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Warhawk girls make impossible dream come true

North Chicago’s DarTanner with regional-championship plaque. | SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-SUN

North Chicago’s Dara Tanner with the regional-championship plaque. | SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-SUN

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Updated: March 24, 2013 7:54PM



If you look up the phrase “no respect” in the high school basketball handbook, you surely will see a team photo of this year’s North Chicago girls hoops squad next to it.

And while the proof may not be in the pudding, it surely is in what transpired during regional week of March Madness For Girls.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

During the playoffs, the Illinois High School Association, on its Web site, offers up score updates from the various tournaments around the state. That included the Johnsburg tourney where North Chicago was playing Guerin Catholic High School in the regional semifinals on Wednesday night.

The updates had North Chicago ahead every step of the way, including 31-22 after three quarters.

But when the IHSA posted the final score, it listed Guerin winning 47-32.

You do not need to be a math whiz to calculate that in order for that outcome to be true, Guerin had to outscore a North Chicago team that had outplayed it for three quarters by a 25-1 count in the fourth period.

TWENTY-FIVE to ONE.

That is so ridiculous that it’s not even worth considering. Except ...

Except that we are talking about North Chicago here .... the program that gets no respect.

So instead of looking at the score and saying “impossible,” media outlets across the state — yes, including this red-faced one — decided that the following three words would be the phrase that pays, and went with it:

“Impossible, but true.”

Nope. Impossible. and not true. North Chicago not only won that game 47-32, but it then stunned highly regarded Carmel 64-60 two nights later to win what likely is the first regional title in the sport in the school’s history.

Ironically, beating Carmel was considered “impossible” for North Chicago. And only after the final buzzer sounded, did anyone use the phrase that pays:

“Impossible but true.”

Which brings us to Tuesday night’s sectional semifinal game between the Warhawks and mighty Regina Dominican, yet another Catholic school, this one located in Wilmette.

Regina has 12 regional titles and four sectional titles on its side to one and zero for the Warhawks. Regina also has better players which means, that from the North Chicago side of things, the situation is ...

Impossible.

Where have we read that before ... and been wrong?

Dollars and sense

Having met Shawn Marion when the North Chicago native was hosting a free youth basketball camp in the community, we can assure these two things:

■ He’s as nice a guy as they have playing in the NBA right now.

■ He’s smart, which means we know he can add, subtract and multiply.

Which is why published remarks by him regarding his being traded by the NBA Dallas Mavericks recently produced a chuckle in this corner of the sports world.

Apparently, the 34-year-old, who attended school through third grade at AJK in North Chicago, is a hot commodity on the NBA trade market, as his 11-point, 8-rebound per game averages in reserve-type minutes are quality numbers. He’s also a very good defensive player at the small-forward position.

Currently, he makes $9.3 million a year and he will receive that $9.3 million next year as well ... as long as he remains with this terrible Dallas team.

If Marion is traded, he gets a 15 percent boost in pay for next year, which means he’ll make $10.695 million.

So, you would think Marion would welcome a trade. Well, maybe he will ... but only if it’s to a team capable of contending for an NBA title. He actually said in a published report that if gets traded to a bad team, that he wouldn’t report to the new club.

Which, of course, would mean he wouldn’t get paid for the rest of this year and wouldn’t make his $10.695 million before taxes next year.

Even worse, his NBA career would be O-V-E-R.

Truth is, Shawn has $10.596 million reasons to play for one year for the Charlotte Bobcats or Phoenix Suns or Detroit Pistons if it turns out one of those bad NBA clubs wants him. Dallas may be a great city, but the Mavs aren’t an NBA title contender either.

Dollars and nonsense

A member of the Chicago Cubs’ front office was on sports-talk radio two days ago and said the team needs to upgrade its player facilities in Wrigley Field in order to make the Cubs a more attractive option for free-agent baseball players.

We are still waiting for one — ONE — example where a quality free-agent baseball player signed for less money with another team than the Cubs offered and said it was because the Cubs’ facilities are subpar.



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