Devils finding Silver on basketball court
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:12PM
Hinsdale Central is known for football, tennis, swimming and gymnastics.
Basketball? Not so much — until now.
Third-year coach Nick Latorre has the Red Devils in the West Suburban Silver lead with a 9-1 record (16-5 overall) entering this week. Their only Silver loss was to Oak Park-River Forest by two points.
Latorre is not surprised, even though last year’s leading scorers Brad Anlauf and Tom Garvin now are in college.
“We anticipated from the start that we’d have a pretty good season, and we have,” Latorre said. “The guys practice hard and play hard.”
The Devils are relatively young with seniors Brian Owens and Regis Pappas; 6-foot-7 junior Ian Bunting; junior Chase Hamilton, who plays three sports with equal abandon; rugged sophomore Matt Rafferty; plus off-the-bench seniors Jared Eck, Alex Hutcherson, Joe Monat and Evan Blust.
Central’s fans are catching on to the success. They packed the house Saturday in a 56-43 rout of rival Lyons behind the 26 points and 10 rebounds from Rafferty.
Class 4A regionals are two weeks after Friday’s final regularly scheduled home contest with Glenbard West, followed by a Feb. 20 crossover contest with a WSC Gold opponent, which figures to be perennial power Proviso East.
Latorre coached 10 years at now-defunct Driscoll and two at Oswego before landing Central’s position.
ON THE MEND
Bunting, who is recovered from a sore foot in football, has a handful of tight end scholarship offers, including Northwestern, Iowa and Mississippi.
“I’m excited,” Bunting told Chicago Sun-Times after visiting Iowa. “Their position coach showed us film on their tight ends. I was impressed.”
More than 1,000 spectators crowded into Central’s gym last month to watch Purdue beat Wisconsin 22-15 in a unique Big Ten wrestling match.
It was the idea of Hinsdale coach Jason Hayes, who wrestled at Purdue.
“I marketed it hard with emails, posters, mailings and phone calls,” an exhausted Hayes said. “It was worth it. It gave the community and school a wonderful opportunity to see what a great sport wrestling really is.”
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany agreed, saying he’ll take future Big Ten matches in high schools under consideration.
PICK AND CHOOSE
Three football Red Devils of coach Rich Tarka made college commitments during last week’s official signing date, including top rusher and wrestler Jack Adams who, at 5-10, 185 pounds, chose Dayton. A co-captain in football and an honor-roll student, Adams plans to study law or criminal justice.
Linebacker Andrew Pyle, who also wrestles, will play for Pennsylvania at 6-2, 210. He’ll concentrate on business after making the honor roll all four years at Central.
Lineman Nick Piker, who goes 6-8, 280 pounds, committed to Holy Cross. ~.