Basketball Season Starts; DePaul Wins Thanksgiving Tournament

The DePaul Prep Rams survived a very tough Lane Tech Indians team, 45-38, to win the fifth annual Lane/DePaul Prep Battle of the Bridge Thanksgiving Tournament. First time the Rams have won their own tournament.

What I saw on Friday evening was toughness. The first half was close. Defense and missed shots predominated. With the Rams leading by nine at the half, I expected Perry Cowen to come out and take over the third quarter the way he did against Notre Dame. Perry scored four points but by the end of the third but Lane had rallied on some three pointers to take a one point lead early in the fourth quarter.

It was Raheem Anthony who took over the game in the fourth quarter with seven of his game high twenty-one points. At the start of the quarter, Raheem committed a foul and got t-ed up. I couldn’t see or hear exactly what happened that lead to the technical foul. But it didn’t seem to bother him. He went right back to work running the office. At one point, his drive and crossover dribble literally caused Lane’s star point guard Michael Molloy to fall down leaving Raheem a wide-open jumper in the paint.

In the last minute, with the Rams up by seven Raheem was fouled on successive possessions. He walked up to the line as confident as could be and drained the 1-1 free throws sealing the victory all the while shooting looks to his pals in the front row.

This senior group doesn’t panic. They take care of business.

So far.

The first part of the season over. Now on to Catholic League play.

As for Lane, that is one tough determined team. DePaul Prep is one of the best teams in the Chicago area and the Indians almost beat them.

I was very impressed with toughness in the paint. Sr. center Vuk Djuric battled DePaul’s Pavle Pantovic. It was actually more of boxing match. Neither player could make shots underneath because the other would not allow it. Djuric took a elbow to the nose spilling blood on the floor and sending him to the locker room until the second half. When he came back, they picked up where they left off.

Lane’s Michael Molloy scored 14 points including a couple late layups to keep the Indians close at the end. (The photo below is of Michael Molloy in the fourth grade “Big 10” championship game at St. Benedict.)

I don’t know how Lane will fare in the tough Red North against Farragut, Lincoln Park, Crane and Marshall, but if tonight was any indication, those teams better come to play. They are going to be in for a fight.