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TP_021617

The Tinley Junction 021617

50 | February 16, 2017 |

50 | February 16, 2017 | The tinley junction sports tinleyjunction.com Boys Basketball Krutilla’s 24 points not enough in Andrew loss Frank Gogola Freelance Reporter Lincoln-Way Central’s Chris Robinson was determined to make his presence felt this time. When Central and Andrew played earlier this season, the junior guard missed the game because of a family issue. The Knights lost by double digits. In the rematch, he scored or assisted on 30 points to help Central beat Andrew, 67-58, on Feb. 7 in New Lenox. Central (7-15; 5-4) held Andrew (12-10; 4-4) to fewer made 3-pointers and free-throw attempts in the rematch, and hit its own free throws down the stretch to seal the win. “It was like I was running off adrenaline [today] because I knew my team needed me last game,” Robinson said. “I felt like I let them down last game, so I had to come through for them this game.” Robinson scored a teamhigh 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting after missing his first three shots. He assisted on five baskets after coming in averaging one assist per game. He added two steals. Andrew’s Joey Krutilla scored a game-high 24 points, but the Central defense was improved from the first meeting – a 79-65 Andrew win on Dec. 13 in Tinley Park. Andrew was 6-of-14 on 3-pointers after making double digits the first game. Both teams made 14 free throws in the rematch – the Knights had eight in the final 64 seconds – after Andrew made 23 in the first meeting to Central’s 11 attempts. “We did what we needed to do to win the game, and that was to keep them off the 3-point line and the freethrow line and make them score 2-pointers,” said Central coach Bob Curran. In the rematch, Andrew ELITE SPORTS TRAINING ATHLETES INSIDE-OUT 815.221.6000 • Mar 11 - Apr 29 • Saturdays - 8 Weeks • $150-$180 per player • Ages 5-6 & 7-9 www.bjesLockport.com was without Evan Yerkes, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who had been averaging 12 points per game and shooting 50 percent on 3-pointers. Yerkes broke his foot in January and is likely done for the season, according to Andrew coach David Wilson. “He really spread the offense for us,” Wilson said. “His basketball IQ is off the charts. Injuries are not an excuse because everybody deals with them, but he’s a tough one to play without.” His loss means other players have had to and will need to step up if the Thunderbolts want to reach their goal of winning a regional championship. Against Central, it was Troy Murphy and Carson Meter, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Mike DeHaan had six points and seven rebounds. Central’s postseason outlook has been slowly brightening after rematch wins over Lincoln-Way West and Andrew. Robinson’s play has improved as of late and will be key heading into the postseason. He came off the bench in six of the first eight games and has started in every game since missing the first game against Andrew. “The last five games he’s played really well,” Curran said. “We’ve been talking about him being a better assist guy. We know he can score the basketball, but he’s got to get others involved.” He did that early against Andrew, dishing out assists on three consecutive possessions. Andrew led 12-11 after one quarter with nine points from Krutilla. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Robinson scored four in the second quarter, including a midrange jumper in the closing seconds of the seconds, as Lincoln-Way Central’s Brian Ponton (left) and Andrew Hancock position themselves for a rebound Feb. 7 during a game against Andrew in New Lenox. Photos by James Sanchez/22nd Century Media Central led 24-23 at the half. He added eight in the third quarter, and the Knights led 43-38 heading into the fourth. Robinson hit a 3-pointer and a jumper on back-toback possessions to give Central its biggest lead of the game, 48-41, with 6:32 to play. Andrew responded with an 8-0 run with scores from four players to take a 49-48 lead, its first since 23- 22 late in the second quarter. Not to be outdone, Central responded with a 9-0 run started by a 3-pointer by Aaron Michalak (12 points). Alex Kogut blocked a Krutilla layup, which led to an Andrew inbound pass – thrown haphazardly into the backcourt – that Robinson stole. He grabbed the ball and quickly shot from seemingly too close under the basket, but the ball went in after bouncing around the run. “I thought it was going out,” Robinson said. “I was Guard Bryan Ross takes the ball up court to start a fastbreak. like, ‘No!’” “That’s absolutely huge because you give a team that didn’t have momentum, you give them momentum,” Wilson said. Robinson assisted on two layups by Joe DiNaso (eight points), and Central led 59-53 when Robinson missed the front-end of a 1-and-1. The Thunderbolts rebounded, and Krutilla hit a 3-pointer to pull them within 59-56 with 1:10 to play. From there, Central made 8-of-10 free throws, most of which came from intentional fouls by Andrew, to seal the game. Bryan Ross scored nine points for Central. Andrew Hancock chipped in seven with two baskets coming off two slick post moves in the first quarter.

