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44 | February 22, 2018 | The orland park prairie Sports opprairie.com Girls Bowling Great morning at state turns sour in Series 2 Randy Whalen Freelance Reporter Sandburg girls bowling coach Joe Geiger summed it up best, “It went from the best morning to the worst day.” Indeed, things could not have started much better for the Eagles Friday, Feb. 16. They led last weekend’s Illinois High School Association Girls State Bowling Finals after two games by 34 pins over eventual champion Harlem. That included a school record 1,077 score in the second game. And although Sandburg fell off to an 884 score in the third game, it still finished with a school record 2,998 three-game morning series, which left it second place at that point. But a combination of everything that could go wrong left the Eagles with a 2,502 afternoon session, nearly 500 pins down from the morning, and a 2,500 total. It also left them on the outside looking in at the second day, as the team placed 14th and did not advance out of the Top 12 in the tournament, which concluded Saturday, Feb. 17, at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford. Unfortunately, a big issue for the Eagles was an injury to their top bowler, senior Emily Schrader. “It was a cut on my ring finger of my right hand,” Schrader said. “It stated in the third game and opened up really bad. Unfortunately, it had to happen at state. I was so upset. We had done so well as a team.” After bowling a high game of 258 in the second game, Schrader dropped to a 173 in the third. She still led the team at the midday break with a 617. But she fell off in the afternoon and finished with a team low score of 1,071. “With her release, she just couldn’t get a good feel for the ball,” Geiger said. “It was just a combination of the injuries and everything. We lost our focus in Game 5. It’s too bad, but Emily will still go down as one of the best bowlers ever here.” It was the fourth straight state finals appearance for Schrader, who placed 10th as a sophomore. She hoped to get another All-State performance in her final high school season, and first one that she got to come down with the team. But it wasn’t to be for Schrader, who is to continue her bowling career at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. “I was disappointed with myself,” Schrader said of getting the injury. “But it was nice to have the team down at state, too. They made me not be as nervous.” The future looks bright for the Eagles, thought. All their other participating bowlers were underclassmen. Junior Alyssa Novak led the way at the state finals with a score of 1,121, including a high of 214 in Game No. 2. Sophomore Vanesa Perez (1,119, high of 258) followed. But they just missed the cut to advance to the second day as individuals by two and four pins, respectively. Juniors Karlie Colbert (1,098, high of 233) and Jill Richmond (1,091, high of 214),along with Schrader, rounded out the Sandburg bowlers that scored. Senior Cameron Manning along with sophomores Jade Hamilton and Alyanna Reyes also were on the roster but did not get to bowl for the Eagles. Sandburg still had one of the best stories from the tournament, though. That was senior Sophia Jablonski, who participated in the wheelchair division for the second straight season. She won it last year, with a 354 fourgame series. But there were only two wheelchair bowlers at state last season. This year, that amount doubled and the amount of total games went up to six. Jablonski placed second out of the four this season, with a total of 588. Four of her games were a 99 or better score, and she had a high of 115 in the third game. Jablonski did not care that she did not win. “I’m very glad to be back,” Jablonski said. “I was very anxious, excited and nervous to be back here. But I’m very excited because there were a lot of other people competing here. I feel that I helped promote that. Win or lose, there’s so many girls here, and that’s good. “I’m so glad that I brought awareness to this and I hope that it continues to grow. I was very excited and very proud that the whole varsity team was here and that they made it to state. I’ve really enjoyed this season because my younger sister Stephanie Jablonski was a bowler on the JV team.” Geiger said he loves that Jablonski has not only done well for herself but also always very vocal about cheering on her teammates. Jablonski, who has cerebral palsy, has been honored by the Consolidated High