Boys Basketball: Richards stings Eisenhower in final home game for coach John Chappetto
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org February 28, 2014 10:12PM
Richards' Josh Meier (50) dunks the ball against Eisenhower in Oak Lawn Friday, February, 28, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2014 7:01AM
With sole possession of the South Suburban Red championship at stake and the opportunity to send coach John Chappetto out a winner for the final time on D-Wade Court, Richards was on a mission Friday night against archrival Eisenhower.
Josh Meier made certain that mission was accomplished.
Meier scored a career-high 47 points, thrilling a capacity crowd with an array of powerful dunks, to lead Richards to a 108-87 victory over Eisenhower.
It was the ninth straight conference championship for the Bulldogs (16-11, 9-4) under Chappetto, who announced his resignation Friday, effective at the completion of the season. The Cardinals (12-16, 7-6) would have grabbed a share of the crown with a win, but instead settle for second place.
“A great way to go out,” said Chappetto, who’s 219-112 in 12 seasons at Richards. “Last home game, conference championship and against Eisenhower. A perfect way to end it.”
It coincided with the Bulldogs’ perfect 10-0 mark at home this season.
Meier recorded 28 points and 10 dunks in the first half, after which Richards led 50-44. With his team effectively breaking the Cardinals’ full-court pressure, Meier was able to find plenty of space on the baseline to thunder home multiple jams.
The best occurred in the third quarter, when Dedrick Shannon drove the lane, lobbed the ball off the top of the backboard to a hard-charging Meier, who hammered home a two-handed slam.
“My wrist was cramping on me,” said Meier, a Chicago State recruit. “It was by far the most dunks I’ve had in a game.”
Eisenhower got as close as 69-68 in the third quarter on a three-pointer and layup by Romale Cook. But the Bulldogs ended the period on a 7-0 run, with Ameen Hussein and Meier combining for four and three points, respectively, which boosted the advantage to 76-68.
Eisenhower never would get any closer.
Deon Alexander had a big second half, scoring 14 of 16 points over the final 16 minutes for Richards. Thaer Othman finished with nine, seven coming in the second half.
“We got some nice contributions from other guys,” Chappetto said. “Guys stepped up and made plays.”
Vinny Curta led the Cardinals with 24 points, but was saddled with foul trouble in the second half. Khalil Williams (13 points) and Calviontae Washington (12) also reached double digits for Eisenhower, which shot a woeful 30-of-83 from the field, including 8-of-42 from beyond the arc, and a dismal 19-of-43 from the free-throw line.
“This was probably the most determined we’ve ever been,” Meier said. “We played for our coach and we played together.”