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Proviso West Holiday Tournament a “Huge Success”

January 15, 2015 03:20 PM
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Many media outlets called the Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament the most competitive in the state of Illinois.
 
The 54th edition of the tournament, held December 20 through 27 at Proviso West High School, lived up to the billing.
 
This year’s tourney was pared down from the previous two years, running four full days instead of eight, and with 18 teams, including host Proviso West and Proviso East, competing instead of 32 teams. The 18 teams provided an exciting tournament for the more than 13,000 fans who attended as they saw top-ranked Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire) repeat as tournament champions when they defeated St. Joseph High (Westchester), 69-60, in the title game.
 
"The 54th annual holiday tournament was a huge success," said Mr. Calvin Davis, the tournament’s director and assistant principal for athletics and activities. "The teams were highly competitive and all games were very exciting."
 
The competitiveness of the tournament was seen in its conclusion, Mr. Davis said, as the top three finishers (Stevenson, St. Joseph, and St. Rita High School (Chicago) were ranked first, second, and third, respectively, in the state media rankings following the tournament.
 
Proviso East’s run included an impressive 77-69 win against fifth-seeded Hinsdale Central on December 22 as the Pirates tied for seventh place in the tournament. Kalin Fisher, a Proviso East senior guard who averaged 25 points per game in the tourney, was named to the all-tournament second team.
 
Proviso West went 2-2 in the tournament, winning their opening round game against Phillips Academy (Chicago), 60-56, on December 20. The Panthers finished strong on the last day of the tournament on December 27, again defeating Phillips, 63-42.
 
The title game on December 27 featured a sold-out crowd to see Stevenson and St. Joseph, the top two teams in the state of Illinois. Mr. Jim Cornelison, a singer who is known for singing the national anthems before Chicago Blackhawks hockey games, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game. At the end of the game, Mr. Brian Cross, vice president of the District 209 Board of Education, presented the second-place medals to St. Joseph players and the most valuable player trophy to Jalen Brunson of Stevenson, the second straight year that Brunson had been named the tournament's MVP. Mrs. Theresa L. Kelly, a District 209 Board of Education member, presented the first-place medals and trophy to the champion Stevenson High Patriots.
 
The tournament also branched out again with Weigel Broadcasting televising the championship and third place games on a tape delay on December 28 on its U Too channel. The broadcast of the two games included a message from Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209; interviews with Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, and Mr. Davis; and a "Learning to Win" feature on Ms. Diana Medina, a Proviso West social studies teacher. The feature on Ms. Medina can be seen here.
 
For photos of the Proviso East basketball team in action, please click here.
 
For photos of the Proviso West basketball team in action, please click here.
 
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