Boys basketball: Oswego East recovers from 0-7 start
By Rick Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org January 24, 2013 7:06PM
Kendall Dorsey and the Oswego East Wolves have won seven of their last 10 games after an 0-7 start. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:38AM
Be careful what you wish for.
Ron Murphy always wanted to lead his own basketball program, so when Jason Buckley left Oswego East last year to become athletic director at West Aurora, his longtime assistant applied for the job and got it.
Seven games — and seven losses — into his first season, Murphy couldn’t help but call his former boss and give him a verbal poke.
“I told him, ‘Thanks for that schedule, pal,’” a smiling Murphy recalls, noting the 0-7 start included losses to Andrew, Benet, Metea Valley, Naperville North and Oswego.
Those teams entered play this week a combined 67-23.
“You hope playing that kind of competition makes you better at the end of the season, because everybody gets into the playoffs,” said Murphy, whose team has followed that opening stretch by winning seven of its last 10 and has a .500 record in sight.
“And now, we’re winning some of the close ones we were losing before.”
That includes recent wins over Suburban Christian Blue leader Wheaton Academy (13-5) and Minooka (12-7), which stands second in the Southwest Prairie.
“We were up two (vs. Minooka) and he took a charge with seven seconds to go to seal it,” Murphy said of a play by senior Kendall Dorsey. “That’s huge.
“Kendall has been a big piece for us, (leading scorer) CJ (Vaughan) has played really well of late and so has Tyler Ross. He’s a senior who didn’t play a year ago but has been very good defensively and is shooting the ball better.”
The Wolves hope to even the score with Plainfield East Friday as the second round of league play begins. They travel to East Aurora Saturday and open the Ernie Kivisto Shootout tripleheader at 4:30 p.m. against Batavia.
Like the Wolves, the Bulldogs started slow under new coach Jim Nazos but have been playing much better of late. Batavia started 2-5 out of the gate then won six of its next nine to get back to .500.
In the other games, Waubonsie Valley meets Peoria Central at 6:15 p.m., followed by Waukegan and East Aurora at about 7:45 p.m.
Oswego takes heart
Oswego’s Southwest Prairie home game Friday with Plainfield South will also serve as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association, dubbed “Rock the Beat” Red Out.
Red “Rock the Beat” T-shirts will be sold for $10 apiece and red wristbands for $2 each to raise money for the group.
School officials will also honor the memory of Cathy Schnable, mother of varsity boys coach Kevin Schnable and late wife of his dad and assistant, Mike Schnable, in a special ceremony. Cathy Schnable, a longtime supporter of Oswego sports and especially the basketball program, passed away last June from a heart ailment.
Anyone unable to attend but interested in making a donation can do so by following the directions at the following link: http://honor.americanheart.org/goto/oswegohighschool.
Organ Donor Night
Yorkville basketball programs will observe Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Night with Saturday’s boys and girls games against visiting Geneseo. Games start at 1:30 p.m. with the sophomore girls and continue through the day, capped by the girls and boys varsity contests at 4:30 and 6 p.m., respectively.
Representatives from The Gift of Hope organization will be on hand to help educate fans on how to sign up to donate organs or tissue, and a member of late Bears’ great Walter Payton’s family will make a presentation before the last game.
Players will wear retro-themed red-striped tube socks, said boys coach Dan McGuire, and student fans have been encouraged “to wear 70s clothing as a way to remember those that made the choice to donate organs or tissue.”
Lee to Bemidji State Hall of Fame
David Lee, a West Aurora Hall of Famer who played on the 1984 boys basketball team that finished third in the state, will be inducted into the Bemidji State University Hall of Fame on Feb. 1.
Lee, whose parents Ron and Margaret and sister Diana still live in Aurora, is the all-time leading scorer for the NCAA Division II school in Minnesota. Lee played four seasons there and finished with 2,034 points. He ranks No. 1 in school history in career free throws (364) and assists (314) and set its single-season three-point shooting percentage record in 1987-88 by making 54 percent from beyond the arc.
Lee coached one year with former college teammate and current Indiana assistant Tim Buckley at Rockford College before moving to Hayward, Wis., where he’s coached girls basketball for 22 seasons. He and his wife Ronda have three daughters, Morgan, Tatum and Ricki.
His youngest daughter is a senior on his current Hurricanes’ squad and the two older girls are students at Bemidji State. Morgan is a junior captain of the women’s basketball team.
Somonauk’s John Wathen, who leads his team with a 14.2 scoring average, busted out for a career-high 36 points in Wednesday’s 73-70 win over Genoa-Kingston.