School District 230 School Board and also the Village of Orland Park for increasing public awareness of the abilities, aspirations and personal qualities of those with disabilities. Gymnastics Giglio takes third on balance beam at state Chris Walker Freelance Reporter Five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci said that she never ran away from a challenge because she was afraid. “Instead,” she said. “I run toward it, because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.” The balance beam can make or break, and even deflate, the most strong-willed gymnast, but some are drawn to it. Consider Sandburg/Stagg co-op sophomore Maddie Giglio to be like Comaneci. Giglio was awarded a 9.425 on beam Friday, Feb. 16, during the Illinois High School Association state finals preliminaries and then followed it up with a nearly identical effort that was scored a 9.4 during event finals Saturday, Feb. 17. That would have been enough to give her the program’s first state title since Krystyn Misheck, who is now an assistant coach and won the floor exercise in 2009, but a couple of other rising stars from the DuPage area outdid themselves. Neuqua Valley freshman Jane Riehs went from a 9.225 to a 9.475, before Wheaton- Warrenville South freshman Jamie LaBue went from a 9.375 to a 9.525 to win the title. Giglio still finished with the third-place medal. “She got her medal like she deserved,” Sandburg coach Mike White said “I’m sure she wished she would’ve won, but I don’t think anybody is walking away disappointed. And beam is the hardest event to medal on, and being a sophomore she’s still got two great shots at it.” By not putting too much pressure on herself, but also enjoying the adrenalin rush the beam provides, Giglio was able to do something that some did not: avoid falls, minimize wobbles and keep it clean. “I was just trying to place in the Top 5,” she said “That was really my only goal, and I did a pretty good bream routine. I just think beam is the most nerve-wracking event, because if you fall you might not get another a chance, but when you hit it’s a great feeling and you get all relaxed.” When Misheck won state on floor in 2009 she also qualified on beam but struggled to a 10th place finish. Last February, Giglio’s senior teammate, Maddy Roe, was a favorite to place on beam but had a late fall that dropped her to seventh place. Giglio was reassure by having Roe and Misheck at her side. And they appeared to be as thrilled for her. “What she had been doing had been working so well, so we told here to get up there and do what you want to do,” Misheck said. “I can’t watch when they’re on beam, so I tell them to try to listen to the music in the background and block everything out and try to enjoy yourself.” Giglio also finished in 14th place during Friday’s all-around competition with a 36.7. Yet, another Maddie, this time Glenbard West’s Maddie Diab, won the allaround with a 38.025. Fellow sophomore Taylor Talley joined Giglio on vault during the preliminaries and the two matched each other with a pair of 9.375s. “I did a vault that I’ve only been doing for two weeks, so I was pretty happy,” Talley said. “I could’ve done better, but I feel pretty good. Overall, it’s been a really good season. Even with being injured, I think this was my best season.” White has pretty much seen it all during his long coaching run, from missing state by one-tenth of a point to seeing his kids win state titles in Palatine. This weekend, he witnessed amazing team support for Giglio and Talley. “I was most proud that everyone of the team is here and stayed the weekend,” he said. “I think that says a lot about the team, and I think it helped relax [Giglio] a lot. And they were cheering so loud that you would’ve thought our whole team was here.” And they actually were.
opprairie.com Sports the orland park prairie | February 22, 2018 | 45 Girls Basketball Sandburg’s season comes to an end on home court Randy Whalen Freelance Reporter While the season did not end the way the way the Sandburg girls basketball team would have liked, there was little regret for the Eagles and their three seniors. After winning an opening round game the day before, Sandburg saw its season end with a 78-43 loss to Mother McAuley Feb. 13 in the opening semifinal of the Class 4A Sandburg Regional. The No. 14 seeded Eagles (11-18) finished off a season that saw them win their first three games and still be a game over .500 (8-7) after an opening round win at the Hillcrest Holiday