Boys Basketball: Sandburg unable to stop Lyons’ Niego
By Dan Ruane For Sun-Times Media December 14, 2013 10:30PM
La Grange, 12/14/13--Lyons Township's Matt Mrazek shoots a basket over Sandburg's Niko Cahue. Lyons Township High School hosted Sandburg High School in boys basketball Saturday evening. | Jon Langham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2014 7:02AM
Harrison Niego likes to defer to his teammates until the game is on the line. Then his teammates like to defer to him.
The Lyons guard helped his team pull away from what suddenly was a close game by going on a personal 7-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter to lead the Lions over Sandburg 64-59 on Saturday in LaGrange.
“Harrison is obviously our leader,’’ Lyons coach Tom Sloan said. “When crunch time rolls around, he is really good.’’
Niego scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to go along with four steals and six assists. The junior guard is the son of Joe Niego, who is one of four brothers who starred at De La Salle more than 30 years ago.
“I see all the videos and articles from when they all played in high school and college,’’ Niego said. “It was pretty amazing what they did. They all say they helped one another be good and that’s what I try to do with my teammates.’’
A key for Lyons (4-3) was the play of Jim Cullen and Jaquan Phipps off the bench. The duo combined to outscore Sandburg’s bench 22-0. Cullen rattled off 10 consecutive points in the second quarter to put his team ahead 30-17. The senior guard, who is generously listed at 5-foot-9, finished with 15 points. Phipps added seven, all in the first half.
“It’s a nice luxury to have kids off the bench who can be as good or better than the guys in front of them,’’ Sloan said. “Both of them are good all-around players.’’
Sandburg was down 10 points at the half and rallied to within 47-45 on a jumper by Niko Cahue with just under five minutes to play but that’s as close as the Eagles (2-4) would come. Cahue led Sandburg with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Niko Kogionis added 14 and Alec Martinez chipped in 11.
Lyons received 10 points from Matt Mrazek.