High School Sports Notes
May 12, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: June 14, 2013 6:06AM
Boys Water Polo
The winningest season in program history ended for Lockport in heartbreaking fashion Saturday as the Porters fell 9-8 to Homewood-Flossmoor in overtime.
Lockport finished 28-5.
“I wish it would have went the other way but it’s just one of those things,” Lockport coach Joe Lewandowski said. “It goes to show that the postseason is a whole different animal. We knew that our record coming in didn’t matter. H-F is a great, well-coached team. (H-F coach Tim Caldwell) does a great job.”
Lockport’s high-powered offense was slowed down as H-F made it a physical game and controlled the tempo.
“It definitely made it tough,” Lewandowski said. “When you’re trying to find the net and you’re running a fast-paced offense, it made it hard to get momentum going.”
H-F’s Kevin Kuchta was too much to handle late, scoring six of his seven goals in the second half and overtime.
Lockport finished one win short of its second straight appearance at state, but the successful season included its first SouthWest Suburban Blue championship.
Girls Water Polo
For the third time this season, Lincoln-Way North came up just a little short against rival Lincoln-Way Central as the Phoenix fell 9-7 in Saturday’s sectional championship.
“We had a lot of balance and we played a great game,” North coach Kendra Will said. “This is the farthest we’ve ever advanced in a sectional. It was a great run.”
North couldn’t get over the hump against the Knights this season, but it had plenty of success against just about everyone else it played.
The Phoenix finished 25-5 and ran away with its second straight SouthWest Suburban Red title.
“We had a big senior class that we’re really going to miss,” Will said. “We had 10 seniors on varsity or JV. A lot of them were on varsity as freshmen. They walked in and started playing when we had only seven players. We’ve come a long way thanks to them.”
The varsity seniors included Kelly Pender, Keriann Clarin, Katie Ripp, Paige Macek, Caitlin McCully, Cheyenne DeGraff, Sam Klosak and Olivia Krakowski.
Juniors Niki Beringer and Missy Wortel will be counted on to lead a rebuild next season. Freshman Cassidy DeGraff also showed promise at sectionals.
Seeding for the loaded Andrew Sectional is out and the top four teams shouldn’t come as a surprise. In order, it’s Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, Sandburg and Brother Rice.
Lincoln-Way Central, behind Ball State recruit Austin Overby, notched the five seed.
Marist is sixth and Richards is seventh.
One of the most interesting regional semifinals on paper pits upstart Stagg (No. 8 seed) against Providence (No. 9). The match will feature two of the best outside hitters in the area in the Chargers’ Kamil Barnas and the Celtics’ Brendan Surane. The winner of the match should clash with East for the Marian Regional crown.
Another intriguing semifinal match could be between Marist and Oak Lawn (No. 12 seed) at the Brother Rice Regional.
Marist has a deep roster, led by the outside play of John Yerkes and Morty Berglind.
The Spartans counter with All-Area hitter Marc Hansen, and their resume shows they’ve been under-seeded all season, evident by a sixth-place finish at the 24-team Downers Grove South Invite after being seeded 17th.
Hansen blasted 50 kills in that tournament to lead Oak Lawn to solid victories over Naperville North and Glenbard East.
Boys Track and Field
Getting to the state meet will be the goal at six sectionals that involve local teams. The top two finishers in each event and individuals or relays that equal the qualifying standard advance to the May 23 through 25 finals at Eastern Illinois.
Class 3A: Providence will be among the leaders Thursday at the 16-team Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional. The meet also includes T.F. North, Bloom, Marian Catholic, Crete-Monee, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way Central, Thornton, T.F. South, Rich Central, Thornwood and Andrew. ... Sandburg will bring its relay and distance strength Friday to the Downers Grove North Sectional. The 17-team field also includes Eisenhower, Brother Rice, Marist, Lemont, Lockport, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Richards, Shepard and Stagg. ... Mount Carmel, St. Rita, Reavis and Argo will chase state qualifying berths Friday at the 16-team Lyons Sectional.
Class 2A: Hillcrest and Crete-Monee will be among the 17-school field Thursday at the Thornridge Sectional. Morgan Park, Illiana Christian, Bremen, Rich East, Rich South and Tinley Park are the other Southland teams. ... St. Laurence and Evergreen Park will be the Southland squads Thursday at the Fenwick Sectional.
Class 1A: Beecher’s Grant Nykaza, state champ in the 1,600-meter run in 2012, will be the top runner Friday at the Seneca Sectional.