Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 20, 2018

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Andrew’s Dan Gierhahn (11) hits a free-throw late in the fourth quarter as the T-bolts go on to defeat Thornton 77-69, January 30, 2018. Allen Cunningham / For the Sun-Times.

Several people had mentioned Andrew to me over the past few weeks. It started back at the York Tournament, the Thunderbolts impressed people with their style of play.

So I took the trip to Tinley Park tonight and it paid off. Andrew was definitely a fun team to watch. They are a real unit, move the ball well and play with spirit. Thunderbolts coach Dave Wilson is clearly doing a really good job.

“I think with the eye test we are immediately judged,” Wilson said. “We maybe don’t have superior size and athleticism. These kids have been playing together so long that they know what works: diving on the floor, making the extra pass, being unselfish, moving without the ball. My job is just to keep what is working, working.”

It worked quite well tonight. Read all about Andrew’s win over Thornton.

Tonight’s top games

Loyola 37, St. Patrick 11: Chicago Joe keeps me updated on Shamrocks’ basketball. He’s good about tweeting me the score and some stats, it is very appreciated. This one was a shocker. I’ve never seen a legit team held to 11 points. St. Patrick beat Marian Catholic last week. What an incredible defensive effort by the Ramblers. Connor Barrett led Loyola with 13 points.

Highland Park 76, Lake Forest Academy 60: Congrats to Paul Harris, who picked up his 300th win.

St. Rita 60, Marist 57 OT: The Mustangs aren’t currently ranked, but everyone knows what they are capable of after they won the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament. Sophomore Alec Millender drained a corner three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for St. Rita. Watch it below…

Perspectives-Calumet 89, Tilden 86: Massive game for senior Lenell Watson with 44 points and 14 rebounds. Bock Caulton added 16.

Maine South 61, Ridgewood 42: The Hawks get back in the win column. Grant Miller scored 23 and Essam Hamwi had 14 points and seven assists. Tommy Gardiner had nine boards and eight rebounds.

Momence 86, Iroquois West 32: MOMENCE WATCH rolls on. Lamar Lillard had 22 points and nine rebounds and Lamarius Lillard added 16 and nine. This was the first round of the conference tournament.

Wheaton-Warrenville South 58, Glenbard North 33: The Tigers have been the subject of an awful lot of comment discussion. The Naperville North-WWS rivalry is raging. The Huskies also won tonight, they beat Wheaton North.

Conant 65, St. Laurence 56: This is probably where I would have headed if I didn’t go to Andrew. The Jim Maley bowl. Raj Mittal led the Cougards with 23 points and seven rebounds. Ben Schols scored 29 and Ryan Davis had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Joliet Central 66, Lockport 60: It’s been way too long since I’ve seen a solid Joliet-Lockport rivalry game. Don Joachim scored 19 for the Steelmen and Ryan Saunders added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Lincoln-Way East 61, Providence 47: The Griffins avoid a possible speed bump. Julian Barr scored 16 and Zach Parduhn had 11.

Lindblom 60, Perspectives-MSA 54: Three-year starter Jalen Carter scored 21 on senior night. Junior Shamar Pumphrey added 17.

Larkin 58, Geneva 53: For all of the whining about the Royals underachieving this season (ok, it is mainly me doing the whining), they are 8-0 in the Upstate Eight River. Jalen Shaw had 22 points and Anthony Lynch added 13.

Willowbrook 68, Addison Trail 47: Matas Masys scored 19 and Ethan Schuemer had 14.

St. Charles East 85, Elgin 62: Three wins in a row for the Fighting Saints, who shot 13-for-27 from three-point range. Nate Ortiz drained six.

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