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Hoops etc.

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--Joe Henricksen has an interesting blog post up on the Illinois Warriors, an elite AAU program that helped Naperville Central's Drew Crawford gain national exposure. Neuqua Valley forward Dwayne Evans currently plays for the Warriors.

--We didn't get a chance to link to this last week: Mike O'Toole, the former head coach at Joliet Catholic, will return to Neuqua as an assistant to Todd Sutton. A spot opened up on Sutton's staff with Bob Vozza's move to Metea Valley.

--In searching for Mark Lindo's replacement, Naperville North has finished interviewing internal candidates and is in the process of reviewing external resumes for the varsity head coaching job. According to an ad posted on the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Web site, the school anticipates teaching openings in driver's and physical education.

--Forgot to mention this earlier, but Waubonsie Valley assistant Matt Walpole will be joining Bob Vozza's staff at Metea Valley.

--Wes Koral, a Joliet Catholic sophomore from Naperville, was named all-area honorable mention by The Herald News after averaging 10.1 points in 15 varsity games.

Monday marked the exit of Waubonsie Valley coach Kris Kalivas, who is stepping down to take over the Metea Valley program next winter. Kalivas left on a bittersweet note, having watched the Warriors fall -- again -- to Hinsdale Central after winning their third consecutive regional title.

"I think reality is starting to sink in," said Kalivas, who went 122-49 in seven season with Waubonsie. "I don't think I really thought about it up until this point. It's nice to go out having won a regional championship. And I had such a great group of kids to work with this year that I couldn't have asked for anything more."

Meanwhile, Benet coach Peter Paul confirmed that he plans to return for a 25th season on the Redwings bench. Paul cited his enjoyment of this season for his reason for wanting to come back.

The Redwings finished 19-12 after falling to Bolingbrook in the sectional semifinals Monday night. They won a regional title for the first time since 2006 and finished third in the always-tough East Suburban Catholic Conference.

Paul earned career win No. 500 earlier this season, which sparked speculation he would retire.

It seems like the same story every time with Neuqua Valley (24-1), which is currently ranked seventh by the Chicago Sun-Times. There was balanced scoring on Tuesday night - Derek Raridon (13 points), Dwayne Evans (12 points, nine rebounds) and Kareem Amedu (12 points, six rebounds) all finished in double figures. And the big run (15-0) to gain separation. All against a quality opponent on the road (17-6 Geneva).

Beacon News hoops guru Rick Armstrong still managed to gather a few nuggets for this game story. The Wildcats sent another message before online seeding begins today for the Oswego East Sectional, and Neuqua associate head coach Bob Vozza got his annual chance to take over for head coach Todd Sutton and run the team for a game. Armstrong writes:

And Tuesday's non-conference tilt was a good one since it was a return home, of sorts, for Vozza. He was an assistant to former Geneva head coach Tim Pease from 1992-95. And he played for Pease as a freshman and sophomore in high school when the latter coached at Waubonsie Valley in the late 1980s.

Vozza will come full circle next year when he starts the program at Metea Valley.

"The kids respond to both of us," Vozza said. "It doesn't matter who is standing up there (in front of the bench).

Scott Powers meanwhile looks at Evans getting fired up after a technical foul on Tuesday night.


April 2009: Monthly Archives



Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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