The Brother Rice Crusaders take down the Leo Lions to earn the Chicago Catholic League South Championship.
Brother Rice senior Mike Shepski was just a tyke the last time the Crusaders won a Catholic League title.
He’s seen film, though, of that 2004-05 team.
“Oh, yeah,” Shepski said. “They were really good. We try to emulate them, move the ball like they did.
“They were really good at sharing the ball, setting screens. That’s what Rice is all about.”
Shepski moved the ball well, but the Bemidji State signee shot it even better Friday in the Crusaders’ 55-45 Catholic League South victory over visiting Leo.
From one high school president to another, plans were formulated months ago to tweak a basketball schedule. Ironically, the change will complement a celebratory week and month in a most fitting and Christian way.
Kevin Burns, Br. Rice High School president, dialed up his Leo counterpart, Dan McGrath, to suggest the Lions host their own scheduled home game at the more spacious and accessible Crusader gym on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.
Celebrating its 24th Alumni Night, Br. Rice will don its away uniforms in one of many symbolic gestures capped off by an over-21 reception immediately following the game in the Br. Rice Carmody Center, where complimentary pizza and beverages will be served, thanks to support from both school’s alumni groups.
Source: Beverly Review
The bank was open for Brother Rice yet again on Friday night.
A few days removed from getting a critical 3-point basket on a banked shot in a win over Marist, the Crusaders did it again en route to a hard-fought 64-61 overtime victory over host Bishop McNamara Friday in the Catholic League South.
After a lengthy possession in overtime, Brother Rice was frustrated into a shot from Josh Niego from well behind the arc. Initially looking off the mark, Niego’s shot hit directly in the center square and banked in for a pivotal basket that sent the Crusaders to the win.
It was almost an exact replica of a shot hit by Brother Rice’s Mike Shepski in the Marist victory.
Brother Rice guard Mike Shepski didn’t call glass.
It didn’t matter.
The 6-foot senior’s 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter Tuesday found the bottom of the net and tied the game against rival Marist 60-60.
The Crusaders had life. Four minutes later, they had the win. In front of a capacity crowd, Shepski and fellow senior Josh Niego combined for 10 of Brother Rice’s 13 points in overtime for a 73-65 victory.
It’s gotta be the shoes.
Brother Rice senior Mike Shepski had been struggling with his shot before his father made a suggestion during York’s Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.
“I’m not superstitious,” Shepski said. “But I was willing to try something. Once I got the new shoes, the ball started to go in.”
Hello Under Armour.
Fast forward to Tuesday night against host St. Rita. Shepski, a 6-foot guard, buried four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 23 points as the Crusaders recorded a 61-55 Catholic League South win.
Brother Rice senior Josh Niego has received considerable interest from Division III and NAIA college programs.
St. Ambrose, Illinois Wesleyan, St. Francis and Loras are among those pursuing him.
St. Xavier recently offered a scholarship.
The 6-foot-4 guard/forward is appreciative of the interest and isn’t taking any offers for granted.
However, there’s a reason beyond believing he can play at a higher level in college why Niego remains uncommitted.
“I believe I owe it to my parents to get a full ride somewhere,” Niego said. “They’ve sacrificed so much for me and the rest of my family. I’m going to go out and play my hardest and see what happens. Everything happens for a reason.”
Brother Rice forward Josh Niego had a message for his teammates coming out of a fourth-quarter timeout.
“Get me the ball.”
With Brother Rice clinging to a four-point lead over Sandburg with 24.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Niego knew the Eagles had to foul and he wanted to be the one at the free-throw line.
Pressure? What pressure?
An 80-percent free-throw shooter, Niego knocked down both attempts to extend the Crusaders’ lead to six points.
The 6-foot-4 senior drained two more free throws with 9.8 seconds remaining to seal Brother Rice’s 37-32 win Tuesday in the second round of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.
The Crusaders (11-2) play at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday against Conant.