Riverside-Brookfield Shootout Preview

Time to get back into basketball. The June 21-23, 17th Annual Riverside Brookfield Summer Shootout field and schedule have been announced. The field is packed with top teams including a Chicago area appearance by two-time 4A state champ Belleville West.

The 64-team tournament includes: Belleville West; 4A runner-up Evanston; 4A third place Curie; 3A state champ East St. Louis; 3A runner-up Bogan; 3A third place DePaul Prep; 1A state champ Providence-St. Mel; 4A sectional champs Stevenson, Bolingbrook and Simeon, 3A Regional champs St. Viator; 2A regional champ Uplift.

A couple of first round games should prove interesting. The DePaul Prep Rams, (CCL Blue champs and 3A third-place), take on Belleville West, 4A state champ the last two-years, late Friday at 8:45 p.m. The Rams recently murderous schedule adds a doozy. The Rams graduated three starters among the best in school history, Perry Cowen, Raheem Anthony and Pavle Pantovic. This game should prove quite a challenge for the Rams even though the Maroons will not have two time player of the year and Ohio State recruit E. J. Liddell. We should get a good preview of the Rams new look with the talented group of sophomores as well as juniors D.J. Shower and Brian Mathews.

Another interesting first round game is ESCC 2019 champ Marian Catholic against rival St. Viator, Saturday at 12:35 p.m. Pool M is curiously packed with Marian Catholic, St. Viator, defending 1A state champ Providence-St. Mel as well as Northern IL-Big 12 East conference champ DeKalb.

The Chicago Catholic League is well represented with 10 of its 16 teams in attendance. Conspicuous in its absence is CCL White Division champs St. Rita. Perhaps this has something to do with the recent dismissal of this coach Gary DeCesare.

The Chicago Public League also has top teams in attendance (in no particular order): Curie, Bogan, Simeon, Whitney Young, Uplift and Lincoln Park.

Frequent viewers of this channel know that I tend to concentrate on Chicago Catholic League and CPS games. I am looking to branch out some this year and take in more suburban games. I definitely have to see Max Christie at Rolling Meadows. The Mustangs take on Curie on Friday at 6:55 in R-B’s main gym.

I am also looking forward to seeing Notre Dame’s talented young team with juniors Anthony Sayles and Troy D’Amico. Marian Catholic better watch out for Notre Dame this season. The Dons are going to be good.

The thing about these preseason games is that they are not really like an in-season matchup. The games are quick, the lineups are fluid and don’t reflect the probable in-season starting line-up. There isn’t a whole lot of defense played. I wish I was a more seasoned analyst to tell one exactly what to look for. But I am neither a sportswriter nor a basketball expert. I am photographer and a fan.

As for the photography of this event, it doesn’t lend itself to great picture taking opportunities. Many of the games are in a field house and small gyms without the best light. I am also not as prepared as usual on which players to watch. I am not there to take photos as much as gain intelligence on the best teams to photograph in the upcoming season.

Nevertheless, I am jazzed about the start of the pre-season, at least for me. Hope to see you there—June 21-23 at Riverside-Brookfield High School. I see what I can do about getting some stories and photos up in IL Preps Insider as well.

Evanston Out Guns Rockford East 94-82

It didn’t seem that close. The Evanston Township High School Wildkits (31-4) came out firing on all cylinders against the Rockford East E-RABs. The Kits opened up a 25-15 first quarter lead and never looked back. Well, except they actually did in the third quarter when the E-RABS out scored them 29-20.

The game never seemed in doubt despite a valiant charge by Rockford East. Evanston’s Sr. forward Blake Peters went seven for eight shooting threes. That’s just spectacular. He lead all scorers with 27 points.

Be careful what you wish for. The Wildkits will face Belleville West who destroyed a 34-1 Curie team, 70-48, The Condors just came off an impressive comeback victory of Simeon and looked to be unstoppable. Belleville West’s two big men, E.J. Liddell and Keith Randolph dominated the paint and got Curie into foul trouble.

It should be a fascinating championship game of teams with contrasting styles. Evanston is quick, athletic and great shooters. Belleville West is big, athletic and good shooters. My money is on Evanston, but I thought Curie would win so what do I know,

Stay tuned.

New Trier Girls Beat Evanston 46-45 on Late Free Throws

The second Evanston v. New Trier matchup of the last night (Jan. 11, 2019) at Evanston was even better than the first as the Trevian girls topped the Wildkits 46-45. With time running out, New Trier point guard Tinah Hong drove the baseline drawing a foul. Just a cool as can be, with the game on the line, she stepped up to the line and drained the tying bucket—nothing but net. Then, after an Evanston time out, Tinah again stepped up to the line and drained the game winner—nothing but net. Evanston had a few seconds but couldn’t get up a shot to win.

I got some good shots of this game. Some of the photos are a little too grainy but they are pretty well lit. I hope you like them.

Evanston Tops New Trier 54-46 in Conference Showdown

Great game. Wildkits held off a late charge by the Trevians and came away with a convincing 54-46 victory. My third time seeing Evanston this year. Each time they have come out victorious in tight games over quality opponents—St. Viator, Uplift and now New Trier. I love the Evanston gym. It has such a stadium quality—and video scoreboards. My favorite gym in the area, well at least today.

As for the photos, it was not my finest work. I got to the game a little late so I was a little rushed. I hope you like the photos.

Chicago Elite Classic

I photographed the Chicago Elite Classic for Illinois Preps Insider last Saturday (Dec. 1, 2018) at the Wintrust Area. It was my first time there. I loved it. Great light. I could not stay all day. I only saw the first three games. I was most interested in the Uplift v. Evanston game. Both teams impressed me. Got some good photos. Hope you like them.

Evanston Takes Down Lane Tech 9-7 in 4A Sectional Semi

Evanston played Lane Tech last Thursday (May 31, 2018) at Loyola's Munz athletic fields campus. It was a great game. Evanston jumped out to a two run lead. Lane rebounded with seven runs a couple innings later. Then Evanston put up seven runs of its own an inning later and took a 9 - 7 lead. The Indians were unable to make up the difference. Evanston won 9-7 and advanced to play Loyola on Saturday. 

The  photos were high shutter speed and high ISO. The Loyola announcer was gracious enough to let me shoot photos from the mobile press box which helped me get some great shots.