Boys Basketball: Brother Rice holding ground in Catholic League South
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org January 15, 2014 8:24PM
Quinn Niego (10), of Brother Rice | File photo
Updated: February 17, 2014 8:00AM
Brother Rice coach Rich Harrigan knows his team is an underdog in the Catholic League South.
However, that hasn’t prevented the Crusaders, 2-3 in the South, from believing they can win it.
“Our kids knew what we lost from last year that it was going to be tough,” Harrigan said of the league championship. “But we’re still going to do our best to be at the top of the Catholic League South.”
What provides the Crusaders with such optimism is having a pair of seasoned guards in seniors Quinn Niego and Ray Rubio. The tandem is averaging nearly 36 points per game, with Niego at 18.7 per game.
Rice’s 8-7 overall record pretty much is what Harrigan, in his first year at the helm succeeding legendary Pat Richardson, expected from this squad.
“We’re playing pretty good,” Harrigan said. “It’s not any more than we expected. But it’s been a lot of fun.”
It’ll be even more fun Tuesday, when the Crusaders travel to archrival Marist for a 7:30 p.m. tip. Harrigan, a Rice grad, knows firsthand the feeling of playing Marist. This will be his first experience as coach.
“There’s no denying that the excitement, enthusiasm and energy is amped up for Marist,” Harrigan said. “It’s a game everyone looks forward to.”
Thornwood’s Thomas out
Thornwood is adjusting on the fly to the loss of senior Donte Thomas, who suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee during the State Farm Holiday Classic and likely is out for the season. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Bradley recruit is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday.
“Donte was one of our main forces,” Thornwood guard Rashaad Alexander said. “Everybody is going to have to step up. We’ve got to step up.”
That’s precisely what the Thunderbirds did Tuesday night against Crete-Monee. Kaliph Fagan (14 points), Brian Thomas (13), Donzel Vinson (13), Chelby Frazier (13), Rashaad Alexander (11) and Christian Scott (10) all reached double figures in a 78-73 victory.
“Donte is a prime-time player,” Thornwood coach Paul Slavich said. “It was rough when he got hurt. We’re a great team with Donte. The kids in here know we still have a good team. We’re going to keep it positive.”
Player of the Week
Quinton Moore, of Rich East, is the SouthtownStar Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Moore, a senior, poured in 32 points to lead the Rockets to a 91-73 win over Kankakee in a Southland Conference match-up.