The Cleveland Cavs started selling shirts of Max Strus' half-court game-winning shot at the end of February.

The Cleveland Cavs started selling shirts of Max Strus' half-court game-winning shot at the end of February.

Area Sports Roundup | Stagg grad Max Strus drains legendary buzzer-beater

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By Jeff Vorva
Correspondent

Registration for the Max Strus Basketball Camp in July goes live on March 28, and campers may want to talk to the former Stagg star about his heroics in a Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory last month.

Strus, who is in his first season with Cleveland after three years with the Miami Heat, swished a 59-foot buzzer-beater that gave the Cavs a 121-119 home win over Dallas on Feb. 27. He was mobbed by his teammates after the improbable shot went through.

The long 3-pointer was Strus’ fifth in five attempts during the fourth quarter. His other four all came within a span of 1:07 and helped keep the Cavs within striking distance of the Mavericks.

It didn’t take long for the Cavs’ marketing department to get down to work and create a hoodie and t-shirt with an image of Strus, who wears No. 1, taking the shot with the phrase “1conic” on them. They were on sale 24 hours after the shot.

Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell was on the bench for that final play, which occurred after Dallas scored with 2.1 seconds left. The Cavaliers, with no time outs, got the ball to Strus and his heave from beyond half court fell through.

“I don’t know, Don was out of the game, so somebody had to step up,” Strus said on a Bally’s TV interview after the game. “I’m lucky Don was out because he would have shot that one.”

Strus was sprayed with water by his teammates during the interview.

It’s one of the top NBA moments for the Hickory Hills native.

“It’s up there,” he said after the game. “I can’t even take it in right now. I don’t even know what happened. All I know is we won.”

 

All-Staters
Two all-state girls basketball teams were recently announced, and both were peppered with area talent.

As expected, powerhouse Nazareth had impressive representation on the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association list with Amilia Dray making the first team in Class 4A, Austin Olivia making the second team, Danielle Scully making the third team and Stella Sakalas earning special mention honors.

Nora Ezike of Lyons and Morgan Feil of Mother McAuley made the third team. Two other Might Macs, Grace Gambotz and Quinn Arundel, were special mention honorees.

The Illinois Media All-State team, formerly presented by the Associated Press, had Dray on the Class 4A first team, with Austin and Ezike earning honorable mentions.

De La Salle’s Kamryn Porter was named honorable mention in Class 3A.

 

Mighty honors
Mighty Macs coach Jen DeJarld was named National Volleyball Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.

In January, McAuley senior Ellie White was named Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year for the second straight season.

 

Astros Hall of Famers
The Shepard Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the class of 2024 will feature Courtney Dalton, Abel Hernandez, Elson Jones, Jamil Mashni, Jane Moore, Mike Smith, Brian Toner, Kurt Enzminger, John and Maureen Russell and the 1991-92 girls volleyball team.

The ceremony is scheduled to be held April 21 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park.

 

Evergreen Park combine
Evergreen Park Community High School and Sportstats Performance will host a combine event at 3 p.m. March 24. The event will include a number of fitness tests, including the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, shuttle and medicine ball throws.

The event, which will be held at the EPCHS Sports Complex, 2700 W. 91st St., is open to athletes of all ages. Cost is $35 per athlete.

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