Friday, February 28, 2014

Playoff Game Preview: Harper vs. Joliet

Men's Basketball: Tony Amarino 2013-14
Harper takes on Joliet tonight at College of DuPage. (Jim Cummins)
Joliet Stats

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. – The third-seeded Harper College men's basketball team squares off with second-seeded Joliet tonight at 7 PM in a Region IV Semifinal matchup on the campus of the College of DuPage.

The Hawks (17-13) topped Mid-Michigan Community College 82-76 on Wednesday night and meet a Wolves (20-10) squad that reached the semifinals via a bye.

Season Series

The two teams split their regular season meetings. Joliet won 72-56 on their home court on Jan. 8, and the Hawks put on an offensive show in a 100-75 win back on Feb. 1 at the Wellness & Sports Center.

Away from Home

Both teams have struggled mightily away from home this season, as Joliet is 5-10 on the road and Harper is 4-11 on road or neutral courts.

Hawk Notes

The Hawks are playing their best offensive basketball in February, scoring 81.6 PPG in eight games. They are shooting nearly 40 percent (74-of-186, 39.8 percent) from 3-point land this month.

Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator)'s 25-point game against Mid-Michigan was his ninth 20+ point game of the year. Walsh has canned 37 3-pointers in those nine games.

Key Wolves

Joliet features a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging 10 or more points a game, led by Deiondre Cunningham (14.8 PPG). Zoran Aresnovic (12.6 PPG), Leon Gray (11.7 PPG) and Justin Scanlan (10.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG) provide consistent scoring while Todd Brown (8.2 PPG) and Larry Moore (7.2 PPG) are also capable scorers.

Winner to the Championship   

The winner of tonight's game moves on face either top-seeded Rock Valley (25-5) or fifth-seeded DuPage (9-19) in the Region IV Championship at 3 PM Saturday. They play at 5 PM, prior to the Harper-Joliet game.

Wrestling Nationals Preview

SPOKANE, Wash. – After a day of team registration, team workouts and meetings, the Harper College wrestling begins competition Friday morning at the 2014 NJCAA Nationals hosted by North Idaho College at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash.

The Hawks send all 10 of their wrestlers to the mat for nationals via qualification from the Central District Championship 12 days ago, the only team in the region to do so. The Hawks took 10th at last year's national meet in Des Moines, Iowa behind a national championship fromJosh Tardy (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) at 149 pounds.

Here is a look at the 10 Harper wrestlers competing this weekend and how they got here:

Jacob Bellis (/Bloomington)-125 pounds
Bellis holds a 26-5 record on the year and has not lost since Dec. 7, 2013 at the Wisconsin Open. Bellis went 2-0 at the Midwest District, winning the title match 7-5 over Muskegon's Devane Dodgens.
Kerin Ramirez ()-133 pounds
Ramirez went 2-1 at the district meet, including 22-12 and 6-3 wins over his opponents. He lost in the title match but still qualified for nationals automatically.
Blake Tisza (/Thornton Fractional South)-141 pounds
Tisza also won his weight class at the Midwest District, going 2-0. He edged Muskegon's Cody Stenberg in an epic final, 7-6. He has not lost since Jan. 18.
Blake Santi (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park)-149 pounds
The sophomore leader, who was also a Harper College Athlete of the Week, dominated the competition at the district meet en route to an individual title.
"I want to be a national champion this year," Santi said in his athlete of the week interview. "I feel like a role model to help push the other guys."
Greg Jacquez (/West Aurora)-157 pounds
Jacquez came out strong in the district meet with an 8-5 victory to reach the final, where he fell to Lincoln's Luke Dunn. Jacquez's second place finish automatically qualified him for nationals.
Michael Lurz (Barrington, Ill./Barrington)-165 pounds
Lurz finished outside the top-three at the district meet with a fourth place finish, but he received a wild card bid to be the Hawks' final qualifier for nationals.
Tyler Thomas (Crystal Lake, Ill.)-174 pounds
Thomas advanced to nationals via a third place finish at the district championship. He has four consecutive third-place finishes coming into the national meet.
Mike Romanelli (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South)-184 pounds
Romanelli qualified for nationals with a third place finish at the district championship. He started the year wrestling at 197 pounds.
Kyle Bridgeman (/AFC)-197 pounds
Bridgeman took third place at the Midwest District to make it to nationals.
Lavontay Cobb (/King College Prep)-285 pounds
Cobb grabbed third place in the heavyweight division for a spot in the national championship.

Harper Knocks Out Mid-Michigan in Playoff Opener

Men's Basketball: Kevin Walsh 2013-14
Walsh scored a game-high 25 points on Wednesday night. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score

PALATINE, Ill. – Trailing 70-67 with 3:17 to play in the game, the Harper College men's basketball game surged ahead with a 9-0 run and held on for an 82-76 victory over Mid-Michigan Community College in the Region IV Quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

The Lakers' Erick Layton (team-high 24 points) stole the ball from Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) and scored to make it 70-67. The Hawks (17-13) answered with a pair of Walsh free throws to make it 70-69, and on the next possession Walsh found Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) under the basket for a layup to make it 71-70 with 2:32 to play.

