Red Wolves basketball teams playing hot entering playoffs – local scores

Senior Caleb Newman lines up a free throw against TF North on February 3. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Scores from TFS, TFN, Marian Catholic, Illiana, and South Suburban College

By Mike Clark

TF South
LANSING, Ill. (February 13, 2023) – Caleb Newman won’t forget his last home game in a TF South uniform.

The senior guard capped a big week with a shooting performance to remember in the Red Wolves’ 75-60 victory against Eisenhower on Friday.

Newman hit seven 3-pointers in 16 attempts and finished with a game-high 27 points, four assists, three rebounds, five deflections, and five steals.

Five of those 3-pointers came in the third quarter, when South (16-13, 9-4 South Suburban Blue) pulled away from a four-point halftime lead.

Has Newman ever had a quarter like that before? “Maybe AAU, but not in high school no.

“At that point, it was a close game,” he said. “So I was just trying to win the game. My last game here, I love it here, so I was trying to go out with a bang. Once I hit one or two, my teammates knew how to find me. I was hot and they kept getting the ball to me.”

He wasn’t the only senior to have a big finish at home. Romello Ali got the home crowd going with a pair of thunderous dunks and finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, six deflections, and three steals. Marqell Wilson, yet another senior, added eight points, four rebounds, three assists, six deflections, and three steals.

Ali, like Newman, was caught up in the emotion of the evening.

“It was good playing with my brothers,” he said. “I’ve been playing with these boys since I can remember. …Marqell I’ve been playing basketball with since fourth grade. I’ve been playing with Caleb since I came to high school.”

With the Red Wolves building a big lead after halftime, coach Todd Gillespie was able to clear his bench and give meaningful playing time to all the team’s seniors.

“A good feeling to see those guys get in,” he said. “Last home game, and for some of these guys maybe the last time they get out there.”

It also was a good feeling for Gillespie to see Newman’s shooting exhibition. The Red Wolves have one more regular-season game at Lake Forest Academy before opening the IHSA Class 4A postseason on February 22 against host Bloom in a regional semifinal.

“It’s the right time to be getting it back right as we’re heading into the playoffs,” Gillespie said, “We’re gonna need him to make that shot consistently.”

Next season, Newman will take his shooting skills to NCAA Division III North Park in Chicago after announcing his commitment last Monday.

“It felt like a family right when I got on campus,” he said. “The team accepted me; the coaching staff, they accepted me. I felt like I was part of the family already and I haven’t even started school yet.”

The North Park Vikings are 18-5 under first-year coach Sean Smith.

“With the new staff they’ve got, I think their program is headed in the right direction,” Newman said. “I think they’re going to be on top for a while. I want to be a part of something special.”

The win over Eisenhower capped a 3-0 week for South, which also beat Oak Forest 72-53 on Tuesday and Lincoln-Way West 60-59 on Wednesday.

Four Red Wolves scored in double figures against Oak Forest: Ali with 21 points, Wilson with 16, Sam Townsend with 11, and Newman with 10. Ali had 25 points vs. Lincoln-Way West, Townsend added 16, and Wilson scored nine.

Girls basketball

Until last season, the Red Wolves hadn’t won a conference title since 1979. Now they’ve won two in a row.

TF South beat Oak Forest 68-64 on the road last Tuesday to finish 12-1 in the South Suburban Blue and move to 27-4 overall with their 12th straight victory.

Tariya Wright led the Red Wolves with 19 points and six steals. Also contributing were Katlynn Williams-Clark (16 points, 7 rebounds), Gigi Dillon (11 points), Rayvan Rush (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Ahliyah Stepheny (10 points).

South is seeded seventh in the Class 4A Romeoville Sectional and opens the playoffs on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. regional semifinal against ninth-seeded Sandburg at Homewood-Flossmoor.

The winner plays in Thursday’s regional final against second-seeded H-F or 15th seed Rich Township.

Boys wrestling

Senior 285-pounder Cortez Jones qualified for next weekend’s IHSA Class 3A state tournament in Champaign by finishing third at the Normal Sectional on Saturday.

Jones (11-2) beat Andrew’s Mike McDonough 4-2 in the third-place match.

Girls wrestling

Sophomore 120-pounder Quincy Onyiaorah advanced to the IHSA state finals February 24-25 in Bloomington by taking third at the Evanston Sectional on Saturday.

Onyiaorah (20-3) pinned Lane’s Nyah Lovis in 4:32 in the third-place bout.

Girls bowling

Abby Kleidon completed her season by finishing 37th at the Oswego East Sectional on Saturday. The senior had a six-game pinfall of 1,035 (172.5 average).

Dance team

The Red Wolves Dance team ended its season by taking second place over the weekend at the Illinois Drill Team Association competition in the AAA HIP HOP Division.

TF North

TF North

Boys basketball

The Meteors had a big win to wrap up their conference schedule, beating South Suburban Blue champ Hillcrest 84-64 on Thursday.

Jevon Warren and Chase Abraham each scored 23 points for North, while Jayden Small had 20 points and seven assists.

The Meteors, who also beat Eisenhower 63-52 on Tuesday, are 19-5 overall and tied Lemont for second in the conference at 11-2. Hillcrest is 25-3, 12-1.

Marian Catholic

Marian Catholic

Boys basketball

The Spartans beat Notre Dame 40-30 on Friday in Niles as Tre Davis and Jonah Weathers each scored 15 points.

Marian (22-7, 10-5 East Suburban Catholic) made 12 of 14 free throws to seal the win.

Girls basketball

Junior Madison Davis scored 15 points and reached 1,000 points for her career as the Spartans beat Kankakee 40-37 on Tuesday to improve to 24-7.

Marian is top-seeded in the Class 3A Hillcrest Sectional and plays host Thornton in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Boys wrestling

Sophomore Joey Baranski qualified for the IHSA Class 2A state tournament by finishing fourth at 138 pounds at the Hinsdale South Sectional. He’s 30-11 this season.

Illiana Christian

Boys basketball

The Vikings pushed their winning streak to 15 games with wins over Wheeler (64-26) on Tuesday and Calumet Christian (62-35) on Friday.

Illiana is 16-2 overall, 6-0 in the Greater South Shore Conference, and hosts Lake Station (17-1, 7-0) on Friday with the league title on the line.

South Suburban College

South Suburban College

Men’s basketball

The NJCAA Division II No. 8 Bulldogs (23-4) picked up a couple wins, beating Bosco Institute (Indiana) 93-59 on Tuesday and Madison (Wisconsin) 83-62 on Saturday.

SSC’s leading scorer, Nakyel Shelton, missed his second straight game because of injury against Bosco. But the Bulldogs still had five scorers in double figures: Jalen Houston (21 points), Damontae Taylor (15 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists), Julius Byrd (13 points, 4 steals), Rashard Harris (11 points), and LeQuan Washington (10 points, 5 rebounds).

Shelton returned against Madison and finished with a game-high 20 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Also hitting double figures were Houston (16 points, 5 assists, 3 steals), Byrd (11 points), Chris Smith (10 points) and Delaware Hale (10 points, 4 assists).