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The Mokena Messenger 021617

48 | February 16, 2017 |

48 | February 16, 2017 | The Mokena Messenger SPORTS Athlete of the Week Competitive Cheer Celtics maintain winning culture with fourth-place finish 10 Questions photo Submittted with Mason Maze Randy Whalen Freelance Reporter While East came away with the state title in the large school division Feb. 4, it was still a memorable year for Mokena residents Chloe Floeckher, Lilly Smith, Rosie Lagone, Elizabeth Marmo, of the Providence cheer team. Providence, which was second in the large school division last season, just missed another trophy, there were no regrets for the Celtics either. Their fourth-place finish was their sixth in the past seven seasons. They won the title in 2013 and were third in 2011 and 2014. “The kids were very pleased with their performance on both days,” said Providence coach Laura Duesing, who has been head coach the past seven seasons. “There were a lot of great memories and they were thrilled to have performed both days. This year we have 11 seniors and last year it was only five. “It’s great that our surrounding area is so strong. We are all there to challenge each other and there’s a good camaraderie between all the [southland] teams and that’s nice.” In the preliminary round the Celtics (87.16) were fifth. So they moved up a spot and barely missed out on third. But there were no regrets in finishing fourth. “Our goal was to get in the Top 10 and on technique and grips,” Duesing said. “On day two we didn’t feel any pressure out there. We just had fun and performed. The kids felt that they had their best two performances of the season [at state] weekend. It was a great way to finish the season.” Mason Maze is a swimmer on Lincoln-Way Central’s boys swimming team. He competes in the 100-yard backstroke and multiple relays. How did you get into swimming? My mom was a swimmer, my dad was a swimmer, and my older sister was a swimmer, and I was just kind of forced into it as a kid. You also play water polo. Would you rather be a pro swimmer or pro water polo player? Water Polo, any day. It’s much more exciting for me, just being able to score goals. It’s fun and more of a team aspect. What is the best piece of advice you have received from head coach Pat Shaughnessy? Coach Pat told me before one of my races this year when I was really nervous to not be nervous and to be confident about my abilities because I’ve already proved myself. Just be confident and know you’re going to do well, and that always stuck with me. What has the transition been like coming over from Lincoln-Way East? I was definitely skeptical at first, but it definitely turned out really nice. I think it’s been a really good transition, actually. Who do you look up to? Probably my parents. My parents support me really well and taught me a lot of good lessons. What is the most embarrassing song you’ve played recently on your Spotify? “Fireworks” by Katy Perry. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy? Definitely some cool cars, probably a Ferrari or a McLaren. If you could be a fictional character, what would you be? Probably a dragon. Those are pretty cool because they could fly and breathe fire. What are five things you cannot live without? Probably my phone, my headphones, probably some fast food, like burgers, a good book because I like to read, and pen and paper because I like to draw, too. Do you have any phobias? I don’t like spiders. Actually, I can manage them, but clowns are freaky and probably heights. I’m not a big fan of heights. Interview by Contributing Editor James Sanchez This Week In... Knights Varsity Athletics Boys basketball ■Feb. ■ 16 - host Thornton, 6 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 21 - host T.F. South (Senior Night), 6 p.m. Girls basketball ■Feb. ■ 17 - host IHSA regional final, 7 p.m.* ■Feb. ■ 20 - at IHSA sectional, TBA* Girls bowling ■Feb. ■ 17 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 18 - at IHSA state final* Girls Basketball Bradley-Bourbonnais 63, Lincoln-Way Central 38 It was a tough game for the Knights against South- West Suburban Conference foe Bradley-Bourbonnais, Boys track and field ■Feb. ■ 18 - at Proviso East Invitational, 9 a.m. Wrestling ■Feb. ■ 16 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 17 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 18 - at IHSA state final* Griffins Varsity Athletics Boys basketball ■Feb. ■ 17 - host Bolingbrook, 6:30 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 21 - at Lockport, 7 p.m. Girls basketball high school highlights The rest of the week in high school sports but sophomore forward Abi Baumgartner still stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 17 points and bringing down eight rebounds. Senior forward Courteney Barnes was a point shy of yet another ■Feb. ■ 16 - at IHSA regional, 7 p.m.