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Boys Basketball: McDipper has evenly matched field

Bloom coach Jasper Williams (left) hands 2011 McDipper trophy his players. | File photo

Bloom coach Jasper Williams (left) hands the 2011 McDipper trophy to his players. | File photo

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Updated: January 7, 2013 7:08AM



Unlike most Holiday Tournaments, the Rich South McDipper Tournament officially kicks off weeks before the opening tip of the first game of the four-day event, which starts Dec. 26.

On Wednesday night, Glenwood Oaks hosted the dinner for the McDipper 40. Coaches, officials, administrators and media got a preview of what teams will be in the tournament and a first look at the brackets.

The tournament originally was known as the Big Dipper before a local McDonald’s decided to play a major sponsorship role a few years ago.

As always, the event will feature some of the top teams in the Southland, along with representation from a few city schools.

Defending champion Bloom is expected to have a legit chance of repeating and would like to send retiring coach Jasper Williams out with a bang. Fifth-ranked Marian Catholic is expecting a good run in a season in which the tournament is flush with parity.

“Anybody can win this,” said Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor, whose team will play Rich Central in first-round action. “You are looking at a quarterfinal that could field anybody. Their really isn’t a clear-cut favorite

No. 7 Crete-Monee (5-0), a three-time consecutive runner-up, is hoping to have its luck change. The Warriors by then will be buoyed by Laquon Treadwell, who led the football team to a Class 7A state title two weeks ago but has yet to play a basketball game. He’s expected to be back full-time this week.

Former Hillcrest coach Tom Cappel is in his second season with the Warriors and can’t wait to have his entire team on the court.

“I’m just thrilled we are where we are right now without Treadwell and a few of the other football players,” said Cappel, whose team will have a tough first-round opponent in Thornton. “We’ve played pretty well in this tournament.”

Bolingbrook, Rich East and Joliet Central are three other teams that should have an impact.

Lincoln Park and Evanston no longer are in the tournament. They were replaced by King and Phillips.

All teams will have a special incentive this year. Lansing Sport Shop, a sponsor since the tournament’s inception in 1973, will provide new uniforms for the team that wins the championship.



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