Classic. They then lost 10-of-11 games before regrouping to win two straight heading into the McAuley game. It is the second straight season the Sandburg finished with 11 wins and third consecutive losing campaign for the Eagles. They only graduate three seniors. They are Erin Greenfield, Morgan McAuliffe and Nicole Poole. “Our seniors did a great job and had a great career,” Sandburg coach Nick Fotopoulos said. “In our games this season, we just always had humps that we couldn’t get over.” Someone who got over a personal hump, though, was McAuliffe. She led the team is scoring in the McAuley game with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. But just the fact she played the final two months of the season was something. She tore the ACL in her right knee Nov. 16 in the first quarter of the opening game of the season. But a doctor told her she The Sandburg girls basketball team discusses its game plan Feb. 13 in the opening semifinal of the Class 4A Sandburg Regional. Photos by Julie McMann/22nd Century Media could continue to play on it and then get surgery after the season was over. So she opted to do that and returned to the lineup Dec. 19 in a 63-36 home victory over Oak Forest. “I was so glad I came back, especially if this was my last season,” said McAuliffe, a three-year varsity player who is not sure if she’s going to play in college. “It didn’t end the way I wanted it too, but it was a good run with people I really care about. I had sprained my left ankle, too [the previous week], but I wasn’t going to miss playing in the postseason. Especially with Erin and Nicole.” In the final game, the Mighty Macs — who led the whole way — were just too much. Ahead 2-1, McAuley went on a 12-0 run to lead 14-1 with 3 minutes and 18 seconds left in the first quarter. Sophomore Jenna Badali (game-high 21 points, 6 steals, 5 rebounds, 2 assists) hit a pair of 3-pointers in the run, and senior guard Tara O’Malley (15 points) scored the final four points of the spurt. McAuley led 21-8 after one quarter. Four free throws by junior guard Natalie Stavropoulos (7 points on 7-of-8 free throws) and a 3-pointer by McAuliffe in the opening 1:10 of the second quarter drew the Eagles within 8 at 23-15. But that was as close as they would get. Ahead 27-17, the Mighty Macs went on a 14-0 blitz in a 3:22 span to go ahead 41-17 with 1:31 left in the first half. They led 44-22 at halftime. “We came in with a good game plan,” Fotopoulos said. “But [McAuley] shot [59.3 percent, hitting 16- of-27 shots] in the first half. They can shoot. “We had seven sophomores get experience on the varsity this season. With those girls and Natalie [Stavropoulos] coming back, we’re only going to get better.” The margin never got closer than 21 in the second half. The Mighty Macs led 62-33 after three. Senior forward Vanessa Gavin (10 points, 7 rebounds), junior guard Grace Hynes (8 points) and senior guard Kelly Gallagher (7 points) contributed for McAuley, which had 11 different players score. Junior guards Destiny Antoine and Courtney Hiler each added five points for Sandburg. Playing in their final high school game, Greenfield (5 points, 5 rebounds) and Poole (3 points, 4 rebounds before fouling out with 34 seconds to play) also contributed for the Eagles. In fact, after taking the seniors out of the game with 5:56 to play in the fourth Sandburg’s Nicole Poole (right) takes a shot against a Mother McAuley defender. quarter, Fotopoulos put them back in for the final 2:51 of the game with the idea of them finishing their high school careers on the court. “It was our last few minutes of playing together,” Greenfield said. “It felt bittersweet, but I’m glad we got to go back in. l I felt we got better as a team this season; we grew.” McAuliffe scored five points in the fourth quarter, including getting her final points on an inside basket with 1:34 to play in the game. She had a final shot of the night, launching a 3-point attempt from the top of the key just before the buzzer, but it hit the front of the rim and bounced off. “I really wanted that,” McAuliffe said of her last shot. “It looked good and felt good when I shot it. But I was still happy with how I played. I have no regrets on coming back and playing. I will just miss how close we all were.” Earlier in the week, on Feb. 12, the Eagles hosted a regional quarterfinal game and won by the score of 56-40 over No. 20 seeded T.F. South. McAuliffe led the way with 12 points, and Stavropoulos added 10 points for the Eagles.