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Girls Basketball | Eagles get going in Blue as Fotopoulos notches win 100

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By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Nick Fotopoulos knows that 100 career wins don’t happen without good players.

This season’s bunch of players helped the Sandburg girls basketball coach get his milestone 100th victory on Jan. 10 with a 56-39 road triumph over Lockport.

“We knew that today was an opportunity to get that,” said Fotopoulos, who is in his seventh season as a head coach. “It’s good and a special moment. But it’s a tribute to the players and their dedication to our culture and program.

“We have a lot of good history here. I’m honored to be a part of it and in that conversation with the great coaches that have been here.”

The victory kept the Eagles undefeated, for the moment, early on in the rugged SouthWest Suburban Blue. They opened conference play with a 55-52 win over Lincoln-Way East on Jan. 5

Sandburg senior guard Josie Canellis, a four-year varsity player, finished with a game-high 16 points and added six steals. Junior forward Juliana Paddock grabbed eight rebounds and added 13 points, four of which came on back-to-back layups in the final two minutes to put the game away.

In a game the Eagles led by as many as 22 points in the second half, Canellis helped stave off any hopes a Lockport rally with two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter.

“I feel like the whole time that I have a sense of confidence,” said Canellis, who surpassed 1,000 career points earlier in the season. “I just thought, ‘OK, I’m open. I’ll shoot and hopefully, it’ll go in.’ It did and that was at the perfect time.”

Canellis and senior guard Claire Callaghan have been strong leaders on a team that features three freshmen and two sophomores.

The Eagles (13-9, 2-1 entering this week) had the chance for more victories later in the week, but lost to Homewood-Flossmoor on Jan. 12 and Marist on Jan. 14.

They fell, 51-48, to H-F in a game that went down to the wire. Sandburg was led by Canellis with 16 points. Freshman guard Zoe Trunk contributed 13 points and Paddock scored 11 points. The Vikings (9-6, 1-1) got the SWSC Blue win behind a career-high 32 points from Syracuse recruit Alyssa Latham.

The Eagles traveled the following day to Montini for the the Coach Kipp Hoopsfest Shootout. The RedHawks came away with a 53-40 victory. Marist (11-12) was led by senior guard Elise Ward with 19 points. Canellis had 15 points and Trunk was named the Sandburg Player of the Game.

In the conference-opening win over Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg sophomore guard Alaina Peetz had 13 points and five rebounds, Callaghan and junior guard Ali Noor finished with nine points, and sophomore forward Abby Janociak had 11 rebounds.

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