SouthtownStar’s three things to know

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1. SouthWest Suburban Red play is going to be fun. League play starts this week in the Red, which features four teams ranked in the SouthtownStar’s Top 10. There’s no prohibitive favorite and each week should feature multiple games with title implications. Lincoln-Way West and Andrew square off in a key contest Thursday. Andrew, like defending conference champion Lincoln-Way North, has been strong defensively but is in search of more offense. Lincoln-Way East and West, meanwhile, have had little trouble scoring.

2. Monica Munoz will fill up the stat sheets. The T.F. United junior had 20 goals and 18 assists last season, but despite being arguably the better all-around player, was overshadowed by teammate Nicole Vega, who scored 55 goals. With Vega having transferred to Lane, Munoz is unquestionably the team’s go-to player. Last week, she scored six goals in a win over Oak Lawn, had a hat trick in a victory over Bremen and scored five times in a win over Rich East.

3. Joliet Catholic is improved. The Angels have a solid 4-3 mark, with a 2-0 win over Lincoln-Way Central in the Downers Grove South Invitational the highlight. Joliet Catholic also has wins over Minooka, Plainfield South and the IMSA. Andrianna Acosta, Mandy Gruber and Kelsey Builta are leading the way. The East Suburban Catholic slate will be a major challenge, but the Angels should be more competitive this season.

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Maravich’s record stood for over 50 years before the six-foot guard from Iowa wrote her name over it. Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum held the women’s NCAA scoring record for seven years before Clark passed it on Feb. 6, also at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Should it happen before the All-Star break, reinforcements will be needed to at least carry the workload that Cease has handled over the last three seasons.
Brandon Alcaraz, 22, was struck in the head Saturday night in the 2500 block of South Trumbull Avenue. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A 17-year-old boy was wounded.
Officers were in the 11000 block of South Vernon Avenue about 11:48 a.m. Sunday when a dog got away from its owner and came toward the officers in an “aggressive manner,” police said. One officer fired at the dog. Another officer was hurt by debris.
Notes: Miles Mastrobuoni made an impressive play in a rare appearance in the outfield, and Counsell shed light on Shota Imanaga’s schedule.