest lead to that point, prompting U-High head coach Laura Sellers to call a timeout with 6:40 to go in the contest.

From there, a three-point play that included one free throw by Hughes pushed the Pioneers within four, 38-34, with 5:17 remaining.

statefarmholidayclassic.gifPerry’s basket at 3:51 stopped U-High’s surge, keeping the Rockets in front, 40-34. Back-to-back buckets by Amber Nanni and Loeffler sliced that lead to two, 40-38 at the 2:25 mark before Dulin’s next deuce 10 seconds later gave the Rockets a 42-38 lead, where Rochester head coach J. R. Boudouris took a timeout.

Following that timeout, Pioneers fouls sent three separate Rockets players to the free throw line, including Dulin. Those free throws finished out the winning effort for Rochester, but U-High got a late second basket from Nanni for the final score.

Perry and Faulkner led Rochester’s scoring effort with 16 and 10 points, respectfully. Hughes was U-High’s lone player who achieved double-digits, with 22.

“I thought they played more zone coverage against us today than they have in the past,” said Boudouris, referring to the Pioneers’ effort. “We expected that though.”

Sellers said her squad played four really good teams in this year’s tournament, but that against the Rockets, “We hit a wall.”

“I thought they were going to bury us in the fourth quarter, but we cut it to two points once. We just ran out of energy,” Sellers concluded.

BasketballUniversity High’s girls’ basketball team’s winning streak entered double digits Tuesday at The State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Tournament. The Pioneers, despite a fourth quarter push from Chicago St. Ignatius, held off the Wolfpack for a first round Head coach Laura Sellers’ team is seeded seeded 6th in the tournament’s Large School Girls bracket. Chicago St. Ignatius was seeded 11th.

The Pioneers’ victory will had them squaring off against 3rd seed Springfield High School Wednesday at 8:30p.m. at Normal Community High School. Springfield High disposed of Bloomington High in their first round game, 73-59 Tuesday morning at BCC.

U-High’s Raven Hughes and Jasmyne Lawrence each hit baskets to jump out to a fast 4-0 lead to open the first quarter for the Pioneers before the Wolfpack’s Aleah Spurell hit a deuce at 6:42 in the opening quarter to cut the lead, 4-2. Lawrence and Hughes hit unanswered deuces back-to-back increasing the Pioneers’ score, 8-2 at 5:03 in the quarter before early fouls by U-High put Spurell and Nicolette McDonald on the free throw line to help St. Ignatius come within two, 8-6, at the 3:01 mark.

State Farm Holiday ClassicKimmy Sendelbach and Hughes hit back-to-back unanswered deuces helping double the Pioneers’ lead, 12-6, with 1:31 remaining in the quarter. That was followed by a deuce by St. Ignatius’ Hayley Cange who cut the Pioneers ‘lead to 12-8. U-High was able to open the second quarter with a 14-8 lead.

After Cange opened the second quarter with a deuce to cut U-High’s lead to 14-10, Hughes hit two back-to-back deuces, followed by a jumper from Addy Loeffler to put the Pioneers on a 6-0 run which doubled their score, 20-10 with 3:11 until halftime, prompting St. Ignatius head coach Cara Doyle to call a timeout.

Following the timeout, U-High’s Jessica Baker hit a three, pushing the Pioneers up, 23-10, with 2:28 left in the quarter. Fouls late in the quarter helped U-High add to their lead, sending Hughes to the free throw line twice, where she sank 3-of-4 shots, giving the Pioneers a 26-10 advantage.

After Lawrence hit two free throws to open the third quarter, giving U-High a 28-10 lead, and the teams exchanged layups to give U-High a 30-12 lead, Chicago St. Ignatius (4-7) went on a 6-0 run thanks to a pair of unanswered layups by McDonald and two free throws by Molly Gannon to cut the Pioneers’ lead, 30-18, with 4:17 in the period.

Lawrence scored a three-point play after being fouled five seconds later to give U-High a 33-18 lead, but St. Ignatius responded a trey from Gannon to bring the Wolfpack within 12, 33-21. Jessica Huber hit a deuce for U-High and McDonald responded, moving the Pioneers’ lead, 35-23. Hughes was fouled shortly afterward, and sank two free throws to give the Pioneers a 37-23 lead at 2:46 in the quarter. But a second trey from Gannon pulled the Wolfpack within 11, 37-26. A deuce from Loeffler with 52.5 seconds pushed U-High up, 39-26 and prompted St. Ignatius to call for timeout. Following the timeout, Hughes contributed one more basket, giving U-High a 41-26 lead with which to open the fourth quarter.

U-High PioneersHughes opened the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws after being fouled by the Wolfpack’s Cange. She was followed by a basket by Lawrence and added one more after that herself to give U-High a 47-26 lead with 4:43 left in the game. But St. Ignatius responded with an 8-0 run highlighted by two threes – to pull within 11, 47-36, prompting them to take a timeout with 1:54 remaining. A layup by Spurell nine seconds later prompted the Wolfpack to huddle for a second timeout. Following that, Grace Barclay hit a deuce to increase the Pioneers’ lead, 49-38, with 1:28 remaining. A deuce by Logan Daly with 54.8 seconds left and two free throws by Gannon 21 seconds later were as close as the Wolfpack would come thanks to the Pioneers defense in the closing moments of the contest.

Hughes’ 21 points, followed by 13 from Lawrence helped power U-High to the tenth consecutive victory. Gannon was Chicago St. Ignatius’ lone scorer in double-figures with 12. Spurell and McDonald came close, nearly touching double figures with 9 points, and 8 points, respectfully.

“The score showed that we had them for three and a half quarters and we made sure we got some players in to get some game experience in the fourth quarter,” U-High head coach Laura Sellers said. From this point on in the tournament, Sellers added, “The competition gets better every game. We need to take care of the basketball and play as a team to get it done.”

“Basketball is a game of moments, and we just need to put our good moments together,” said Chicago St. Ignatius head coach Cara Doyle. “U-High is a very nice team. They run their system very well. Their kids are well-coached and their kids are good rebounders. Their offensive rebounds and put-backs were hard for us.”