tinleyjunction.com sports the tinley junction | February 16, 2017 | 51 Wrestling Precin’s 5-3 win sends T-Bolts wrestler to state Jason Maholy Freelance Reporter Sandburg wrestler Pat Brucki entered this season with the ultimate goal of ending his senior campaign standing atop the podium at the University of Illinois’ State Farm Center. After placing third at the IHSA Class 3A state tournament as a sophomore and second last season, both times at 182 pounds, anything less than a state title next weekend in Champaign would constitute failure in the mind of the Princetonbound grappler. Brucki’s mission is nearing completion, as the fourtime state qualifier and twotime medalist continued his dominant season Feb. 11 by winning the championship at 195 pounds at the Downers Grove North Sectional. Brucki (40-1) will enter the state tournament unbeaten against and largely unchallenged by Illinois wrestlers. He easily disposed of his sectional opponents, including Illinois Matmen’s Nos. 2- and 5-ranked wrestlers in the state. Brucki defeated Mason Kroening of Waubonsie Valley, 17-5, in the semifinals before making secondranked Sergio Villalobos of Downers Grove look very average and topping him by technical fall, 20-5, in the championship bout. The supremely confident but humble Brucki believes the only opponent who can beat him lies within. “I’m happy with how its progressing, with how I’m wrestling,” he said after accepting his first-place medal. “Obviously, I’m never satisfied, but I think if I stay on this track I’ll have a good chance of taking that title, and there’s no one that’s going to stop me from doing that other than me. I’m my own worst enemy right now, and all I’ve got to do is trust myself, trust my instincts, trust my coaches have taught me to do, and get the job done.” Three other Sandburg wrestlers will join Brucki in Champaign. Justin Bateman and Malik Scates placed third in the sectional at 220 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively, and Patrick Nolan took fourth at 120 pounds. Bateman and Scates will each be taking their second trips to the state tournament, while Nolan will go for the first time. Bateman qualified for state two years ago as a sophomore and has been gunning for a return trip since bowing out of the state series at sectionals last season. He pinned Naperville North’s Christian Nussbaum in the third-place match at Downers Grove North to head to state on a winning note. “That’s actually what makes this that much sweeter,” Bateman said. “Last year didn’t wrestle my best at [sectionals], and I ended up not qualifying for state. From the moment that happened until now I’ve been training, I haven’t stopped since then. This year I want to get to the top of the podium, that’s my goal. I know I’ve still got a lot of work to put into it and a lot of stuff I have to adjust, but that’s what I have to do.” Scates (34-12), a senior, failed to medal at last year’s state tournament, but “had a plan” to make it again to Champaign. He pinned Brandon Raines, of Glenbard East, in the third-place bout. “I just absolutely loved it Andrew’s Robbie Precin goes head to head with Jacob Dado, of Marist High School, at the Feb. 11 Downers Grove North Sectional. photos by jason maholy/22nd century media down there, so I was like, I want to make sure I get there again, and this time try and get a medal,” he said. “I’m ready. I could always change a few things up, but I think I’m getting it.” Nolan, a sophomore who is in his first year on varsity, had an at times remarkable and at other times bewildering sectional performance. He upset third-ranked Isaac Jacquez of West Aurora in the quarterfinals, winning 12-10 in overtime; then lost to Jacob Dado of Marist in the semifinals. Nolan appeared to be headed home for the season when he trailed Metea Valley’s Phillip Sims 10-7 with one minute remaining in their consolation-bracket semifinal; however, he pulled off perhaps the most dramatic victory of the day by escaping, taking Sims down, and putting him on his back for three near-fall points for a 13-10 win. Nolan (34-8) acknowledged he drives Sandburg head coach Eric Siebert crazy. “I make it harder than it has to be. I just didn’t wrestle my best, honestly,” Nolan said. “I mean, I still made it down state, and that’s what my mark has been all year. Next week I just have to wrestle better if I want to place.” Another area wrestler headed to state is Andrew’s Robbie Precin, who won the Downers Grove North Sectional title at 120 pounds by defeating Dado, 5-3, in the championship bout. Precin (38-1), a junior, placed fourth in state at 113 as a freshman, but missed most of last season after breaking his nose. “Obviously, I’m going to try my hardest to get that state title,” Precin said. “But I just wanted to get back on the mat [after last season] Precin (right) ultimately defeats Dado in the championship bout. because I wanted to prove to everyone I could do it. I think I’ll prove even more once state comes. I’ve just got to keep throttling.” Precin, who attended Sandburg when he qualified for state two years ago, said his coaches at Andrew have been amazing and are very supportive. “They just want me to have fun, that’s all they’re worried about, and it’s motivating for me for them to do that.”