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Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout

Stevenson's Patrick O'Connell, left, fires a pass to Tom Imus at the USF shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Stevenson's Patrick O'Connell, left, fires a pass to Tom Imus at the USF shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

The first tipoff was at 8 a.m., and 13 hours later a champion was crowned.
And in the middle was nonstop basketball featuring several TribLocal-area sophomore boys basketball teams with players trying to hone their skills for next November.
The University of St. Francis hosted a 16-team shootout for high school sophomores. Thornton beat out Neuqua Valley for the title with Stevenson and Providence Catholic making it to the semifinals and Marist claiming fifth.
Other TribLocal-area teams that participated were Aurora West, Hinsdale Central, Joliet West, Hoffman Estates, Marian Central Catholic and Niles West.

Niles West's Nick Kanjou lets a 3-pointer fly against South Elgin in the sophomore shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Teams played five or six games on the day but the format featured 12-minute halves with a running clock. During the regular season, sophomores play seven-minute quarters with a stopped clock during fouls, turnover, free throws and out-of-bounds plays.
USF coaches and players helped run the tournament. The Saints came off a 15-16 campaign in 2011-12 a year after one of its best recent campaigns – 21-10 in 2010-11.
Coach John Baines enters his third year at the helm and nine players are eligible to return including Andrew Lerg, who averaged 10.2 points per game. The Saints are also welcoming St. Xavier University transfer Mark Peters of Aurora, Plainfield’s Edvinas Presniakovas, Joliet’s Brian Edwards and Florida’s Logan Timmons.

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