Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Feb. 7, 2017

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Feb. 7, 2017

Oswego’s Dylan Engler (3) gets a good look and drains a three in the first half against Minooka, February 7, 2017 Allen Cunningham / for Chicago Sun-Times

Area basketball fans are well-aware of the difficulties in facing a Maine South or a Fremd-type team. Slowish tempo and hard-nosed defense. Basically everything that annoys the general high school basketball team. Scott Tanaka’s Minooka teams have been successfully following that general blueprint for awhile now. The Indians really get after it. I’ve been doing this awhile and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team held scoreless for basically the final three minutes of the third and the fourth quarter. Minooka did that to Oswego tonight.

The future is bright for Oswego. They couldn’t pull off the win tonight but the Panthers are playing a talented group of sophomores and freshmen as about half their rotation. I was especially impressed with sophomore Dylan Engler (pictured above). He’s 6-3 with a smooth shot and a confident overall game.

Read all about Minooka’s win over Oswego. The Indians are having a heck of a year, even Tanaka is surprised.

“I never thought we’d be 19-6 with who we lost after last season,” Tanaka said. “We thought we’d be pretty good but all 13 kids this year believe in everything we do. That’s how it happened.”


Tuesday’s top games

Marist 48, Ag. Science 38: This game was at Ag. Science and the Redhawks are missing Morgan Taylor, but the margin of victory is still concerning for a Super 25-quality team.

Conant 75, Larkin 59: The Royals don’t have a great record this season, but they have some talented players on the floor. A nice win for Conant.

Stevenson 83, Zion-Benton 74: It appears that Stevenson played the Zee-Bees high-tempo style and excelled. Willie Herenton had a career-high 34 points and was 10-for-13 frome the field. Second win for the Patriots against Zion.

Grant 83, Grayslake North 75: The Bulldogs keep on rolling.

Wheaton-Warrenville South 69, Naperville Central 50: Naperville Central came in hot, but it didn’t matter. The undefeated teams are getting a lot of the attention, but WW South is nearly right there with them.

Lyons 60, Romeoville 49: Surprised by this one. The young Spartans just can’t seem to get on a roll.

La Lumiere, Ind. 86, Marian Catholic 36: I’m not sure why area high schools are scheduling this prep school power, but they do. DePaul Prep was able to keep things close, the Spartans did not.

Thornton 71, Bradley-Bourbonnais 56: Alonzo Verge returns and puts up some numbers. He had 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Delonte Jones added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Butler 95, Baker 42: Nearly went over to this one. Time is running out to see Marvin Nesbitt. He had another triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. His brother Teon scored 25 and Braquan Echols added 18 points and 10 boards.

St. Rita 50, Loyola 49: The Mustangs are young and inconsistent, but the talent is there. Ramar Evans scored 23 for the Ramblers, didn’t seen any numbers for St. Rita.

Hubbard 81, Hirsch 57: Still unbeaten. J.Medley led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Lincoln-Way East 56, Sandburg 36: The Griffins are on a four-game winning streak. Sam Shafer scored 22 points.

Bolingbrook 81, Stagg 54: The Raiders dominate a good team. Still undefeated. Nana Akenten scored 20 and Joseph Yesufu added 13.

Rich Central 77, Mount Carmel 76, 3 OT: Looks like this was the thriller of the night. Glen Abram poured in 38 points. Bryone Washington added 12.

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