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OP_021518

The Orland Park Prairie 021518

44 | February 15, 2018 |

44 | February 15, 2018 | The orland park prairie Sports opprairie.com Girls Bowling Eagles take third at sectional to advance full team to state Randy Whalen Freelance Reporter Perhaps when a team clinches its 23rd trip to the state finals since 1986, one might think it is old hat. But that wasn’t the case for the Lockport Township girls bowling team. The Porters had a great sense of appreciation and excitement as they easily captured the title of the Bolingbrook Sectional by 320 pins on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Brunswick Zone in Woodridge. Bailey Delrose, Lockport’s only returning starter from last season’s secondplace state team, had a 1,396 pin-fall total to win the individual title. It was the second sectional title for Delrose. “I’m ready for it,” Delrose said of her final tip to state. “We prepared ourselves the whole season and now we are going to state. This [winning the sectional] is a good step off for my goal to win state. Everything we worked for is coming up this weekend.” The team standings were: Lockport (5,991), Oswego East (5,671) and Sandburg (5,581) in first, second and third. Andrew (5,530) edged out Neuqua Valley (5,493) for the fourth and final state qualifying spot. Richards (5341), Plainfield North (5,169), T.F. South (5,111), Oak Lawn Community (5,003), Bremen (4,827), Morgan Park (4,673), and Tinley Park (4,350) rounded out the sectional. The top four teams and the top five individuals not on those teams advance to the state finals. Those are to be held this Feb.16 and 17 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford. For Sandburg senior Emily Schrader, a fourth and final trip to state is in order. But for Schrader — who bowled a 1,363 and finished second individually behind Lockport Township senior superstar and sectional champion Bailey Delrose — this is the most special one. That is because the team will be going with her. “I’m so glad the team is going to state,” Schrader said. “All season, we have just picked each other up when we were down and worked as a team. “For me to get there for a fourth straight season is awesome, but especially to go with the team. I’m excited. I want to medal again.” Schrader, who placed 10th in the state as a sophomore two years ago, has committed to continue to bowl in college at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. But before that, she and her teammates are slated to experience the trip to state. “This is the first time in five years, and it feels really good,” Sandburg coach Joe Geiger said. “We knew we had a good chance [coming into the sectional].” This is the fifth time the Eagles have advanced to Sandburg’s Emily Schrader bowls Saturday, Feb. 10, during the Bolingbrook Sectional at Brunswick Zone in Woodridge. Adam Jomant/22nd Century Media “I’m so glad the team is going to state. All season, we have just picked each other up when we were down and worked as a team.” Emily Schrader — Sandburg senior girls bowler, on the Eagles advancing from the Bolingbrook Sectional state as a team. But this year has been a great one, as the Eagles went 10-1 in dual meets, only losing to South- West Suburban Conference champion Lockport and winning a regional for the first time in school history. “Emily is one of the top bowlers in the state,” Geiger said of Schrader. “But the rest of this year’s team is three juniors and a sophomore. As the season got going, we knew we had a good team, and we knew there were four or five teams at the sectional with a great chance to get [to state]. We got off to a good start. Even though our last two games were 10 pins below our average, we had bowled well to start and had a good cushion.” The Eagles actually had the highest first-game score of 998, edging Lockport (989). They had a total of 2,852 total at the lunch break, and their first four games were all 904 or higher. Sophomore Vanesa Perez (1,103 total, high game of 241), and juniors Jill Richmond (1,069, high of 195), Alyssa Novak (1,057, high of 199) and Karlie Colbert (989, high of 191) rounded out the Eagle lineup. “That was important, starting that well,” Schrader said. “That got the team going. [At state], we just want to bowl well as a team, get to the second day, have a good attitude and have fun.” This Week In ... Eagles Varsity Athletics Wrestling ■Feb. ■ 15-17 - at IHSA Individual State Tournament (State Farm Center, Champaign) Girls Bowling ■Feb. ■ 16-17 - at IHSA State FInal Tournament (The Cherry Bowl, Rockford) Girls Gymnastics ■Feb. ■ 15-16 - at IHSA State Final Meet (Palatine High School) Boys Swimming ■Feb. ■ 17 - hosts Sandburg Sectional, 8 a.m. Girls Basketball ■Feb. ■ 15 - hosts Sandburg Regional Final, 7 p.m.* ■Feb. ■ 19 - at McAuley Sectional Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.* ■Feb. ■ 22 - at McAuley Sectional Final, 7:30 p.m.* Boys Basketball ■Feb. ■ 16 - hosts Lockport, 6 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 20 - hosts Homewood- Flossmoor, 6:30 p.m. ■Feb. ■ 22 - at Lincoln-Way East, 6:30 p.m. *If necessary

