Gordon’s hoops members recognized

Gordon Tech senior Brandon Johnson, junior David Andrews, senior Nathan Inserra-Mousin and sophomore Sam Rarick received awards from GT for their play this season:

  • David Andrews- Tom Kleinschmidt MVP Award
  • Sam Rarick- Carl Maniscalco Most Improved Award
  • Brandon Johnson Truck Robinson Leadership Award
  • Nathan Inserra- Mousin Truck Robinson Leadership Award

Johnson and Andrews were selected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Johnson was selected to the Honorable Mention team and will represent Gordon in the Catholic League All-Star match. Andrews was selected to the All-State Special Mention team.

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Gordon Tech Cruises Past Northtown Academy as Regional Game Looms

Brandon Johnson scored a game high 19 points as the Gordon Tech Rams (9-14) easily dismantled Northtown Academy Pumas 79-38 in front of their home crowd Tuesday.

The Rams jumped out to an early first quarter lead 20-8 and never looked back. David Andrews (17 points) and Niko Morales (15 points) drained three’s the whole contest keeping the Pumas in a big hole most of the game. After three quarters of play and seeing their lead jump to 64-30, most of the Gordon Tech starters sat down, watching the bench continue to add to the lead.

Christian Mangio and Mikal Moses both scored 9 points for the Pumas, as they tried everything they could to keep their team in the game. In the end, the three ball was just too much for Northown to overcome.

Gordon Tech hosts the Regional games next week as the Rams need two wins to reach the Sectionals in Hoffman Estates, IL. First up, the Rams square off versus Lakeview, Wednesday March 2nd at 7:30p.m.

Side Note: Gordon Tech Lady Rams season ended in dramatic fashion as they fell to Grayslake Central 75-25 in Grayslake, IL., Tuesday at the State 3A Sectionals.

Ignatius demolishes Gordon 53-31

Nnanna Egwu was a one man wrecking crew in a 53-31 win over Gordon (7-12,0-8) Friday night. The talented center from St. Ignatius showed why he is one of the state’s best players with 18 points, six rebounds and seven blocked shots.

“I knew that I had a big size advantage and I had to use my size and skills to really dominate,” said Egwu who will attend Illinois next season.

Egwu was dominating and entertaining especially in the first half scoring 12 points as the Wolfpack (16-7, 7-2) built a 26-8 lead.

“We’ve seen him for three years,” said Gordon head coach Shay Boyle. “I have nothing but respect for him (Egwu). I think he’s the best player in our league. I think he has the most upside of any player in the State of Illinois. He’s the whole package. He’s a great kid. He’s a good player. There’s nothing he can’t do out there. He can definitely be an NBA player.”

“I would put himup for Player of the Year in the Catholic League,” admitted St. Ignatius head coach Rich Kehoe.

Egwu, with help from teammates, was a factor on offense and defense. St Ignatius made 22-of-42 shots while Gordon committed 20 turnovers and made only 10-of-39 shots.

“I’m definitely confident (in my teammates),” said Egwu who was born in Nigeria. “Brian, Jack, Alejandro, and Tyrone are all great players. They play well together. It’s nice to know when teams are going to double team me I have capable guys who can shoot the ball and make plays.”

Gordon was led by Brandon Johnson who finished the game with 14 points.

St Ignatius jumped out to a 12-0 lead as the Rams missed six shots before Johnson scored on a jump shot with 2:57 left in the opening quarter.

“They run the best offense maybe in Chicago,” Boyle said after the loss that left the Rams winless in league play. “You can’t make a mistake against St. Ignatius. They will make you pay. They made us pay. I thought we could play a four quarter game with these guys. I thought it would be a competitive game. We make a few shots early, we have a ballgame.”

Gordon played better in the second half after scoring two baskets in the first half.

St Ignatius won the first meeting in December 69-35, and there was little drama in the rematch thanks to Egwu’s performance.

