Nazareth's quest for a state championship starts on Tuesday. Nazareth photo

Nazareth's quest for a state championship starts on Tuesday. Nazareth photo

Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth girls clinch conference crown with win over Carmel

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Nazareth’s girls basketball team is eyeing a Class 3A state championship after finishing second to Carmel a season ago.

The Roadrunners whipped the Corsairs, 48-24, Feb. 4 to win the East Suburban Catholic Conference for the second straight year. It marked coach Ed Stritzel’s 400th career victory.

Nazareth also beat Carmel, 35-16, on Dec. 7.

Last March, Carmel won the IHSA Class 3A title with a 43-39 victory in Normal.

On Feb. 5, one of the key players who helped the Roadrunners win 25 of their first 26 games, junior Amalia Dray, announced her verbal commitment to play soccer at Boston College.

Before the weekend excitement, the junior-heavy Roadrunners picked up the top seed in the 18-team Class 3A Goode STEM Academy Sectional. De La Salle is seeded fourth, St. Laurence fifth, Kennedy 10th, Goode STEM 11th, Bogan 12th and Solorio 18th.

The road to the state championship for Nazareth starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday when it faces either 17th-seeded Noble/Manseuto or 16th-seeded Noble/Comer at the St Laurence regional. If the Roadrunners win that, they face either fifth-seeded St. Laurence or ninth-seeded Noble/Bulls at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16.

 

Other seeds planted
In Class 3A girls basketball at the 17-team Hillcrest Sectional,  Evergreen Park is seeded fifth and Richards sixth. Marian Catholic drew the top seed.

In Class 4A at the 17-team Proviso East Sectional, Lyons picked up the second seed behind Kenwood while Mother McAuley is fourth, Oak Lawn fifth, Argo sixth, Morton eighth, Reavis 10th, Riverside-Brookfield 11th, Curie 12th and Kelly 16th.

In Class 4A, Marist picked up the eighth seed in the 17-team Romeoville Sectional with Sandburg ninth, Stagg 12th and Shepard 15th. Bolingbrook picked up the No. 1 seed.

In Class 2A, Chicago Christian is the sixth-seed in Sub-Sectional B of the Timothy Christian Sectional. Catalyst/Maria is eighth.

In Class 1A, Universal out of Bridgeview is seeded sixth in Sub-Sectional A of the Fenger Sectional.

 

Big week for Stagg
Stagg’s boys basketball team had a wild week in the SouthWest Suburban Conference Red division, pulling off a triple-overtime win and a huge upset.

On Jan. 31, the Chargers beat Lincoln-Way West 65-59 in three overtimes in a home game despite trailing by 11 points after three quarters. Connor Williams scored 14 points, Yousef Jarad 13 and Labarion Gilmore 12.

On Friday, Stagg went south to Bradley Bourbonnais, which was unbeaten in conference play, and knocked off the Boilermakers, 51-47. Williams led the way with 18 points and Gilmore had 11. Stagg coach Marty Strus lauded Alex Czaja for his defensive prowess.

The stunner moved the Chargers’ record to 12-13, 3-3.

 

Sexton second to none
When Evergreen Park junior Nolan Sexton scored his 1,000th point in a 66-63 loss to Perspectives IIT on Jan. 28, he became the first Mustang to score 1,000 thus it makes him the all-time leading scorer in program history.

He had 25 points in the setback and has a lot of time to collect a lot more points as he has this season to play out and next season as well.

 

Red Stars ready for World Cup
Five Chicago Red Stars will join their respective national teams to participate in the annual SheBelieves Cup as a precursor to the World Cup this summer.

Recently acquired Julia Bianchi (Brazil), Tierna Davidson (U.S.), Alyssa Naeher (U.S.), Bianca St-Georges (Canada) and Mallory Swanson (U.S.) will face off against each other in the competition.

The 2023 SheBelieves Cup kicks off Thursday, Feb. 16, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, as Japan takes on Brazil at 3 p.m. and the U.S. faces Canada at 6 p.m.

 

Red Stars season starts…when?
The National Women’s Soccer League schedule was still not out as of Sunday night and some are speculating that it is coming in mid-February.

The late announcement of a schedule handcuffs teams such as the Chicago Red Stars who wanted to get a jump on season-ticket sales and other packages.

OL Reign star Megan Rapinoe took a funny shot at the league posting a milk carton with the NWSL logo saying “MISSING…NWSL SCHEDULE…PLEASE CALL THE PLAYERS IF FOUND.”

The NSWL regular season is scheduled to open March 25, a month earlier than last year’s opening date of April 29. The championship match is slated for Nov. 11 — two weeks later than it was played in 2022.

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