Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eisenhower HS uses late 3 to snap four-game losing streak

One of my favorite lines from a great movie, "Remember the Titans," came when Denzel Washington's character, coach Herman Boone, explained his seemingly simple option offense. "I run six plays, split veer. It's like novocaine. Just give it time, it always works."

I always think of this when one of my favorite teams hits a little rough patch in its schedule, and even though the quote above is about football, it holds doubly true for System teams. If they concentrate on making their Formula numbers, it more often than not leads to victory.

You don't have to tell Mike Curta, the boys' coach at Eisenhower HS in Blue Island, Ill. One of the biggest supporters of this style I know, he understands that The System doesn't necessarily help you win or lose. It's all in how you execute. He stayed positive through a four-game losing streak after opening the season with a victory, and his belief paid off Friday night.

Damien Terrell, younger brother of the Cardinals' leading scorer, Tyrone, made a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to help Eisenhower beat Tinley Park 75-73. It was one of 21 3s for the Cardinals (2-4, 1-2 South Suburban Conference).

"He's all Damien," Curta told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He's his own man. I'm just happy for the kids to get over the hump. We've had games like this all season and had some close losses."

At one point in the third quarter, it appeared Eisenhower's losing streak was going to continue. Tinley Park (3-4, 1-2) led 55-41 with about 3 minutes left in the period before the Cardinals used a 26-9 run in about 6 minutes of game time, capped by a 3-pointer from Nick Curta, one of two coach's sons on the roster.

It was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way until Terrell's big shot.

"They were crowding the other side, so I popped out on the right side and Nick Curta got the ball to me," he told the newspaper. "It looked off a bit when I shot it, but I called glass in my head and made the best of it."

Tyrone Terrell had a game-high 21 points on seven 3s and B.J. Bronaugh added 15. Eisenhower is off until next Friday, when it travels to Lemont.

I'm very happy for Coach Curta and the whole team, and hopefully, this will be a catalyst to get the season back on track.

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