They’ve learned their lessons well
By Bryan Bonato Special to The News-Sun October 11, 2012 7:26PM
Deerfield Sunday 10/7/12 Warren nuggets#40 Ore Hill takes the ball to the hoop against a Libertyville Spurs defender. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 11, 2012 2:02AM
When Warren High School’s boys basketball team took the court for its Fall Sunday League game against Libertyville last weekend at Joy of the Game’s facility in Deerfield, it did so without its coach, first-year mentor Ryan Webber.
High school coaches aren’t allowed to work the bench in this league, as the players learn how to supervise themselves in a game setting.
But watching Warren rout a team from Libertyville 83-64, you would have thought Coach Webber was right there on the bench, as the players put into practice what he taught them during the summer practice session.
Items of note:
■ Warren (the team is called the Nuggets as all the schools have NBA “names”) is 3-2 in the league, with losses to North Chicago (Warriors) and Waukegan (Lakers).
■ Against Libertyville, senior guard Aarias Austin had 14 points, senior guard Arthell Rosquist 18, and senior forward Mitch Cygan 10.
■ The most impressive thing about the Blue Devils’ play on the court Sunday night was the speed of the transition from defense to offense. Unselfish play while the game was still competitive led to numerous layups on fastbreak opportunities.
■ Warren built a double-digit lead midway through the first half, but Libertyville did not get discouraged and was able to close the gap to 44-40 at halftime. In the second half Libertyville finally hit the wall on defense, conceding layups and dunk attempts, but the Wildcats were able to knock down shots when Warren’s defensive intensity flagged.
■ Blue Devil players on the bench paid close attention to the game and got excited for their teammates when they made a nice play, a positive that has carried over from their time with Coach Webber during the summer.
■ Aarias, one of the Devils who saw meaningful varsity action last year on teammate Cygan, who did not: “Mitch Cygan is really starting to have an impact. As a freshman and sophomore he was a B-team player. He was on the bench last year with the ‘Scalabrini’ chant and all that (the Warren student section chanted ‘Scalabrini’ when the Blue Devils led at the end of games, encouraging the coaches to put Cygan in the game. Scalabrini was the Chicago Bulls’ end-of-bench player last year). This year, he’s really showed our big men how we need them to play.”
■ Rosquist on the season ahead: “If you have game, you’re going to play on this team. It doesn’t matter what year you are, what position you play, or what you did last year. I think everybody’s excited about that.”