McDonald’s Shootout will put top teams to the test

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Rolling Meadows fans might not have forgotten or forgiven Kauai Bradley’s tip-in at the buzzer that gave Marian Catholic a 47-46 victory and the 2013 Class 4A state basketball title, but Mustangs’ coach Ryan Kirkorsky has moved on.

“I don’t know how our kids feel, but I don’t look at it as revenge or anything,” said Kirkorsky, whose Mustangs will meet Marian Catholic at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, in the 24th Annual McDonald’s Shootout hosted by Willowbrook. It’s a new season. They’re a great team. They got great players.”

The McDonald’s Shootout features 18 games over three days beginning with Warren and St. Ignatius at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, and concluding with Neuqua Valley and Trinity, led by DePaul recruit Lauren Prochaska, at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 20.

“TheMcDonald’s Shootout is oneof the premierChicagoland events that features top teams throughout Illinois and surrounding states,” Neuqua Valley coach Mike Williams said. “This venue provides theavid basketball fan with an opportunity to watch some of the most talented athletes in the game today.”

Some of those athletes will be on display when No. 4 Rolling Meadows faces No. 6 Marian Catholic, which is coming off a loss to the No. 1 team in the country, Incarnate Word (Mo.).

“Rolling Meadows is clearly one of the top teams in the state,” said Marian Catholic coach Dan Murray, whose team is led by Teniya Page and DePaul recruit Ashton Millender. “They have all the ingredients, so it will be a very tough game.”

Another featured matchup Monday pits Bolingbrook and first-year coach Chris Smith against Montini, the state’s top-ranked Class 3A team. The Broncos will be looking for their first win against the Raiders.

“We’re looking forward to playing Bolingbrook as it is a big matchup for our kids,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “We have never beaten Bolingbrook, but that was under Tony Smith. Now the new coach has the last name Smith. Maybe we can get a win against them for once.”

In addition to some intriguing matchups among ranked teams, fans will be able to watch some of the top talent from around the Midwest including 6-4 sophomore Tori McCoy of 2013 Class 2A runner-up St. Thomas More.

No. 21 Geneva will have the arduous task of trying to slow down McCoy and the Sabers.

“They are a good team and return several key players from their team last year,” said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows, who will counter with Sydney Santos and 6-2 freshman Grace Loberg. “We will be ready for this challenge and our kids are very excited to play in this event.”

Also scheduled to play Saturday are No. 7 Fremd, No. 8 WW South, No. 15 Prospect, No. 18 Burlington Central and preseason No. 21 Hillcrest, which has bounced back from early losses to Homewood-Flossmoor, Crete-Monee and Joliet Catholic. The Hawks face Wheaton North at noon.

“We’re looking at Wheaton North as a formidable opponent which is very similar in style and tempo as Mother McAuley, who we face on January 28,” Hillcrest coach John Maniatis said. “We realize all of the success Wheaton North has had and expect a great early afternoon game.”

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