“It’s disappointing to be 0-8 (in league),” said Boyle who played at Weber. “Nobody in the state plays a better conference schedule than Gordon in our league. It’s the best conference in the state. Nobody has to play games like this every night. We will be successful in the state playoffs because we have played the best schedule.”

Gordon is hoping to win its third straight regional championship. The Rams will have probably have to beat Lake View and top-seeded North Chicago to earn a trip to the Ridgewood sectional in Norridge.

“They are one of the most explosive teams,” said Boyle on possibly facing the Warhawks in the regional finals. “

Gordon Tech Defeats Ida Crown With Hot Shooting From Andrews

David Andrews poured in 21 points for the Gordon Tech Rams as they knocked off Ida Crown Jewish Academy Aces in a thriller Tuesday. Brandon Johnson added 13 points and Devanchey Bell scored 10 points to help the Rams seal the deal, 53-48.

The Rams jumped out to an early lead winning both first and second quarters as the half ended 30-21. The Aces won the third quarter by playing uptempo basketball and forcing the Rams into several turnovers. Ari Shefler scored 9 points and Zack Bloomberg added 8 points for the Aces, helping them pull within striking distance of the Rams.

Andrews hit a key three point field goal down the stretch, while Ida Crown had trouble scoring in the last minute of play to give the Rams the victory, 53-48.

The Rams now 6-9 on the season, go on the road for their next contest versus Seton Academy, Tuesday Feb. 1 at 7:30p.m.

No ‘Hoop Dreams’ for Gordon Tech as They Fall to St. Joseph, 57-43

Senior forward Joe Edwards dazzled those in attendance with a couple high flying dunks, as he led the way for St. Joseph, scoring 19 points. Sophomore phenom A.J. Patty added 13 points to help the Chargers beat Gordon Tech, 57-43 Friday night.

Gordon Tech fell behind early and saw themselves behind after the first quarter, 21-10.  Brandon Johnson (18 points) helped the Rams win the second quarter, trimming their deficit down to 8 points. The trimming continued as Sam Rarick (7 points) helped the Rams to pull within 5 points, early in the third quarter, 35-30.

After Gordon Tech got close, St. Joseph pulled away. Consecutive baskets and forced turnovers helped the Chargers rebuild a double digit lead, and that’s the way it would end, 57-43.

The Gordon Tech Rams stay at home for their next opponent, Ida Crown… Tuesday, January 25th, at 7:30p.m.

Did You Know?: Gene Pingatore, St. Joseph’s head varsity basketball coach, starred in the 1994 documentary film “Hoop Dreams.” He also coached NBA star, coach, owner Isiah Thomas and holds the IHSA record for most wins with St. Joseph.

Gordon wins tourney consolation title; season turning around

Gordon (5-6) won the Consolation title at Luther North, defeating Guerin (3-10) 54-32 in what may have been the team’s best performance of the season.

The Rams win came after losing the first tournament match to Taft 62-46.

Gordon jumped out to a 30-16 lead at halftime and never looked back while making 20-of-41 shots.

“I’m real proud of the guys,” said Gordon head coach Shay Boyle. “We gave them that goal after losing the first game. We have to find a silver lining. I thought we could comeback. I thought (they) did a great job. They were focused.”

“We started off 1-5 and had a tough week of practice,” said Gordon point guard Brandon Johnson. “We wanted to come out and win these (last) three games. It takes a lot of courage to comeback and win these games.”

“We need to get wins right now,” admitted Gordon’s Dave Andrews. “It’s not going to be easy coming out of Christmas break. In the past, we have done well at the Luther North tournament. Getting these three wins is great.”

Catholic League play hasn’t been kind to the Rams who are 0-3. Things won’t get easier as Gordon has upcoming matchups against traditional powers Hales, De La Salle, St. Joseph, and a rematch at Loyola.

Andrews led Gordon with 21 points on seven three-pointers while Johnson ran the offense and scored 11 points.

