Action is underway here at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois for the 16th Annual National Guard HS Hoops Showdown.
Game 1: Niles Notre Dame v. Arlington St. Viator
5:00 PM - Took a bit to get the internet up and running, but Niles Notre Dame jumped out to an 18-6 lead behind some scrappy play and good execution after the first quarter. Late in the 2nd their lead has shrunk to 8 at 26-20 with 1:30 left to play in the half.
5:08 PM - Score stands at 28-21 in favor of Niles Notre Dame over St. Viator at half. Ore Arogundade has 7 pts and 3 rebounds at half. Niles Notre Dame leads all scorers with 9 points.
5:18 PM - 2nd half underway. Despite the early lead, Notre Dame has allowed St. Viator to claw back into it and keep it a game. But another run could put the game out of reach.
5:28 PM - The game seems a lot closer than it actually is, as Notre Dame's lead is up to 12 (41-29). Ore Arogundade completed the 4 point play to get up to 11 on the day. Still Mooney is pacing it at 16 points late 3rd.
5:33 PM - After 3 quarters, The score is 41-31 Notre Dame. After a hard-fought win at Marian Catholic last night, I just wonder if St. Viator has much left in the tank. They'll need a bigtime 4th quarter to give themselves a chance.
5:54 PM - Most of the Notre Dame starters exit in favor of the bench as Notre Dame stretched the lead to 61-46 with a minute thirty to go. Mooney finished with 20 and a number of big defensive stops to give his team the edge.
5:58 PM - FINAL: Game 1 ends in a 64-48 win for Niles Notre Dame. Benet and Naperville Central up next.
Game 2: Benet v. Naperville Central:
6:25 PM - Just about ready to tip the 2nd game of the event between Benet and Naperville Central. Benet has been playing very well as of late, but O'Mara should be challenged today by Central big man Nick Czarnowski.
6:39 PM - Hot shooting has Benet on top 8-0 in a bit of a slow game midway through the first quarter. Naperville Central is really taking long possessions so far, so Benet will have to make theirs count and try to stretch the lead early.
6:47 PM - After one quarter, Benet leads 12-5 over Central. O'Mara hasn't been productive on the stat sheet, but what he's been doing has made his teammates productive. A lot of the offense runs through him and it's been running very smoothly.
6:51 PM - Midway through the 2nd quarter, Benet has stretched the lead to 18-7. Senior Eddie Eshoo has hit a couple big 3's to open things up for the Redwings.
7:00 PM - Halftime between Benet and Naperville Central. The Redwings have doubled up Central in the first half 24-12. O'Mara has 2 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists. He has a habit of really turning it on in the 2nd half though.
7:16 PM - A couple early baskets by Central shrinks the lead to 8 just 2 minutes into the third quarter. O'Mara is being challenged in terms of scoring today, but he has a chance to respond in the 2nd half when his team will really need him.
7:28 PM - Benet back to the 2x multiplier with their lead at 36-18. O'Mara had a big 3rd quarter to get to 11 points total. Pat McInerney is really getting it done for Benet in a lot of different ways. Has probably been Benet's best performance in this game so far. Side note: McInerney is committed to Illinois... for baseball.
Benet comes away with the win in the "rematch" game. Pretty balanced effort from the Redwings in this one. Final score is 46-35.
Game 3: St. Joe's v. Aurora West:
Well, had a little down time between games, and thanks to WatchESPN, I was able to watch some of the Simeon-Whitney Young game. But we're about to tip here for the final game of the night.
After 1 quarter, St. Joe's and Aurora West are in a close one with W. Aurora holding a 2 point advantage at 12-10. For St. Joe's it's been mostly from the foul line, but the guard play is warming up.
At the end of the first half, Aurora West leads St. Joe's 27-18. Glynn Watson has 8 for St. Joe's to lead them in scoring. West Aurora is beating St. Joe's with quick ball movement and getting the Chargers out of position.
After 3 quarters, St. Joe's got the score to 42-35 and scored the opening bucket of the 4th to get it to a 5 point game. Not over by any means.
Teams are trading baskets now halfway through the 4th and it's 48-39 Aurora West still leads. Glynn Watson is a smooth operator but his teammates are turning the ball over and making mental errors.
In other game news, Simeon hung on to edge Whitney Young 44-41. Been sitting here with Scott Burgess of Chicago Hoops (some of you remember him) and it had us on edge during the St. Joe's game. I may or may not have yelled during a free throw when it was dead quiet. But back to the game at hand. Lead diminished to 5 for Aurora West, but they've built it back up to 10.
Final score: Aurora West wins 56-47. Jontrell Walker finished with 14 for Aurora West. Glynn Watson had 12, and Jordan Ash had 8 for St. Joe's.
The game concludes the event. Very well-run showcase. Mark your calendars for Saturday February 23rd at the House of Hope Arena for the City Suburban Showdown on the south side of Chicago featuring Benet, Proviso East, Whitney Young, Simeon, Marist, and De La Salle