opprairie.com Sports the orland park prairie | February 15, 2018 | 45 Alumni Spotlight Sandburg grad makes D-I dream reality Demogerontas discusses first year of NIU basketball Jon DePaolis Freelance Reporter From Sandburg High School to Moraine Valley Community College to Northern Illinois University, Orland Park native Anastasios Demogerontas is making quite a name for himself. The 6-foot-7 junior, who is majoring in finance, is making the most of his minutes in his first season playing Division I basketball. Through 20 games in the 2017-2018 season, Demogerontas is averaging 4.5 points per game (86 total points) on 33-for-68 shooting (48.5 percent from the field). He has hit 6-of-17 3-pointers (35.3 percent) and has 18 total assists. Demogerontas is averaging 15.1 minutes per game, and he has 47 total rebounds (2.4 RPG), three blocks and 13 steals. “Coming off the bench, my role is to be aggressive and look to score the ball or get other people involved,” he said. “Also, rebounding and defending multiple positions. [Coach] has me playing a lot of positions, which I like.” Demogerontas is no stranger to success. During his time at Sandburg, he made the All-Conference squad as a senior. That final season as an Eagles player, Demogerontas averaged 13 points per game and four rebounds per game. He also was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association 3A/4A All-State Honorable Mention list. After graduating high school, Demogerontas attended Moraine Valley. His freshman year, he averaged 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists and was named to the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference First Team. “It was fun,” Demogerontas said of his time at Moraine Valley. “I put in a lot of hard work, and I was a leader of the team.” Going into his sophomore season, he said he had a bigger role, which showed up on the stat sheet — registering two 40-point games and a few 30-point games. He averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game that season, shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from three-point land. He was named to the NJCAA All- Region 4 First Team and the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference First Team. But despite the success, Demogerontas had entered Moraine Valley with a larger goal in mind. “I went to Moraine with the goal of getting a Division I scholarship — and nothing less,” he said. To accomplish that, he said he hit the weight room hard and worked long after practice ended on his shot and his ball-handling skills. During the summer going into his sophomore year at Moraine Valley, coaches from Northern Illinois visited one of Demogerontas’ summer league games. “Apparently, they came into the wrong gym, and I was playing well, so they just stayed and finished the game,” he said. “Afterward, they got my number and started talking to me. A few weeks later, they came to a couple of practices. Then, [the coach] came to my first game and offered me a scholarship.” Sandburg alumnus and Northern Illinois basketball player Anastasios Demogerontas sends a free throw on its way. Demogerontas is in his first year of Division I basketball, after competing his first two years at Moraine Valley Community College. Photo by Chris Anderson Demogerontas went on a visit, liked what he saw on the campus and committed. He said Division I has been a step up in terms of competition. “It’s a completely different level, and you’ve got to come in with the right mindset,” Demogerontas said. He said it was important to go into every practice with his entire focus. He also said going over film, learning principles of the defense and paying close attention were keys to success. “I think the film helps a lot, because it shows what I’m doing wrong and helping me correct it,” he said. Another adjustment was the travel. “At Moraine, we just played in-state — probably the farthest game was 30 minutes away,” Demogerontas noted. “Here at NIU, we got to New York one night and then come back for 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. classes the next day. It’s kind of a far distance, but I got used to it. It’s fun being with your teammates.” Another thing he has enjoyed is the team camaraderie. “I feel like I’m a lot closer with this team, because we live with each other,” Demogerontas said. “Whenever we go to the gym, we always drag the others with us just to get better as a team.” In terms of his favorite games, he pointed to contests against University of Pennsylvania and Florida Atlantic University. “Florida was probably the best travel we’ve had,” Demogerontas said. “We stayed there for five days. We were in a nice hotel resort. The team bonding was fun, and we played well out there, too.” As for his first game, he admitted there were some nerves. “But as the game moved on, I overcame that and just started playing,” he said. With the early success he’s had with Northern Illinois, is it affirmation for the former Sandburg star that he can play at the Division I level? “I think I’m able to compete at any level, because of my size and my length and my ability to dribble and shoot,” Demogerontas said. “Being 6-foot-7, not many people can do that. It’s hard to stop people like that. I think I have an advantage with that.” Moving forward, he hopes the team can turn around its road record in order to get beyond the .500 mark. “We’ve just got to win road games,” he said. “I think we’ve only lost one game at home. We’re 9-1 at home. And we’ve won just one game when we’re away. So, we’ve got to figure out a way to get over that drought on the road.” Further out, Demogerontas said he has some personal goals he wants to accomplish. But team-wise? “As a team, we want to win the MAC and go to the NCAA tournament,” he said. “We haven’t done that in a while, so we’re trying to bring that back.”

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