Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 9, 2018

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 9, 2018

New Trier’s Andrew Kirkpatrick (1) gets past two Niles North players Tuesday 01-09-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Ciaran Brayboy was very good tonight for New Trier. He deserved the headline, deserved to be carried off the court by his teammates and fans. Great game, fun crowd, I got lucky tonight. Read all about it.

But boy was I impressed with New Trier guard Andrew Kirkpatrick. And it wasn’t because he played all that well. I’m sure he’s had better games in his career. His resolve is what really won the game for the Trevians. It is easy for kids, for all of us, to succeed and keep going when things are going well. Kirkpatrick showed the guts of a Major League Baseball closer tonight. Time after time, Niles North harassed him into a turnover. Time after time, Kirkpatrick shook it off and fought through to succeed the next time down the court.

Niles North, and a lot of teams, win because it can create intense pressure that makes high school kids fold. Kirkpatrick may have coughed the ball up 10 or 12 times (New Trier had 25 turnovers) but he was right there ready to go when the Trevians got the ball back, totally undaunted.

“When we prep for teams like Niles North and Evanston that are quick and athletic you know that you are going to turn it over, but you kind of just need the mentality to keep going and keep attacking,” Kirkpatrick said. “Sometimes I get tentative, so I have forced myself to stay aggressive even if they keep taking the ball.”

That’s a unique trait.

“You are gonna have turnovers when you are the point guard against Niles North,” New Trier coach Scott Fricke said. “If you don’t let it get to you and don’t let one play lead to another you’ll be fine. We never took him out because of a turnover. He responded, he played big in the fourth quarter.”

“He’s a kid that staring this summer really wanted to win. He did everything we asked him to, he spent a lot of time in the weight room. He wanted to be in this position.”

Huge win for New Trier. I’m sure Niles North wanted to win, but it might not be the worst result for it either. Carrying the undefeated tag deep into the winter isn’t always a positive.

Tuesday’s top games

Romeoville 56, Minooka 36: Nice win for the Spartans, Minooka is tricky. Eddie Creal led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds. Deandre Heckard added 13 points and six assists.

Lemont 63, Evergeen Park 48: No Nate Ferguson but Lemont wins anyway. Paul O’Leary led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Gray stepped up with 19 points.

Conant 72, Elk Grove 47: The Cougars bounce back after the loss to Barrington. Ryan Davis had 27 points, and seven rebounds.

Niles West 64, St. Patrick 62 2OT: Quite a game here. The Wolves were down 19 points in the fourth quarter. Clyde Singleton had 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Prospect 52, Fremd 46: The Knights continue to hover outside the Super 25, could get back in on Sunday. Jon Kreidler led Prospect with 14. David Swedura had 13. Fremd is in a bit of a tailspin.

Morton 47, Willowbrook 44: Upset. The Mustangs are now 5-7. Stephon Jordan had 15 points and five boards.

Warren 44, Mundelein 43: Mundelein had a shot at the buzzer that went in and out. Big win for Warren.

Maine South 43, Glenbrook South 35: Essam Hamwi led the way with 15. The Hawks just keep proving themselves.

Corliss 65, Carver 28: I complained on the podcast about not seeing Corliss stats and twitter has provided them. Triple-double for George Conditt with 18 points 12 rebounds and 16 blocks. Kobe Mapp scored 14 and the Trojans are 13-2.

Morgan Park 94, Hyde Park 49: No Ayo Dosunmu, but the Mustangs coasted. Cam Burrell scored 26 and Adam Miller added 21 points and 13 assists.

Glenbard West 61, St. Laurence 60: Evan Taylor (who just about everyone is very impressed with) leads his team to a nice win. He scored 19.

Curie 64, Bogan 58: Marquise Walker and the Condors just keep getting it done. Walker had 17 and Maurice Commander scored 14. This is a pretty good score for Bogan, the young Bengals clearly tested one of the state’s best teams. Jeremiah Washington scored 18 and Jordan Booker added 15.

Simeon 65, Kenwood 48: Sounds like this one stayed close for awhile. Big night for Messiah Jones with 17 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks. Talen Horton-Tucker added 16 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

Geneva 67, Streamwood 58: Who knows if Mitch Mascari listens to No Shot Clock, but he sure made me look good tonight. I picked him as one of my five breakout players and then he goes out and scored 30. Gunslinger.

Libertyville 67, Carmel 55: Almost went to this game but decided to see Libertyville on Saturday instead. Drew Peterson scored 30.

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