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Carmel’s girls basketball Carmel coach Kelly Perz congratulates Kathleen Felicelli for playing well. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

Carmel’s girls basketball Carmel coach Kelly Perz congratulates Kathleen Felicelli for playing well. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

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MARCH MADNESS FOR GIRLS: PICKS TO CLICK

4A LIBERTYVILLE SECTIONAL

REGIONAL CHAMPIONS

Zion-Benton

Palatine Fremd

Rolling Meadows

Stevenson

SECTIONAL FINALISTS

Zion-Benton

Rolling Meadows

SECTIONAL CHAMP

Rolling Meadows

3A VERNON HILLS SECTIONAL

REGIONAL CHAMPIONS

Vernon Hills

Regina Dominican

Grayslake Central

Carmel

SECTIONAL FINALISTS

Vernon Hills

Carmel

SECTIONAL CHAMP

Carmel

Updated: March 2, 2013 7:18AM



Words for the wise, but not FROM the wise, while thinking about how 59-degree weather calls for shorts/sandals when it happens in January, but is sweatshirt/jacket/mittens territory when it happens in late July.

Been waiting all season for Carmel High School’s girls basketball team to ignite.

Well, actually, they’ve ignited several times, so let’s say the long wait has been for the Corsairs to remain on fire and burn the opposition.

The thinking here is that it has a shot to take the IHSA sectional title away from mighty Vernon Hills.

But it seems like every time you want to believe in Carmel, the team gets clubbed by a powerhouse from the East Suburban Catholic Conference.

With March Madness for girls two weeks away, we shall know the answer soon enough.

Vernon Hills and Carmel are seeded 1-2 in the Libertyville Sectional.

Interesting thing about Carmel girls hoops:

This is going to be their last season playing Class 3A rather than Class 4A.

The Corsairs have been able to utilize an IHSA waiver so they don’t have to play up a class because they’re a private school.

But that waiver expires when a team wins two regional titles in a sport in a six-year period.

Carmel won a 3A regional last year and is going to win a second in a couple of weeks.

So next year, Carmel will be playing 4A in the girls tournament.

FYI: The 4A whammy which is going to hit Carmel girls next basketball season hit Grayslake North this year.

Because of a realignment of schools in terms of enrollment, Grayslake North went from being a large 3A school in four-class sports to one of the smallest 4A schools this year.

The current Knights girls basketball team has lost just two games all season and will play in the Fox Valley Conference Championship Game next week.

But when March Madness begins, Grayslake North is in the Class 4A Libertyville Sectional where powerhouse teams Rolling Meadows, Zion-Benton and Palatine Fremd are lurking.

NIU did its alumni — moi included — proud with the recognition the football team earned by being invited to play in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.

The latest national recognition however — for setting a record by scoring just four points in a half of a college basketball game — is the kind of spotlight stuff that gets coaches fired.

FYI: Waukegan’s own Akeem Springs did have a role in that four-point half and 25-point game (a 42-25 loss to Eastern Michigan). He was 0-for-10 shooting from the field in the game, including 0-for-7 from behind the arc.

Obviously, he wasn’t the only Huskie who left his shooting touch in DeKalb.

■ Not-so-funny is how a cheaper “winter blend” was used as a reason when gasoline prices dipped into the $3.20s.

Yet, as soon as the temperature hit 50-plus on back-to-back days, the price soared into the $3.50s.

In case the people setting the price hasn’t noticed ... It’s cold again.

Three things to like about Waukegan High School boys basketball coach Ron Ashlaw:

1) His teams are always prepared to beat more-talented teams when Ashlaw has several teams to work with his players in practice before the tip.

2) He gets his players actively involved in community service projects.

Today (Thursday), his Bulldogs are involved in a pep rally and fun day with special-needs children.

Then, on Friday, the Bulldogs are holding a “Pink-Out” basketball game as a fund-raiser to heighten awareness of breast cancer.

We are picking the Big Dogs to upset mighty New Trier on Friday night.

3) Though he knows the criticism is totally unfair, the coach hasn’t lost his cool and composure when a portion of the community blames him for former Waukegan basketball star Jereme Richmond not being in the NBA today.

The best high school girls basketball player in Lake County nobody’s heard of is Waukegan sophomore Kylah Collins.

She had 14 points and 13 boards in a recent loss to powerful Evanston.

Waukegan’s won one game all season and is flying so low under the radar it’s scraping the ground.

Note that the last great Waukegan High girls basketball player who was stuck on a bad team (Syerra Cunningham) wound up transferring to finish her prep career with a winning program.

The highest point in all of Lake County is the big hill at Gander Mountain Forest Preserve ... a 125-foot hill that is walkable.

That is on the to-do list as soon as the temperature tops 60. Again.

Gander Mountain Forest Preserve is located on the north side of Route 173, west of Antioch and east of Wilmot Road.



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