Girls Basketball: Morgan Park hitting its stride
By Tony Baranek email@example.com January 20, 2014 9:50PM
Morgan Park's Shami Goodman | File photo
Updated: February 22, 2014 6:22AM
Always good, but not good enough.
That’s pretty much been the story for Morgan Park the past four seasons, during which the Mustangs finished in second place in the Public League playoffs to perennial city powerhouse Whitney Young.
Shami Goodman, Bhrea Griffin and Tammy Russell have different ideas this time around.
They’re the main reasons the Mustangs are 14-2, their latest conquest a 67-51 victory Saturday over Latin.
It was a typical day at the office for first-year coach Kedonica Taylor’s terrific trio. Rsssell had 19 points and 10 assists, Goodman 22 points and five assists, Griffin 14 points and eight assists.
“All three of them working together makes us a great team, Taylor said.
Goodman is near the top of the Southland in points as the season enters the home stretch, averaging 21 per game to go along with 5 assists. Griffin (14 ppg, 8 apg) and Russell (15 ppg, 10 rpg) complete the troika.
“Shami is a flat-out scorer,” Taylor said. “Bhrea gets the team going as far as having everybody go where they’re supposed to be. Tammy is just a flat-out hustler. She goes to get all the boards and does all of utility work.”
The Mustangs haven’t lost since Dec. 28, when they dropped a 56-53 decision to Wheaton Warrenville South at the State Farm Classic in Bloomington.
“We lost two games down in Bloomington in the State Farm tournament in close games,” Taylor said. “We’ve grown from that.”
At 7-0, they’ve already clinched the Windy City South title. The city playoffs await.
Good to be home
Marian Catholic’s 68-58 victory over Marist felt good to the Spartans for more reasons than one.
It marked just the second home game for Marian this season and the first since Dec. 11 vs. St. Viator.
“It was so very nice to be home and have our fan base supporting us,” first-year Spartans coach Dan Murray said.
Murray inherited the schedule that had been arranged by previous coach Annie Byrne, who resigned after leading Marian to the 2012-13 Class 4A state title.
The Spartans have been to the far reaches of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Indianapolis, St. Louis, and not so far — but not next door, either — Oswego and Montini.
It’s been fun, but ...
“I think our schedule has been extremely difficult, not only in playing such high quality opponents night in and night out, but the travel,” Murray said.
“On top of that, we had so few games early, then a logjam of nine games in two weeks. I think it was definitely mentally and physically taxing on the team.”
Through it all, the Spartans have posted a 14-4 record and are riding at the top of the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
Schedule changes for next season are forthcoming, including competing at the Rich South Galaxy.
“I do feel a couple of shootouts are important and we want to keep a highly competitive schedule,” Murray said. “But I really want to get our fan base back involved and give our student section an opportunity to follow us and get behind us.
“I am very excited about getting into the Galaxy. We are in the works to get some local teams in a yearly nonconference game, which I think will be great for the area girls basketball fans. I really want to concentrate on building a program (with a) family atmosphere and have the best of both worlds — to keep competitive and allow the fan base to get involved.”
Player of the Week
Tanzania Sherrill, of Hillcrest, is the SouthtownStar Girls Basketball Player of the Week.
Sherrill, a junior guard, had 10 points and four rebounds in a win over Evergreen Park, 19 points and five assists in a victory over Eisenhower and 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in a win over Wheaton North.