The holiday tournament season led to some alarming outcomes for area teams.
Young lost two twice at the Naples Holiday Shootout in Florida. Marist had a 1-3 record in the same tourney.
Montini used a late comeback to defeat Rolling Meadows in the Broncos’ tourney title game. Bloom won the Hillcrest tourney. Glenbrook South captured the Wheaton North championship.
Marist took the biggest hit in the win-loss column. But I kept the RedHawks firmly planted at No. 6 in this week’s rankings due to the level of competition they faced in the Naples tourney. Marist suffered a 27-point blowout loss to North Gwinnett (Ga.) in the opening round. North Gwinnett went on to win the championship game, with Lexie Brown -- the daughter of former
NBA player Dee Brown –- winning the Tournament MVP.
“The purpose of coming down here was to play teams like the ones we lost to that would help us in the balance of our season,” Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. “We will be better prepared for the state tournament now. North Gwinnett was the best team that I’ve seen in all my years coaching.”
I stuck with Young at No. 1 in the ranking despite the Dolphins losing their last two games at Naples. Young, the defending champion of the Naples tourney, lost its two games by a combined seven points.
Ouch: The holiday tourney season also meant a flood of injuries for several top teams.
Evanston played without its leading scorer and rebounder, Alecia Cooley, on Friday and Saturday in the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic. Not surprisingly, the Wildkits lost two games without Cooley.
“(Alecia) rolled her ankle late in Thursday’s game and she will be back in a week,” said Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield.
Morgan Park senior forward Kiara Carter suffered a bruised hip that kept her out of the Mustangs’ last two games. Carter, the defensive specialist for Thomas Johnson’s squad, was taken out of the gym at the State Farm Holiday Classic on Thursday in a gurney. Johnson said Carter will be out 1-2 weeks.
“She was in a lot of pain,” Johnson said. “They wanted to make sure nothing was broken. She’s instrumental to our team.”
Trinity coach Ed Stritzel watched his team tumble down the rankings after a fast start. The Blazers are missing three key players in Mikayla Leyden (10 games out), Maryam Wilcher (10) and Amber Reese (nine) combining to miss 29 games.
“Our young kids are getting experience,” Stritzel said.
Bolingbrook finished 2-1 at the Peach State Basketball Holiday Invitational in Georgia. The Raiders are still playing without Illinois-bound senior guard Kennedy Cattenhead.
“(Kennedy) should be ready to go in a few weeks,” Bolingbrook coach
Anthony Smith said. “We still did well. We played three top teams and won two games. I’m happy with that.”
Finally: With 2013 just around the corner, here’s some interesting numbers from last week.
1: Maine South coach Mark Smith got his first win over Fenwick in his eight-year tenure. The Hawks defeated Fenwick 69-61 in Friday’s semifinals of the Charger Classic.
1: Metea Valley claimed its first girls basketball tourney title in school history by winning the Wolves Holiday Classic at Oswego East.
401: Glenbrook South coach Steve Weissenstein claimed his 400th win on Friday and notched No. 401 with Saturday’s win over Wheaton North in the championship game of the Neibch Holiday Classic.
0: Wheaton North’s basket total in the fourth quarter in its victory Friday against Glenbard South in the semifinals at the Neibch tourney.
22: New Trier's point total in its game against Barrington at the Charger Classic.