Oak Lawn’s Davion Lawrence (right) led his team with 14 points in a 57-52 victory at Evergreen Park on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Oak Lawn’s Davion Lawrence (right) led his team with 14 points in a 57-52 victory at Evergreen Park on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Here’s the skinny: Trimmed-down Lawrence helps Oak Lawn top Evergreen

Spread the love

By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Oak Lawn senior basketball player Davion Lawrence is 45 pounds lighter than he was last season, but insists his eating habits are the same.

He has, however, changed up his training habits.

Heading into football last fall, Lawrence and a few fellow seniors wanted to get in the best shape they could for their final season.

“We pushed each other from the start of the summer,” Lawrence said. “I just kept it going into the basketball season. All of it is connected. It’s basically a lot of running. I eat the same amount, but I have done a lot of running around the football field and up and down the football field. I feel way lighter and feel better.”

Lawrence and his basketball teammates are feeling pretty good at this point of the season. The Spartans played most of their crossover games in the South Suburban Conference and opened play in the Red division and beat Evergreen Park, 57-52, on the road in a rivalry game Jan. 13.

Because crossover games count in the standings in this league, the Spartans have a commanding lead over the rest of the field. Heading into this week’s action, Oak Lawn was 5-1 in the league and no one else had a winning record.

Lawrence led the Spartans  with 14 points. He had one of his shots blocked early in the game, but he kept hammering inside. He had five points in the first quarter to keep his team close as the Spartans trailed 13-11. He added five more in the third quarter as Oak Lawn enjoyed a 24-15 advantage.

“Lawrence worked hard during the summer,” Spartans coach Jason Rhodes said. “The football team focused on speed, and he did a lot of running.

“He’s a centerpiece for our offense. We run a lot of plays to him inside. He did a good job playing against some contact and that was the kind of game it was.”

OL CONRAD scaled

Oak Lawn’s Ryan Conrad (middle) gets knocked to the ground on a shot that went in for a basket in the second quarter of the Spartans’ road win over Evergreen Park. Photo by Jeff Vorva

With Lawrence making trouble inside, the Spartans’ outside game was able to flourish as well. Oak Lawn buried nine 3-pointers, all in the second and third periods. Gavin Butler finished with 11 points and sank three treys. Ayham Salah had nine points on a trio of 3-pointers. Nicco Reyes sank a pair of 3-pointers in the third and finished with seven points on the night.

The Spartans entered the week with a 13-4 overall mark. They were scheduled to host Argo Tuesday. Richards, which was 3-4 in the league, has the best shot at overtaking the Spartans. The crosstown rivals are slated to square off on Friday at Richards.

Evergreen Park (9-8, 2-5) headed into this week with a five-game losing streak and hopes to finally get that 10th victory at Argo on Friday.

The Mustangs lost to Lemont by 27, Oak Forest by 32 and Hillcrest by 24 heading into the Oak Lawn showdown, but kept this game close throughout.

In a near-packed house, the Mustangs gave their fans a lot to yell about, leading throughout most of the first half and taking a 28-27 halftime advantage.

Jalen Shepard led the Mustangs with 14 points while Malik Kelly had 10. Each bombed in three 3-pointers.

“Getting better is no moral victory,” Mustangs coach Jim Sexton said. “But we’re playing more possessions the way we want to and against a team like Oak Lawn, you can’t have lapses.

“The big guy (Lawrence) is tough, and we don’t have that kind of size. We didn’t rebound well enough, and we lost too many loose balls. They had more possessions because of rebounds and loose balls.”

 

The Red Line

After last weekend’s action, here are the South Suburban Conference Red division standings, which include crossover results with the Blue division:

Oak Lawn 5-1

Richards 3-4

Argo 2-5

Evergreen Park 2-6

Reavis 0-5

Shepard 0-6

Eisenhower 0-8

EP KELLY scaled

Malik Kelly celebrates a 3-point basket in front of his Evergreen Park fans against Oak Lawn. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local News

Brother Rice junior Gavin Arnold forces the ball over the net during a match against Richards on April 19. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Brother Rice falls to Glenbard West and York, takes 4th at Smack Attack

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was a busy weekend in the area for boys volleyball as Brother Rice hosted its 14th annual Smack Attack tournament. The 24-team event played April 19-20 featured area teams Brother Rice, Marist and Richards, along with defending Class 4A champion Glenbard West and two highly rated teams from…

Swanson scores, assists in Red Stars’ win over Reign

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Red Stars improved to 3-1-1 by beating the Seattle Reign, 2-1, on the road on April 21. Mallory Swanson had an assist on an Ali Schlegel goal in the fourth minute and added a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Swanson missed last season after sustaining a knee injury on…

Tatumn Milazzo, shown at media day before the season started, was amused by winning a Save of the Week award. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Tatumn Milazzo has top Save of the Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Tatumn Milazzo called her achievement “funny.” The Chicago Red Stars defender and Orland Park native was awarded the NWSL’s Save of the Week after chasing down a ball in a loss to Angel City on April 13. The Save of the Week usually goes to a goalie. Milazzo laughed…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Men’s College Volleyball | Saint Xavier captures fifth straight conference tourney title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The SXU men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight Chicagoland Christian Athletic Conference tournament championship after a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 20 at the Shannon Center. Jan Lopuch had 10 kills and nine digs for the Cougars. With the win, the…