* Girls bowling ■Feb. ■ 17 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 18 - at IHSA state final* Girls gymnastics ■Feb. ■ 17 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 18 - at IHSA state final* Wrestling ■Feb. ■ 16 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 17 - at IHSA state final* ■Feb. ■ 18 - at IHSA state final* double-double, scoring nine points and corralling 12 rebounds of her own. High School Highlights is compiled by Editor Tim Carroll, SPORTS the Mokena Messenger | February 16, 2017 | 49 Hockey Celtics moving on up to Kennedy Cup Finals Providence sweeps St. Rita in semifinals Brittany Kapa, Assistant Editor St. Rita’s fan section came in strong, loud and like a scene from ‘Braveheart,’ complete with blue face paint. The team’s fans would leave quieter and much more reserved than they entered. On Thursday, Feb. 9, the No. 1-seeded Providence Celtics took on the No. 4-seeded St. Rita Mustangs in the semifinal round of the Kennedy Cup. St. Rita hosted Providence at Southwest Ice Arena in Crestwood for the second game of the series. Providence proved victorious by the end of the night with a 2-0 win, and the Celtics swept the series with back-to-back shutouts. Providence’s Ryan Iaciancio, of Tinley Park, kept his undefeated streak alive in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League with a 25-save performance en route to the team’s Thursday night victory. “I knew it was an elimination game for them, so I knew that they were going to bring everything that they had,” Iaciancio said. “We prepared; we knew what they had coming in. Our defense played great and helped me get the shutout.” Iaciancio finished the game with a few memorable saves, one of which had him well out of the safety of the blue paint. Senior forward Josh Mooncotch scored the lone full-strength goal with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left in the second period. Mooncotch was fed a pass from Jake Vennetti that got St. Rita’s goalie moving and Sophomore Graham Garrett, of Mokena, brings the puck out of the defensive zone. allowed enough space for Mooncotch to bury the puck in the net off a quick wrist shot. Jake Rott picked up the secondary assist on that play. Mooncotch cited Iaciancio’s performance as one of the main reasons his team was so successful during the night. “He stood on his head,” Mooncotch said. “He’s been playing great the last two games. He kept us in and had two shutouts.” Providence’s second goal came at the very end of the third period after St. Rita had pulled goalie Mike Iwaniec in an attempt to even up the score. Kevin Horan made sure that did not happen with a buzzer beater goal into St. Rita’s empty net with less than a second to go. A common theme throughout the night for Providence was the team’s aggressiveness on the puck and its willingness to make good plays. Defensively, Jake Lawler, of Frankfort, was able to keep Providence’s offensive zone time up with a series of good keeps at the blue line. “We try and be as aggressive as we can, and if [we] get beat, we’re at least going to make you make a great play to beat us,” head coach Nick Iaciancio said. “Sometimes we have a tendency to go too hard and lose our discipline in there.” The team’s aggressiveness did result in four penalties throughout the game. Despite being a man short, the team was always able to have control of the game. Mooncotch was called on a crosscheck violation during the second period, and Providence was able to keep St. Rita from even getting a shot on net. “Our fourth line dominated play for a good portion of the time, which was a huge leg [up] for us to give everyone else a break, especially when you’re killing penalties,” Nick Iaciancio said of his team’s multiple successful penalty kills. The coach said he does not generally like to assign numbers to his lines, but he cited fourth-liners Cole Kaup, of Mokena; Cam Cutler, of Shorewood; and Shane Horan, of Orland Park, as the essential pieces in the success of killing those penalties. The team celebrated its victory after the game, but Jack McConnell, of Mokena, takes a wrist shot on net Thursday, Feb. 9, during the semifinals of the Kennedy Cup in Crestwood. Photos by Julie McMann/22nd Century Media The Celtics and fans celebrate after their semifinals sweep of St. Rita. the players know that their next challenge looms ahead. Providence is preparing to take on Fenwick in the Kennedy Cup finals, and no one wants to lose focus before then. “We know we’re playing Fenwick in the finals, and we know they’re going to bring everything they have,” Ryan Iaciancio said. “They haven’t beaten us this year. Our last game was pretty close; we know that this final, anything can happen, so we have to bring our ‘A’ game.”