Morton College's Mia Simpson, shown in a game against McHenry earlier in the season, had 19 points and 20 rebounds on March 4 against Moraine Valley. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Hoops Wrap | Morton College taking aim at national title
By Jeff Vorva
Morton College’s women’s basketball team took its first postseason step in its quest for a national championship.
The Panthers, who finished second in the nation in the National Junior College Association Division II Tournament last year, handily defeated Moraine Valley, 91-51, on March 4 in Rockford to head into the Region IV title game for the third straight year.
Morton (30-0, ranked first in the nation by NJCAA coaches) faces Rock Valley at 2:30 Saturday, March 11 in Rockford. The winner goes to the national tournament. Morton beat Rock Valley 69-59 on Dec. 8.
The Panthers scored 18 straight in the first quarter to take a 32-11 lead against Moraine Valley and had a 13-point run in the second quarter to take a 57-21 halftime lead.
Mia Simpson, 5-foot-8 guard from Waukegan, played big as she led the Panthers with 19 points and 20 rebounds. Former Nazareth star Kaylen Evans added 20 points.
Morton connected on its 400th 3-pointer of the season in the game as the Panthers nailed 17 treys against the Cyclones.
Moraine finished the season 15-16.
MVCC men fall
Moraine Valley’s men’s team also made it to the semifinals of the Region IV tournament, but fell to Olive Harvey, 84-81, on March 5.
The Cyclones, who had a 41-31 halftime lead erased in the second half, ended up having to play catch-up in the closing minute and couldn’t covert a layup with four seconds left, which would have put them ahead.
Moraine finished the season 25-7.
SXU earns national bid
The good news for Saint Xavier’s men’s basketball team is that it received an at-large bid in the 64-team NAIA Men’s National Championship Tournament.
The bad news for the Cougars is that are the 16th seed in the Cramer Quadrant of the tournament and were scheduled to play top seed William Penn University on March 7 in Oskaloosa, Iowa, in the first round.
The two teams had never played each other before. They were scheduled for a Dec. 12, 2020 battle in Oskaloosa but that game was canceled because of COVID-19.
Shimko out at St. Laurence
According to a post on the St. Laurence Facebook page, girls basketball coach George Shimko will not be returning to the program he started in 2017 when the school went coed.
“We are thankful to coach Shimko for his commitment to the program these past six years,” read a statement on the Facebook page. “Our athletic program is committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success and will begin the search immediately for the next girls basketball coach.”
Shimko won his 100th game as a Vikings coach in January. Prior to starting the program at St. Laurence, he was the head coach at Queen of Peace until that school closed. Several Queen of Peace players headed to St. Laurence.
The Vikings won a Class 3A regional title in 2017-18.
The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association named its all-state teams.
In Class 3A, state champion Nazareth did not have an all-state first-team member, but senior Grace Carstensen was named to the second team and Amalia Dray made the third team. Roadrunner players Olivia Austin, Stella Salakas and Danielle Scully were special mentions.
In Class 4A, the area was shut out of the third three all-state teams. Sandburg’s Josie Canellis, Lyons’ Ally Cesarini and Mother McAuley’s Morgan Feil were special mention players.
