Friday's matchup a family affair for Strauchs

On Friday in Hoffman Estates, the Strauch vs. Strauch Mid-Suburban West girls basketball match takes place again, just one week after Conant coach Todd Strauch and his Cougars edged Schaumburg coach Jacqie Strauch's Saxons, 42-38.

Todd's twin brother Adam is Jacqie's husband, making the annual game a family affair.

"I love it," said Todd, who is in his fourth season. "She is so competitive and so am I. It's always a good game and that's what is always fun about it.

"We go out afterward," Todd added. "It's not like it messes up our relationship. We talk about the games - what she did well, what we did well. And then someone having a little bragging rights is always nice."

Basketball is really a family affair in Todd's family.

In addition to his twin, Todd also has older brothers Paul and Drew. All four are Conant graduates.

Paul is the head girls basketball coach at Harmony High School in Harmony, Fla. The school is located just outside of Orlando. His assistant is Drew.

In 2014, Paul and Drew coached the Longhorns to their first appearance in a state title game (Class 7A).

"Paul used to coach the boys there and switched to the girls about 12 years ago," Todd said. "So with my three brothers, there is plenty of basketball to talk about in our house."

Todd's sister-in-law Jacqie starred at St. Francis High School in Joliet and Sandburg High School in Orland Park.

"It's super fun for our family," said Jacqui, who is in her sixth season as the Saxons coach.

"It's a great time, I think I'm still winning in the overall series so that helps," she said with a laugh. "My mom is always rooting a little harder for me against Conant. My mother-in-law does not And I understand that. It's just fun for our family and friends. We usually get a few of them to come out to these games."

Both teams are coming off Mid-Suburban West wins on Tuesday. Conant topped Hoffman Estates while Schaumburg downed Palatine.

Family affair II:

When Hersey head girls basketball coach Mary Fendley was the sophomore coach at Hersey some 25 years ago, the varsity team included the mothers of current juniors Mackenzie Ginder (Corrine Vossell) and Lily Haenisch (Julie Gambill).

And Fendley's first high school coaching job out of the University of Illinois was for a Buffalo Grove underlevel softball team. That squad included the mother (Brandy) of current Huskie Sabrina DiVito.

"It's so cool to see," Fendley said. "This generation of athletes had moms who were able to play sports. My generation didn't get that experience. The closest my mom came was being allowed to be the scorekeeper for her high school baseball team.

"So it's really fun to have that perspective on girls and the fact that they are able to follow in their mom's footsteps as excellent athletes."

Steady Sydney:

Senior guard Sydney Jacobs is one of the top defensive players for Buffalo Grove coach Martha Kelly. But on Monday at Batavia High School's MLK Showdown, she showed up big on offense, too.

The three-year varsity player registered her career-high with 17 points to help lead the Bison past Vernon Hills, 63-45. It was Jacobs' first time in double figures.

"I primarily just try to guard the other team's point guard," said Jacobs, who plans to study physical therapy in college. "But I started out with two layups early in the game and that got me more confidence and then it just helped my shooting, too."

"Sydney came out on fire," Kelly said about her 5-foot-5 guard. "She had a fantastic game. I've been very happy with the way she has been playing. Her defense has been great and in this game she was knocking down shots. And part of it was just all her hustle."

The Bison (7-15) were coming off a four-game stretch against four of the top teams in the area (Prospect, Glenbrook North, Hersey and Fremd).

"After our last four games, this (Vernon Hills) was a very good game for us," Kelly said. " Ellie Askew (junior) stepped up for us, too. I was very proud of the way everyone played. Everyone is starting to step up a bit.

"We've had maybe one game where we've had all our players healthy this season. So all the girls have had opportunities to play this season and they're starting to figure things out."

Alumni Night:

Rolling Meadows will conduct its annual 'Program Night' on Friday when it hosts Elk Grove.

The Mustangs will celebrate alumni, current teams and feeder teams.

The first class of "Rolling Meadows Girls Basketball Honored Mustangs" will be introduced. It includes former all-area standouts Alexis Glasgow, Jackie Kemph, and Jenny Vliet, who were all part of coach Ryan Kirkorsky's 2013 and 2014 Class 4A state runner-up teams.

There will be a short recognition after the junior varsity game around 7 p.m.

A banner in the gym will be featured in the gym honoring the "Honored Mustangs" and they will receive a framed jersey.

Bowlero bonding:

Hersey's state-ranked girls basketball team skipped practice last Friday.

Instead, the girls joined the Huskies' bowling team for a little bit of fun at the Bowlero bowling alley in Mount Prospect.

Hersey bowling coach Mark Gunther set up the date and time for his team and Fendley's to bowl.

"It was just a really good perspective on just how hard all our teams at Hersey are working," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "I think it's a mutual appreciation. It's just really good on so many levels from team camaraderie to appreciating each other's abilities and the commitment our bowlers make. I think it just went a long way to creating a great vibe and good feel going into our next game (a 65-36 win over Batavia). It was a little fun the day before our game, which I think was a good thing for us."

Fendley gave Gunther credit for making the outing a success.

"Mark presented it in a way that both teams were able to appreciate what each other does," she said. "He did a great job demonstrating that. All these kids are working so hard and doing things that are unique and we feel like the back of our shirts say 'I get to' and that's how we feel. We get to do a lot of stuff and last Friday we got to bowl. We are appreciative of that. Mark helped us through it and it was super fun."

  Buffalo Grove's Sydney Jacobs, left, keeps the ball away from Hersey's Katy Eidle as she brings it up court in a girls basketball game in Arlington Heights last spring. John Starks/
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