Boys basketball team eyes state tournament repeat

Boys basketball team eyes state tournament repeat

Joffari Brown, Staff writer

This year’s boys’ varsity basketball team’s season has been successful to date. The team started off the year with a rough patch, but pulled through and won the first tournament of the year – the St. Charles East Invitational. The Chargers went 4-0 to claim the championship. “Big Nick” Rakocevic was the main reason for the Chargers winning the tournament.

After that, the Chargers took down De La Salle in the team’s first conference game of the year. The game started off rough, but as the game progressed the team pulled together and Joffari Brown made some clutch shots down the stretch to seal the victory.

Following a few weeks of conference games, the Chargers got ready for the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, one of the premier tournaments in the state.

After winning the opening game, the Chargers trailed by 10 points against their second-round opponent. After putting on the press with two minutes left, the Chargers forced some turnovers and turned those into points at the other end. Freshman Marquise Walker tied the game late, forcing overtime, and thanks to Rakocevic, the Chargers coasted in OT to the win.

In the third round, the Chargers got Morgan Park. The contest was a back-and-forth affair, but the Chargers lost the lead late in the game and fell to Morgan Park.

The Chargers then had to play for the consolation championship, but lost to Bogan to go 2-2 at the tournament, but finished the calendar year with a record of 11-2.

With no break in the schedule, the Chargers then played the No. 9 team in the country in T.F. North, but St. Joseph fell again for the third straight decision, despite a furious comeback at the end.

The highlight of the season was a trip to Boston in January to play in the Hall of Fame Game in Springfield, MA, the site of the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame. After a practice in the gym at Harvard University, the Chargers took in a Celtics game – with former Charger Evan Turner now starting for the Celtics.

Playing another national power, the Chargers again took the loss, a one-point decision. Rakocevic had 23 points in the game with Brown adding 12 and Walker 10.

The Chargers were 19-7 overall through February 18 and will play for the conference championship this weekend.