Guerin struggled against Gordon’s defense making only 13-of-35 shots.

The Rams have now rebounded from a 1-5 start.

“We are playing as a team,” added Johnson. “We weren’t playing as a team. We have a lot of chemistry now. It’s going good right now.”

“This is a huge momentum builder for us,” admitted Andrews who is starting to draw attention from opposing defenses. “Now, we can see that we can beat teams.”

Boyle has inserted sophomore Sam Rarick into the starting lineup. Rarick has responded and had eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Guerin.

Mather(10-2) won the Luther North tournament with a 60-59 win over King(9-4) while Taft(7-6) took third place in this event by topping Jones 56-43.

The Rams will host Hales this Friday night at 7:30 pm.

Mather wins Luther holiday tourney, defeats King

The Luther North Wildcat mural brings a special sprit to the games at the Holiday Tournament.

Mather (10-2) won the Luther North tournament despite squandering a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter with a 60-59 win over King (9-4) Thursday.

The Jaguars rallied to take a 59-58 lead on two free throws by Justin Reynolds to give King a lead heading into the final moments of the game. Reynolds goals capped an incredible comeback as King outscored Mather 26-14 to take its only lead in the championship game on the school’s first visit ever to Luther North.

With 12 seconds remaining Ken Murphy drove to the basket on the next offensive possession and scored on a layup for a 60-59 win.

“I was just focused,” admitted Murphy on his game winning shot. “I knew I could have made (the shot). I just threw (the ball) up at the basket.”

King committed a turnover to end one of the most thrilling championship games ever at Luther North.

“Our guys kept their composure and kept attacking the basket,” said Mather head coach Glen Heffernan. Heffernan will try to guide to school to its first Red North title.

Murphy led Mather and all players on the court with 22 points while Reynolds came off the bench to lead King with 21 points.

The Rangers have now won back-to-back titles at Luther North.

“King is a good team,” Heffernan said. “I know they are probably going to win 20 games. My hat goes off to them it’s unfortunate somebody had to lose tonight.”

King advanced to the finals by winning two straight contests by one point over Lane and Taft. The Jaguars are now a college prep school under new coach Culumber Ball. Ball played his prep basketball in the Public League at Hirsch.

Taft (7-6) took third place at Luther North with a 56-43 win over Jones as guard Jon Doss scored 17 points.

Gordon (5-6) recovered from an opening round loss to Taft by capturing the consolation championship with a 54-32 win over Guerin (3-10).

Dave Andrews led the Rams with 21 points while Brandon Johnson added 11 points.

One question from basketball fans in this area of the city. No North side squad has won the Public League championship since Roosevelt in 1952. No team from this area has advanced to the title game since Lake View in 1954. When will the championship drought be broken?

Gordon loses opening game at Luther North

One of Gordon’s goals was to win the Luther North tournament this season. The Rams (2-6) must now focus on trying to win the Consolation championship after losing 62-46 to Taft in the opening round on Monday.

“I challenged the kids after the game to get three (more) wins,” Gordon head coach Shay Boyle said. “I want three wins the rest of the tournament. A win is a win. I told them today was our championship game. I thought if we could get today’s win, we would have a chance to make some noise in the tournament. I liked the bracket. I liked the matchups.”

While Boyle was disappointed, Taft head coach and former player Brett Nishibayashi was overjoyed with the results on opening day. “It was a goal we set (to win Luther North),” admitted Nishibayashi who played football, basketball, and baseball for the Eagles.

“We want to win this tournament. Not only do we have the talent to win it, we have the desire to win it. They showed that effort and desire,” Nishibayashi said.

One reason why Taft may win the Luther North tournament for the first time since 1992 is senior Jon Doss. Gordon couldn’t overcome a 26-point performance by senior Jon Doss. Doss was the difference as he scored 10 points in the opening quarter as Taft (5-5) built a 17-12 lead.

