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Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Feb. 11, 2017

Gene Pingatore's bobblehead.

Gene Pingatore won No. 1,000 today. It’s a massive accomplishment, read all about it.

Kinda lost in the hubub is how well St. Joseph played. St. Rita is a talented team and they played pretty well tonight. The Chargers needed this win (they didn’t want Pingatore to get 1,000 in a consolation bracket game) and they stepped up and delivered. The talent is obviously there for St. Joseph, maybe this big event will help them turn the corner.

Saturday’s top games

Conant 57, St. Patrick 53: Big resume-builder win for the Cougars. Jimmy Sotos scored 24. He’s surpassed the 1,000 point mark in his career.

Prospect 54, Niles North 51: Michael Ritchie had 17 points and 13 rebs. Matt Szuba grabbed 17 rebs to become Prospect’s all-time leading rebounder.

Benet 61, St. Charles North 59: Joe Henricksen did a load of research for a nice story on the area’s toughest schedules this past week. All the teams that travel around got a bunch of credit for the out-of-state schools they play. No one plays a tougher local schedule than the Redwings. Another big win.

Bishop McNamara 61, De La Salle 54: The Fighting Irish continue their solid season, they move on to face Fenwick on Sunday in the second round of the Catholic League Tournament.

Fenwick 78, St. Francis de Sales 44: Freshman DJ Steward led the way with 19 points. Jacob Keller had 10 points and seven assits.

Brother Rice 72, Marmion 61: Huge game from Josh Niego. He scored 33.