Buffalo Grove's Topalis will take her speedy skills to Winona State
Georgette Topalis might be even quicker this season than she was a year ago when she made two big dashes down court and scored baskets that iced wins over Hersey's state-ranked girls basketball team.
That's because a weight has been lifted from the shoulders of the Buffalo Grove senior.
"I feel so less stressed," said Topalis after making her commitment to Winona State University to play soccer. "Now I can just focus on basketball and see how well we can do this season."
Not too many players did as well as Topalis and her teams a year ago.
She was the Mid-Suburban League East player of the Year while helping Pat Dudle's soccer team win the division title.
Months before that, she played a key factor helping Steve Kolodziej's girls basketball team win the MSL East.
After completing her two seasons with each team this school year, Topalis will switch from the orange and blue Bison jerseys to the Warriors' purple and white at Winona State.
She plans to study athletic training, a field in which she has always had an interest.
"Winona State was definitely a real good fit," said the two-sport all-area athlete. "The coaches loved me and were always so consistent in letting me know how much they wanted me to be a part of their program. They would drive four hours just to watch my club games."
Topalis has been playing soccer since kindergarten.
"I grew up loving it," said Georgette, whose father Panos played soccer at Hersey, where he wore the same No. 13 that his daughter wears today in both sports.
But despite all the time she put into soccer, Georgette couldn't give up basketball.
"I love the game," said Topalis who scored a career-high 19 points against Rolling Meadows last season. "I debated sophomore year not playing it because of my time commitment to soccer. But I loved it so much I couldn't, and look what happened my junior year."
One of the most influential coaches in Illinois high school girls basketball history will be remembered on Friday in the Maine West Spectator Gymnasium.
A memorial marker and legacy wall for Hall of Fame coach Derril Kipp, who passed away on July 5 from pancreatic cancer, will be dedicated.
Kipp led Maine West's girls basketball program for the past 35 years and logged 788 wins with the Warriors, third-most by any coach at one school. His 1987-88 team won the Class AA state championship, posting one of the few undefeated seasons (35-0) in state girls basketball history.
The dedication night of the memorial marker and legacy wall will take place at 7 p.m. and at halftime of a Central Suburban North girls basketball against Deerfield (tip-off at 7:30 p.m.).
The night will also serve as a fundraiser for a scholarship fund in honor of Kipp.
Kipp's wife, Marianne, and family will be on hand to thank everyone for their contributions.
"Without everyone's beautiful letters, e-mails, Facebook postings and generous gifts, this memorial marker could never have happened," said Kipp's wife Marianne. "Without Dr Audrey Haugan, the possibility of Derril's remembrance in this way would never have been a dream or possibility."
There will be a few speeches and videos playing outside the concession stand (including an interview with Kipp after a state tournament game and a pregame pep talk to his players).
The memorial marker which will be located on the grassy area out side of the school's main gymnasium, will be engraved with a list of the many accomplishments held by Kipp's teams.
Saint Xavier junior center Brittany Collins (Maine West) posted 14 points and 11 rebounds in a 111-52 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference win at Robert Morris in Arlington Heights.
In an 85-63 win over Indiana University-South Bend, Collins had a career-best 6 blocked shots.
In that same game Cougars freshman guard Maddie Welter (Buffalo Grove) had a career-best 19 points in the game.
Welter is averaging 15.4 ppg while Collins is at 13.3. for the Cougars who are 6-0 and 3-0 in CCAC.
• Olivet-Nazarene freshman Sammy Stejskal (Buffalo Grove) came off the bench and finished with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting in a thrilling105-104 overtime win over Trinity Christian.
Stejskal, the Tigers' No. 3 scorer averaging 12.2 ppg, was 2-for-6 from the 3-point line and 4-for-4 from the foul line. She added 2 rebounds and 3 steals in the CCAC contest.
• Carthage junior Morgan Harris scored 12 points with 3 assists in an 87-50 victory over Coe College as the Lady Reds improved to 3-1.
Carthage regained a 30-point cushion for good when freshman Maggie Berigan (Hersey) scored a layup midway through the third quarter.
Wisconsin-Platteville sophomore defensive back Josh Mackie (Palatine) had a 59-yard interception return which set the Pioneers' first touchdown in a tough 32-31 loss to St. John's.
It was a wild back-and-forth NCAA Division III first-round playoff contest.
On the last play, both teams thought they had won the game.
On fourth-down from the one-yard line with three seconds remaining, St. John's Dusty Krueger tried ramming into the end zone from the right side, bounced back and dove again.
After six seconds and the Pioneers thinking they had a victory, the referees signaled for the touchdown. The score gave the host Johnnies the 32-31 victory.
Carthage senior guard Kevin Kozil (Hersey) led the Red Men (2-1) with 15 points in an 81-75 loss to Wisconsin-River Falls (3-1), which battled back from multiple double-digit second half deficits.
Kozil also scored 13 points with a game-high 7 assists in an 80-66 victory over Robert Morris-Peoria in Kenosha.
Notre Dame senior Bobby Nardella of Rosemont tied a career high of 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the Irish 4-1 victory over UMass Lowell in South Bend.
Elmhurst junior Jared Braun (Barrington) took home third-place at 133 pounds with a 4-1 record at the Concordia Open in which team scores were not kept.
Braun downed Jordan Carson 10-4 to open the tournament before defeating Lakeland's James Spencer 12-4. Braun suffered an 8-6 loss to Wabash's Owen Doster in the semifinals, but rebounded to defeat North Central's Marc Fleenor with a pin in just 36 seconds in the consolation semifinals. Braun took home third place with a 13-4 major decision.
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