After another stop on the defensive end, Walsh split a pair of free throws to push the lead to two. Reibel intercepted Cody Johnson's pass and found a streaking Tyler Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows )for a layup and 74-70 lead. Trevor Gernaat (19 points) missed a 3-pointer on the other end, and Harper's Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) buried a jumper with the shot clock winding down to push the lead to six. The Hawks went 6-of-6 from the foul line in the closing minute to secure the win.

"We all had stretches in this game where one of our guys took over for a few minutes," Reibel said. "Kevin's (Sexton) shot with the shot clock winding down was the biggest one."

Walsh scored 18 of his game-high 25 points after halftime while Gaedele and Reibel scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Harper seized control early with an 18-10 lead on a Walsh 3-pointer with 12:20 left in the first half. The Hawks led 32-24 after a Gaedele three with 7:10 remaining in the half, but Mid-Michigan (15-13) responded with a 10-0 run capped off by a Gernaat basket to take a 34-32 lead with 2:17 remaining in the half. Sexton's 3-pointer ended the run and gave Harper a 35-34 lead at the break.

Mid-Michigan took control in the second half and grabbed their biggest lead of the game at 50-41 with 14:23 remaining.

"We got lazy on defense late in the first half," Walsh said. "Once they got the lead in the second half, we put the clamps down on the defensive end, and that turned the momentum a lot."

The Hawks move on to face Joliet in the Region IV Semifinals at 7 PM Friday night on the campus of College of DuPage. The winner moves on to the Region IV Championship on Saturday at 3 PM.

Harper's Season Ends at Madison

Women's Basketball: Rachel Payne 2013-14
Harper's season ended Tuesday night at Madison. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score

MADISON, Wis. – The Harper College women's basketball season came to a close on Tuesday night at Madison as the Hawks lost 75-40.

Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy) scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in her final game as a Hawk. Fellow sophomore Rachel Payne (Wheeling, Ill./Schaumburg Christian Academy) scored 12 points, and sophomore Ashley Packard (Wheeling, Ill./Buffalo Grove ) scored three points.

The Hawks (3-24) trailed 41-22 at halftime. Chelsey Schulenberg led the way for the WolfPack (20-9), scoring 19 points.

Playoff Game Preview: Harper vs. Mid-Michigan

Men's Basketball: Tony Amarino 2013-14
Harper faces off against Mid-Michigan Community College tonight at 7 PM. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – The third-seeded Harper College men's basketball team plays host to the Mid-Michigan Community College Lakers for a Region IV Quarterfinal matchup tonight at 7 PM. Mid-Michigan defeated Madison last night 75-67 to advance in Region IV postseason play.

The Hawks (16-13) are coming off an 84-79 win over Madison five days ago to close the regular season.  The Lakers (15-12) are riding an incredible 10-game winning streak after starting the year 5-12.

Who Are the Lakers?

Mid-Michigan Community College is located in Harrison, Mich., 115 miles north of Grand Rapids, Mich. The Lakers are an NJCAA Div. III program from Region XII and are coached by Kaleb House, who is in his second year coaching the team.

As a team, the Lakes score 77.3 PPG while surrendering 79.7 PPG. Mid-Michigan and Harper have no common opponents.

Two freshman – Erick Layton (20.4 PPG) and Trevor Gernaat (16.4 PPG) – lead the Lakers in scoring while sophomore Cody Johnson is a secondary scoring option at 10 points a game and the top rebounder at 7.4 RPG.
For more team info, click here.

Key Hawks

Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) (16.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG), Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) (13.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG) and Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) (12.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG) are the Hawks' top scorers while Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) (8.2 PPG) and Tyler Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows ) (8.1 PPG, and big man Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) (6.7 PPG) are formidable scoring options.

Michael Boyd (/Lake Zurich)Stefan Vucicevic (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey)Eric Porter (Arlington Heights, Ill./Lake Zurich) and Kyle White (/De La Salle) are also key players off head coach Tony Amarino's bench.

Social Media

Follow @HarperHawks on Twitter for live in-game updates!

Winner Moves On

The winner of tonight's game will move on to face second-seeded Joliet (20-10) on Friday at 7 PM in a Region IV Semifinal matchup at College of DuPage.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maroon Team Improves to 2-1 with Another Scrappy Victory

Saturday, February 8, 2014 9:30 AM

                                                1                              2                              F
Maroon                                   31                           22                           53        (2-1)
Team Booth/Johnson               21                           25                           46        (1-2)

Another game, another hard-fought victory for the maroon squad against a supposedly superior opponent. We took control from the opening tip with a flurry of offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive, followed by 3-pointers.

