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Richards in need of a closer

01/02/2013, 7:43pm CST
By Pat Disabato pdisabato@southtownstar.com

Richards has had four games come down to the final posession this season and only converted on one of them.

It’s been a trying time for Richards coach John Chappetto.

The Bulldogs have had five games come down to the final possession and lost four of them, which has them sitting at 5-6 overall.

“It’s been tough,” Chappetto said. “We’ve been right there. But I’m pleased with how we’ve played, for the most part.”

It’s mildly surprising the Bulldogs have been as competitive as they have, considering two starters, Raynard Judkins (knee) and Rod Polk (shoulder), have been lost for the season because of injuries.

Their absence has exposed some of the ’Dogs’ shortcomings.

“They’re both very talented ballhandlers and would have helped us handling the ball in late-game situations,” Chappetto said. “Plus, Judkins is by far our best outside shooter and best free-throw shooter. Late in games, when you need someone to handle the ball or take the big shot or step to the free-throw line, Judkins would be that guy. He’s our missing piece.”

The absence of Judkins and Polk has thrust much of the scoring burden on the shoulders of junior Josh Meier, who has responded impressively.

“Josh has been phenomenal,” Chappetto said. “He’s putting up double-double in points and rebounds in most games. He can shoot, he’s a hard worker and just a great kid.”

Chappetto was happy to see sophomore guard Dedrick Shanon Jr. hit the game-winning shot Wednesday against Mt. Vernon in the Centralia Tournament.

Junior Deon Alexander also is playing better.

If Richards is going to reach its goal of winning the South Suburban Red, it’s going to need Shannon and Alexander to continue to elevate their games. At 1-3, the Bulldogs can’t afford too many more slip-ups in conference.

“Our hope is to win the conference,” Chappetto said. “We have to continue to improve as a team. We have to be more consistent.”

Eisenhower’s Tyrone Terrell suspended

Eisenhower guard Tyrone Terrell, one of the area’s leading scorers and a four-year varsity starter, no longer is with the team because of a school-related matter, according to coach Mike Curta.

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