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

College Baseball | Saint Xavier upsets Eastern Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier baseball team picked up a win that its players are going to remember for a long time. The Cougars stunned Eastern Illinois, 4-2, on April 17 in Charleston. It was the Cougars’ first win over the Panthers, a Division I program, since 2005. Lyons grad Troy…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Boys Volleyball | Glenbard West tops Marist to stay unbeaten

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Marist boys volleyball team, ranked fifth in the nation by USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches, lost to Glenbard West, 25-23, 25-21, in the championship match at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 20 in Chicago. Glenbard West (19-0) is the two-time defending state champion and is ranked third…

Alliyah Flores and her St. Laurence teammates earned academic honors by the IBCA. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Laurence hoops teams top honor roll

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area basketball teams proved to be strong on the court and in the classroom this season, and St. Laurence was the leader of the pack. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association compiled a list of the top academic teams, and the area did well. In Division 3 girls, St. Laurence…

St. Rita's David Lyle won honors from the Chicago Bears. St. Rita photo

Chicago Bears recognize St. Rita senior with All-Star award

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chances are good that few outside of St. Rita football circles know who David Lyle is. With good reason. Lyle missed his senior season for the Mustangs last fall after sustaining a serious knee injury. He even postponed having knee surgery so that he could take care of his…

RayHanania

‘Civil War’ is an anti-Trump fantasy

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Ray Hanania . We know that the mainstream news media (news and entertainment) harbors an unrelenting hatred of former President Donald Trump. They despise him.ccccc It isn’t surprising someone would produce a movie that taps into that hatred of Trump, even though the director denies it. I am an avid movie-goer.…

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Neighbors

Remembering Lee Milner

Remembering Lee Milner

NEWS TEAM Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com On Wednesday, April 17, the Springfield, Illinois Capitol and journalism communities lost a devoted friend and advocate when Lee Milner passed away. As Dean Olsen wrote in his piece in the Illinois Times earlier this month, “Readers of Illinois Times often have seen Milner’s work as a freelance photojournalist. But…

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois kangaroo owners are one step closer to being forced to surrender their marsupials this week after the House passed a bill criminalizing their possession. That was one of more than 300 bills to pass the House ahead of a Friday procedural deadline.…

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com With a month-and-a-half left in the General Assembly’s spring session, Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration is readying its proposal to address Illinois’ chronically underfunded pension system. But the governor this week also acknowledged in the strongest terms yet that any plans to finally get the state on track toward…

Pritzker’s health insurance reforms targeting ‘utilization management’ clear House

Pritzker’s health insurance reforms targeting ‘utilization management’ clear House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker celebrated a partial legislative victory Thursday night when the House passed his initiative to end some practices health insurance companies use to control the amount and cost of health care services individual patients receive. The “Healthcare Protection Act,” House Bill 5395, cleared the…

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ largest cannabis business association is pushing to ban the sale of delta-8 THC, an increasingly popular psychoactive substance that’s popped up in corner stores across the country in recent years. New legislation filed in Springfield this week revives an ongoing debate over delta-8 and other…

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Lead pipes in public water systems and drinking fixtures have been banned in new construction since 1986, when Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, but they are still in use across the U.S. and in Illinois.  The presence of lead pipes has persisted due in part to…

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

By ALEX ABBEDUTO HANNAH MEISEL & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to create a new state agency to oversee Illinois’ various early childhood programs moved forward on Friday after the state Senate’s unanimous approval. It was one of 244 bills that cleared the Senate this week. Early childhood…

INVESTIGATE MIDWEST: Farmers have clamored for the Right to Repair for years. It’s getting little traction in John Deere’s home state

INVESTIGATE MIDWEST: Farmers have clamored for the Right to Repair for years. It’s getting little traction in John Deere’s home state

By Jennifer Bamberg, Investigate Midwest Originally published April 10, 2024 During the 2023 harvest season, one of Jake Lieb’s tractors quit working. A week later, his combine stopped working, too. Both were new — and he was locked out from making any repairs himself because of software restrictions embedded in the machines.  Instead, a technician…

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker appoints first-ever Prisoner Review Board director; Chicago advances migrant funding

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker appoints first-ever Prisoner Review Board director; Chicago advances migrant funding

By JERRY NOWICKI & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Weeks after two high-profile resignations at the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday appointed the first-ever executive director to help lead the beleaguered agency. To fill the newly created position, the governor tapped Jim Montgomery, who most recently served as director of…

Advocates renew push to tighten firearm laws aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

Advocates renew push to tighten firearm laws aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Advocates for stricter gun laws rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday for a measure aimed at protecting domestic violence victims and two other criminal justice reforms. The bills are backed by organizations such as Moms Demand Action and One Aim Illinois among others. “These policies support…