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High School Sports Notes for May 5, 2014

Boys Gymnastics

Southland gymnasts are hoping they won’t get shut out of state competition this year.

The sectional for all three teams — Lincoln-Way co-op, District 230 co-op and Homewood-Flossmoor — is Wednesday at Wheaton Warrenville South. Judging by last year’s at-large cutoffs and last week’s SouthWest Suburban Conference scores, District 230’s Omar Ashour (8.900 in vault) and Lincoln-Way’s Jimmy Maines (8.75 in floor exercise), Caleb Hong (7.55 in rings) and Anthony Balsamo (7.450 on pommel horse) would have qualified.

With the fluctuation of scoring because of new judging criteria this year, all bets are off.

“You just have to go out and have a great meet,” Lincoln-Way’s Tyler Greenberg said. “I’ve been reading the rule book every chance I get this year, and it’s tough to figure out how this will go.’’

For each event, the first five finishers from each of the five sectionals automatically qualify, leaving the individuals with the next 25 highest scores to qualify on an at-large basis.

Jeff Vorva

Boys Tennis

One huge tournament wrapped up over the weekend and another is on its way.

York claimed the 24-team Lincoln-Way East Tournament title Saturday while the host Griffins finished second. Marian Catholic’s Kyle Scheffers won the No. 1 singles crown and Lemont’s Nate Burner was second at No. 2 singles. East’s doubles combinations of Tom Emola and Jarek Jozwik and Colin Walsh and Connor VanderGenugten took second at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, respectively.

Coming up Saturday, Lockport will host a 16-team meet with a dual format in which full teams move on in winners and consolation brackets. Teams are guaranteed four matches.

Porters coach Bob Champlin is bringing in some teams from all over. In addition to Lockport, Bradley, Champaign Centennial, Coal City, Downers Grove North, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way West, Morris, Nazareth, Oak Forest, Oswego, Plainfield Central, Plainfield South, Providence and St. Ignatius will be a part of the action.

Jeff Vorva

Boys Water Polo

Lincoln-Way Central won just one game in 2012. Jim Lock took over as coach in 2013 and quickly has turned the program around.

The Knights made strides in an 11-18 season last year. This year, they’re 13-8-1 overall and 6-5 in the SouthWest Suburban Red, and hardly have been a pushover for any of the area’s top teams.

“Each class of kids is showing the willingness to get better,” Lock said. “Last year was tough. Kids were hesitant to change their ways. This year, everyone’s bought in.”

Players such as Tristan Funk, Tim Stygar, Kyle Forsythe, Zach Otto and Conor McGowan have led the way.

The Knights are seeded fourth in the sectional they host, and will open the postseason with a quarterfinal clash against defending sectional champion Homewood-Flossmoor.

“If we can play four quarters, we can play with anyone in the sectional.” Lock said. “We can win the sectional. The problem is we’ve struggled to put together four good quarters in a game.”

Steve Millar

Girls Water Polo

Participating in the Stevenson Tournament, Mother McAuley got to play in the pool it hopes to be in again in a couple of weeks when Stevenson hosts the state finals.

The Mighty Macs went 3-1 in the event, edging the host 8-7 and topping a pair of teams from Michigan – East Grand Rapids and Rockford.

McAuley lost 7-1 to Okemos, Michigan’s top-ranked squad.

Offensive inconsistency remains a bit of an issue for McAuley.

“We’ve been working a lot on offense,” McAuley coach Vanessa Carroll said. “We know our defense will always be there, but we want to score more and the girls are working really hard at it.”

Clare Bryar is the focal point of the Mighty Macs offense and is tough to stop. Fran Williamson has stepped up this season to be a strong second option.

In order for McAuley to make it back to Stevenson, they’ll have to survive a top-heavy Stagg Sectional where No. 2 seed Sandburg and third-seeded Bremen also are contenders. Bremen beat McAuley 6-3 on April 24.

Steve Millar



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