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Boys Basketball: Stagg aims for fast start in SouthWest Suburban Blue

Stagg's Max Strus | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

Stagg's Max Strus | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2014 12:43PM



Stagg senior guards Max Strus and Kevin White are quite the building blocks.

As the Chargers move this season to the SouthWest Suburban Blue — the big-school division — from the Red, the key may be the rest of the team developing around him.

Coach John Daniels has the players who are ready and willing to step up. Stagg went 4-0 at its own tournament to win the championship.

“We knew we had Max and Kevin, but the other guys played really well,” Daniels said. “We’ve got to put four guys on the floor who can punish you for doubling Max.”

Strus no doubt will be the focal point offensively. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in the four wins.

White was quite the Robin to Strus’ Batman, averaging 14.3 points and 3 assists. White, Anthony Gardner and Jeff Goral and the Chargers will make sure no one thinks Stagg is a one-man team.

“We thought we may have trouble losing our bigs from last year, but Max really opens up the floor for us,” White said. “We can spread it and score.”

In prepping for the SouthWest Suburban Blue, Daniels is ready to let his team sprint out of the gate. Let the fast-breaking begin.

“To compete in our league, we’ve got to be able to run,” Daniels said. “We’re looking to push the ball as much as we can, and we’ve got guys who can beat players down the court.”

Effort key for Crusaders

With no player taller than 6-foot-3 on the roster, first-year Brother Rice coach Rick Harrigan leaves no doubt when it comes to effort. Play hard or not at all.

“We’re undersized and maybe not as talented as some other teams so match-up-wise, it’s going to be tough at times,” he said. “It has to be a given that we go hard every night and execute down the stretch.”

The Crusaders have quite the 1-2 scoring punch in senior guards Quinn Niego (19.9 ppg) and Ray Rubio (19.3 ppg).

Player of the Week

Josh Meier, of Richards, is the SouthtownStar Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

The 6-foot-8 senior forward averaged 19.8 points and 10.5 rebounds in helping the Bulldogs move to 4-0 by Richards winning the District 218 Tournament.



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