Doss took his game to another level in the third quarter by adding 14 points including four three-point baskets as Taft outscored Gordon 26-10 to build a a commanding 25-point lead.

“Doss was unbelieveable,” said Boyle who played his prep basketball in the Catholic League at Weber. “I scouted him. I knew he had a good game in him. He has that old man’s playground game. When he gets going, he’s as good as any guard I’ve seen all year. He’s going to be a huge factor for them.”

“He’s a real good offensive player with a great shot,” added Nishibayashi. “He’s lacking on the defensive end. If he can be more of a complete player the sky is the limit for that kid.”

An area of concern for Boyle has been rebounding. The Rams were beaten on the glass at Luther North 50-22. Gordon had only seven rebounds in the first half as point guard Brandon Johnson picked up three fouls. Gordon made 14-of-39 shots while Taft took advantage of their height and made 23-of-47 attempts.

“Rebounding has been plaguing us all year that’s the number one issue in our program,” said Boyle. One player who has shown an ability to rebound the basketball is Tramel Westbrook. Westbrook came off the bench and grabbed two rebounds in the second quarter.

Boyle admitted after the loss that Westbrook might receive more playing time. Another factor in the contest was Taft center Kevin Siudut. Siudut added 13 points and 17 rebounds. Dave Andrews led Gordon with 18 points. The Rams rallied in the final quarter and closed the margin to 58-41, but couldn’t get any closer than the final score.

To say Boyle was disappointed would be an understatement. “The third quarter was where it all fell apart,” said Boyle. “It was an awful way to come out of the locker room. We just came off a win (against I-C). We had a good practice, I felt we were going to bring great energy. Taft brought a lot more energy than we did. They did a great job.”

Lane Tech (5-5) won in the opening round at Luther North topping Holy Trinity High School 50-42.

Friars roast Rams 69-41

Fenwick’s full court press lead to an uncharacteristically high number of Ram (1-4, 0-3) turnovers putting Gordon behind in the first quarter. The Friars (5-2, 2-1) expanded their lead to win 69-41.

“We had eight early turnovers, completely unforced, just dribbling too much.,” said Gordon Tech head coach Shay Boyle. “We were trying to get the offence going we worked on all week. We had a great week of practice. We put a few new things in. Old habits came back. We started dribbling the ball way too much and we didn’t take care of it. Our goal was to be twelve turnovers or less tonight and we hit our goal in the first quarter.”

Despite the string of early turnovers, the Rams settled down in the second quarter and battled back cutting the Fenwick lead to seven at one point with three pointers by sophomore guard Devanchey Bell and Senior Guard Brandon Johnson. Scrappy inside play from the smaller Gordon Tech front line and Fenwick’s poor inside shooting kept Gordon in the game.

“Our big kids just did not get in a good rhythm. They can all score. [They missed] point blank shots. It’s just getting into a good rhythm and developing some confidence around the basket. You miss one, you miss two, you start thinking about it,” said Fenwick varsity coach John Quinn, brother of Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn.

“It was not out of reach at half. We were down by 13. In the first 41 seconds of the second half the game was over,” said Boyle. Fenwick came out of the locker room at half time and put seven unanswered points on the Rams driving the Fenwick lead up to 20. They never looked back.

GT battled in the 3rd and 4th quarters but could not overcome the big lead put up by Fenwick’s hot shooters. The Friars had six three-pointers in the second half including three by senior guard Joe Fahey.

“We didn’t have an answer for their physicality, their toughness,” continued Boyle. “They out muscled us. It’s not even size with us. I can probably count 25 times with two guys hands’ on the ball. They probably won 23 of those times.”

Sophomore guard Devanchey Bell led Gordon scorers with 15 points. Gordon senior guard Brandon Jackson had twelve points.

Next up for Gordon Tech is Montini Catholic on Saturday, December 18th at Benedictine University.