Fine, community service for woman who killed man in fatal accident
Spread the loveVictim’s family outraged over outcome By Steve Metsch Six months after the car she was driving hit and killed Murod Kurdi, Leanne Cusack had her day in court. On Tuesday, she was found guilty of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident – the only charge against her – for the fatal…
Neighbors lighting the way to Christmas season
Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 517-7796 . It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere me and Oliver go! Thank you, neighbors. The blocks around my home are simply beautiful with the displays. To get yourselves more in…
Hanukkah, a holiday of happiness and peace
Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 . Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. and the miracle of the temple lights lasting eight days with just one day’s supply of oil. Hanukkah is…
Palos Heights celebrates holiday season at Kris Kringle Market
Spread the loveBy Kelly White The Palos Heights community welcomed in the Christmas season by showcasing its small-town charm and holiday cheer this past weekend. Residents from Palos Heights, along with those from surrounding communities, came out to celebrate the Holidays in the Heights at the city’s Kris Kringle Market on December 1 and December…
College Report | SXU football falls in quarterfinals
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For three quarters, Saint Xavier went nearly toe-to-toe with the No. 1-ranked football team in the nation. Justin Pringle had returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to bring the Cougars to within three points of Northwestern (Iowa), the top-seeded team in the NAIA playoffs and the…
Area Sports Roundup | Richards grad Sean Lewis ready to air it out in San Diego
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The rollercoaster ride continues for Sean Lewis. The Richards alum went from being the head coach at Kent State to the offensive coordinator at Colorado, one of the most talked about college football programs in the country this season because of Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders. He was…
Girls Hoops | Sandburg and Oak Lawn to host holiday tournaments
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The field has been finalized for the third Sandburg Holiday Classic, which is the only girls basketball holiday tournament in the area to feature 16 teams. The host Eagles will be joined in the event, to be held Dec. 27-29, by area teams Oak Lawn, Richards, Argo and…
Get ready to tighten those belts
Spread the love. By Rich Miller . The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget released a revised state revenue and spending forecast last month for the current fiscal year and it’s pretty good. Its projections for next fiscal year, however, were not nearly as strong. Projected Fiscal Year 2024 revenues have been revised upward by…
Unique, cheerful, local crafts at Hale Park
Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound . I’ve never been one to decorate for Christmas, just for the sake of decorating. And I’m not a fan of many of the things we see these days. I’ll take a pass on Christmas decorations that involve images of celebrities, pro sports logos,…
For at least 6 months, state failed to act on Carlinville funeral director that mishandled remains
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org State regulators allowed a Carlinville funeral director to operate for months despite a complaint filed by a local coroner who found a decomposing body in his funeral home and alleged the care of the remains was “unacceptable and criminal in nature.” While trying to assist a local family…
Dolly Parton Imagination Library officially launches statewide in Illinois
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois families with infants and toddlers now have access to free children’s books that can be sent directly to their home, regardless of their income. Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the official launch of the state’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program founded…
What to know about Illinois’ assault weapons ban
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org Gun owners face a Jan. 1 deadline to register their assault weapons with the state under Illinois’ assault weapons law. But between lawsuits and ongoing policymaking, the exact guns, accessories and ammunition covered under the Protect Illinois Communities Act remain unclear to many gun rights advocates, who point…
Capitol Cast: Filing Day for 2024 primary brings frigid temps and election themes to Springfield
Capitol News Illinois Broadcast Director Jennifer Fuller talks with Editor-in-Chief Jerry Nowicki about the 2023 petition filing deadline for Illinois’ 2024 primary election. Capitol News Illinois · Capitol Cast: Filing Day for 2024 primary brings frigid temps and election themes to Springfield
Supreme Court rules teen bicyclist is covered by father’s auto insurance policy
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that automobile insurance policies must cover people against uninsured motorists and hit-and-run accidents, even if the person covered by the policy is not in a vehicle at the time of the accident. The case involved a 14-year-old Chicago boy, Cristopher…
State high court finds medical personnel exemption to biometric information privacy law
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state’s strongest-in-the-nation biometric information privacy law does have an exemption: health care workers who use fingerprints or similar scans to access things like medication, materials or patient health information. In a unanimous opinion, the justices ruled against a pair of…
Illinois Supreme Court: FOID records exempt from public disclosure
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people may obtain records about their own Firearm Owners Identification cards, but they may not use the state’s Freedom of Information Act to do so. In a 7-0 ruling, the court said the Illinois State Police acted properly when…
Temporary staffing agencies seek to block new state labor law
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – A group of temporary staffing agencies and their trade associations are asking a federal court to block enforcement of a new state law that governs how day laborers and temp workers are managed and paid. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Chicago, challenges several changes…
Former GOP senator, third-party governor candidate to represent himself in corruption trial
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – Monday was supposed to have been the first day in the weeklong federal corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, who allegedly misused more than $200,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. A pull-down projector screen in the Springfield courtroom of U.S. District Judge…
Candidates for 2024 primary brave cold for potential ballot advantage
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – Monday marked the kickoff for the 2024 election cycle, with hundreds of candidates filing their petitions at the Illinois State Board of Elections. Those in line by 8 a.m. Monday at the ISBE building in Springfield will be entered into a lottery to be the first…