Boys Basketball: Stagg coach John Daniels sings praises of former Richards coach John Chappetto
By Pat Disabato email@example.com March 5, 2014 10:06PM
Former Richards boys basketball coach John Chappetto | File photo
Updated: April 7, 2014 12:42PM
The moment was bittersweet Tuesday night for Stagg coach John Daniels.
He was ecstatic his Chargers defeated Richards 66-57 in a Class 4A Shepard Regional semifinal. It was Stagg’s school-record 22nd win.
However, Daniels also was sad to see his counterpart, John Chappetto, close the book on a fantastic career.
Chappetto announced Friday he was resigning, effective at the end of the season.
“Me and John are good friends,” Daniels said. “I didn’t want to be the last coach to coach against him. He’s one of my closest friends. He’s a great coach. We can’t afford to lose veteran guys like John. We need guys like him.”
Daniels couldn’t help but lob a playful shot at Chappetto, who maybe stands 5-foot-6 on a good day.
“Those are the biggest size-4 shoes in the history of high school basketball to fill,” Daniels said with a big grin before turning serious. “This was a hard experience for me.”
Chappetto leaves with a 220-115 career record of over 12 seasons, including reaching the top of the coaching mountain by leading the Bulldogs to the Class 4A state championship in the 2007-08 season.
“I have a lot of great memories — (Tuesday night) not being one of them,” Chappetto said. “When all the dust clears, I’ll look back and realize I was a part of a lot of good things. I’ve had a lot of great people around me. Only one time do you get the chance to win your last game. I’m proud to say our program experienced that feeling.”
Eisenhower hopes to rebound
After winning seven of eight games to put themselves in position to earn a share of the South Suburban Red title, Eisenhower dropped its final two games of the season, Friday to Richards and Monday to Sandburg, ending its season 12-17.
The good news for Cardinal fans is that 11 players figure to return next year, tops among them leading scorer Vinny Curta, three-point threat Romale Cook and the versatile Khalil Williams.
“We have a good nucleus coming back next season,” Eisenhower coach Mike Curta said. “We lack that 6-foot-5 guy who gets rebounds and will be a presence inside. But we do have some guys that can shoot it.”
Player of the Week
Josh Meier, of Richards, is the SouthtownStar Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Meier, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored a career-high 47 points Friday to lead the Bulldogs to a 108-87 South Suburban Red championship-clinching win over Eisenhower.