Niles area prep sports roundup: Boys bowling, boys and girls basketball, girls gymnastics

The Notre Dame bowling team will be making its second consecutive trip to the IHSA state tournament this weekend at St. Clair Bowl in downstate O’Fallon after capturing third place at last Saturday’s IC Catholic Prep sectional held at the Brunswick Zone in Glendale Heights.

The Dons, with a total pinfall of 6,119, were just 48 pins shy of runner-up Taft. Oak Lawn won the sectional with a 6,216 pinfall.

Juniors Tom Ochal and Charlie Allen, two top returnees from last year’s state-qualifying team, led the Dons at this year’s sectional. Ochal rolled a 1,386 series while Allen added a 1,253 series. Junior Paolo Fridman turned in a 1,211 series.

Also contributing for the Dons was senior Bob Hoenig (749) and juniors Matt Voss (987), Brendan Brown (331) and Steve Balachowski (202).


Notre Dame, winners of six of its last seven games, jumped out to a 15-2 first-quarter lead against Carmel last Friday and won, 74-61. The triumph enabled the Dons to remain undefeated in ESCC play (4-0) while improving to 17-4 overall.

As they have been most of the season, senior guard Joe Mooney and junior forward Ammar Becar were the Dons’ scoring leaders. Mooney and Becar each finished with 26 points. The Dons are off Friday, but resume ESCC action Saturday night, hosting Joliet Catholic.

Maine East (5-10, 1-5) played its most complete game of the year and got a standout effort from senior forward Ezeka Omeke in its 56-53 CSL North victory over Niles North last Friday. Niles North entered the game with a 4-1 conference record, while the Demons picked up their first league win.

Omeke scored 17 points, hauled down 26 rebounds, blocked nine shots, had four steals and took five offensive charges.

“I’ve been coaching for over 30 years,” said Dave Genis, who also used to be the head coach at Niles West. “Individually, I don’t know if I’ve ever watched as dominating a performance even with some of great athletes I had at Niles West.”

Robinson Michel chipped in with 11 points and Ashoor Doushow scored 10.

Niles West overcame a 27-22 halftime deficit against visiting Glenbrook South last Friday and went on to defeat the Titans, 54-40. The Wolves, 6-11 overall and 2-4 in the CSL South, have a good opportunity to move closer to .500 in conference play when they travel to Waukegan (5-15) Friday night.

Octavius Parker, a sophomore, netted a game-high 19 points; Jojo Rios and Mirsad Mackic each finished with nine.


Maine South (12-13) split two games at the DeKalb Martin Luther King tournament on MLK Day, dropping a 44-34 contest to Rockford Lutheran, but beating Morgan Park, 44-39. Later in the week, the Hawks downed York, 51-36, on Jan. 22 and then topped Waukegan, 52-25, in the CSL South the next night.

Julia Spuria and Nina Anderson each had six points in the Rockford Lutheran loss, with Anderson grabbing six rebounds. Anderson had a team-high 13 points vs. Morgan Park, Elizabeth Skoronski added eight and Julia Sirvinskas seven.

Anderson’s 15 point, six rebound, five assist performance led a quartet of Maine South double-figure scorers in the win over York. Sam Fagenholz contributed 12 points, and Spuria and Sirvinskas each had 11.

Coach Mark Smith got a chance to clear his bench during the lopsided Waukegan victory, and 13 of the 15 Hawks who played scored points. Anderson had nine points, five rebounds and four steals, Skoronski added eight points and seven boards, and Spuria had seven points.

Resurrection played three games in three days last week, falling to Mother McAuley, 59-40, on Jan. 20, but stopping St. Joseph, 71-66, the next night and Queen of Peace, 48-35, on Jan. 22.

Jessica Pawula set the pace for Res vs. Mother McAuley with 16 points and nine rebounds, Taylor Farrell added 11 and Monica Nunez nine.

St. Joseph led the Bandits 47-40 going into the fourth quarter, but Res outscored the Chargers, 21-14, in the final period to win. Nunez led a quartet of double-figure scorers with a 25-point effort, followed by Pawula’s 18. Maddie Larsen and Farrell had 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Sophomore Nicole Kuzmanic was the Bandits’ leading scorer in their win over Queen of Peace with 17 points.

Niles West slipped to 2-5 in the CSL South and 11-11 overall after losing two games last weekend.

Glenbrook South dealt the Wolves a 52-33 loss last Friday. Hilma Mededovic scored 10 points and Jalynn Estrada eight for the Wolves. Mededovic tallied 16 points last Saturday against Schaumburg, but the Saxons were victorious, 58-49. Estrada chipped in with 14.


Maine South secured fifth place out of 15 teams by scoring 97.525 points at last Saturday’s 41st annual Niles West Invitational. The host Wolves placed ninth (95.00) and Maine East was 14th (71.95).

The Hawks’ Sara Ignoffo took fourth overall on vault with a 9.25 score and also was 10th on the floor exercise (8.8). Alysa Chiovatero placed fifth on bars (8.775), was eighth on both the vault (9.05) and floor (8.925) and ninth on the beam (8.45). Lauryn Rotonda finished sixth on the floor with a 9.05.

“We were happy about our finish based on our overall performance,” said Maine South coach Tessa Robinson. “We had uncharacteristic falls on beam and bars which set back our overall team score, so that was a bit disappointing. We plan to move on from that as we prepare for hitting those routines at the upcoming conference and regional meets.”

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