Cracking the beginning lineup as a sophomore guard isn’t any huge deal for Tinley Park’s Nolan Maciejewski. He has been there, completed that at an earlier age.
As a freshman final spring, Maciejewski made the beginning lineup for the varsity baseball workforce and infrequently batted within the leadoff spot.
He additionally discovered some issues that he carried into the basketball season.
“You simply must sluggish the sport down,” Maciejewski mentioned. “Play at your individual tempo. In basketball, I simply need to distribute the ball, play with my workforce and are available into the sport with a recreation plan.”
Maciejewski has not let himself get overwhelmed on the basketball courtroom. And the tempo he’s enjoying at now for the Titans is a quick one.
He scored 13 factors Monday night time to steer host Tinley Park to a 58-52 nonconference victory over Lincoln-Manner West.
Indion Aurel added 12 factors for the Titans (5-5), whereas Cameren Ellis had 11 and Amarion Johnson and Bernard McHerron completed with eight apiece. Johnson additionally had seven rebounds.
Jacob Bereza poured in 25 factors for Lincoln-Manner West (5-6). Tyler Gabriel scored 10 factors and Eli Bach contributed seven factors and 7 rebounds.
Maciejewski performs fearlessly, in response to Tinley Park coach D.J. Brown. He’s one of many major ballhandlers for a workforce that desires its offense to be up-tempo.
“The child’s bought a bunch of moxie,” Brown mentioned of Maciejewski. “He’s robust. He’s a stud baseball participant, however he’s a competitor in something he does. The child can play basketball, and we’re pleased to have him as our chief.”
Maciejewski has performed basketball so long as he can keep in mind. The game supplies him an outlet to have enjoyable and let free.
“It began with dribbling within the yard with my dad (Mark), and I’ve performed ever since,” Maciejewski mentioned. “I similar to that I may be myself on the courtroom. I wish to go and I wish to play at my very own tempo.”
Maciejewski stepped up six factors within the third quarter, scoring on a pair of drives to the basket late within the quarter to assist the Titans improve their result in 42-34.
“He’s good,” Ellis mentioned of Maciejewski. “He’s passer and chief.”
Ellis rolled his ankle whereas being fouled with lower than two minutes left within the third quarter. He was wincing in ache however stepped as much as hit each free throws.
After leaving the sport and getting remedy from the coaching workers, he returned to attain 4 factors within the fourth quarter. His basket on a drive gave Tinley Park a 49-41 edge with simply over 4 minutes to go.
“My ankle was positively hurting,” Ellis mentioned. “However I simply needed to be right here for my workforce.”
Lincoln-Manner West pulled inside 4 factors late, however Aurel hit three free throws within the closing 25 seconds to seal the win.
The Titans pressured the Warriors into 18 turnovers.
“Give credit score to Tinley Park,” Lincoln-Way West coach Tanner Mitchell mentioned. “They performed arduous. However this was a tricky recreation for us. This was considered one of our worst video games of the season. We’ve been seeing stress all 12 months, so this wasn’t any totally different. We had some very uncharacteristic turnovers.
“(Bereza) was actually good. When he will get to the basket, he’s a very robust guard. He jumps nicely, he finishes on the rim and he’s very easy across the basket. However we wanted that second man to step up.”
The Titans, in the meantime, are again at .500 and on the lookout for extra. They’ll play subsequent on the Massive Dipper Event.
“We’re 10 video games in and again the place we began at 5-5,” Brown mentioned. “We will do a number of issues nicely, however we simply have to determine what are the few issues that we will do rather well.”
Steve Millar is a contract reporter for the Each day Southtown.
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