Taking a 10-point lead into the second half, we came out extremely flat to start the half. They made some baskets to cut into our lead, but we stuck with it, kept playing hard, and pulled out the win.

We had another great small group time of sharing about our weeks and digging into the "Anti-Fear Prescription" devotion. 

Thoughts from Captain Ben Asper

Although we were outsized and without our starting PG Devaughn, the maroon team pulled out a very gutsy win.  Even though we were giving up a couple inches at every position, we once again proved that hustle and teamwork is more important than size. 

I felt good setting the tone to start the game with two offensive rebounds on our first possession (never mind the fact that they were both on my own misses). For the game we probably had a plus 20 rebounding advantage led by Mr. "I never get tired and it's physically impossible to box me out" Billy Smith. And when Billy wasn't grabbing rebounds, Freckman was using his elbows and 40 inch vertical to grab the loose balls.

Along with the rebounding advantage, the other keys to the victory was great team defense, timely shooting, Joe Martin firing up the squad after getting called for a charge and having the ball almost land on his face, and a five minute stretch in the second half when Thomas Martin turned into Stephen Curry.  It was a great game and an outstanding win.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hinderer Eclipses 1,000-Point Mark Against Madison

Box Score
MADISON, Wis. – Harper sophomore center Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy) eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career on Saturday in an 83-58 loss to Madison.

Women's Basketball: Monica Hinderer 2013-14
Hinderer eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career in the regular season finale. (Jim Cummins)
Needing just four points to achieve the feat, Hinderer reached it on a jumper with 12:16 remaining in the first half. Hinderer scored 31 points and totaled 13 rebounds for her 21st double-double of the year.

Mikayla Nagle (/Rolling Meadows) also had a double-double for the Hawks (3-23, 0-14 N4C) with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rachel Payne (Wheeling, Ill./Schaumburg Christian Academy) scored nine points and dished out five assists.

The WolfPack (19-9, 10-4 N4C) led 39-22 at halftime. Meagan Mazur scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Harper shot just 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the floor and committed 25 turnovers. Madison shot 41.9 percent (31-of-74).

The two teams meet again at 5:30 PM Tuesday night in Madison for a Region IV Quarterfinal matchup.

Hawks Edge WolfPack in Regular Season Finale

Box Score
MADISON, Wis. – The Harper College men's basketball team halted a three-game losing streak with an 84-79 road victory at Madison on Friday night to end the regular season.

The Hawks (16-13, 8-6 N4C) played shorthanded with only seven players suiting up and led 43-38 at halftime. Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) and Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) each scored 18 points in the game. Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) and Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) scored 17 apiece.

Men's Basketball: Stefan Vucicevic 2013-14

Harper ended the regular season with a win over Madison. (Jim Cummins)
The WolfPack (4-24, 1-13 N4C) cut the Harper lead to 76-74 on a Tanner Schieve jumper with 2:38 to play, but the Hawks scored on the next possession as Walsh hit a crucial jumper. Madison trailed by three with 31 seconds to play but could not get any closer.

Brandon Holz scored a game-high 20 points for the WolfPack, whose bench outscored the Hawks' bench 41-10.

The two teams could square off again on Wednesday. Madison hosts a play-in game on Tuesday against Mid Michigan Community College (14-12). The winner travels to Harper to take on the Hawks in a Region IV Quarterfinal matchup Wednesday night at 7 PM.

Several Hawks Deliver PR's at North Central

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Numerous Harper College men's track and field athletes set PR's at the North Central Cardinal Classic over the weekend. Among those, four Hawks ran national-qualifying times in their respective events to join Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) as qualifiers.

National Qualifiers:

-Max Anderson (/Cary Grove) ran a PR 2:03.05 in the 800-meter run
-Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) ran a PR 16:01.43 in the 5000-meter run
-Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) ran a PR 16:17.73 in the 5000-meter run
-Sebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine) ran a PR 16:39.64 in the 5000-meter run

Sprinter Nick Kellerhals (/Hersey) ran a PR 7.97 seconds in the 60-meter dash while fellow sprinter Brennan Bryan (/Wilmington) ran a PR 24.37 seconds in the 200-meter dash. Tom Rohn (/Cary) finished the 400-meter dash in 52.00 seconds for a PR while Stella ran a PR 2:01.82 in the 800-meter run. Rafael Quintana (/Larkin) finished the 800-meter run in a PR 2:21.13.

Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) (4:31.15), Andrew Guibord (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) (4:46.54) and Vince Greco (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) (4:56.86) all achieved their best times in the mile run while Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) set a PR in the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:15.62. Daniel Lim (Schaumburg, Ill./Streamwood) achieved his best 60-meter hurdles time of 9.08 seconds.

Thrower Brad Wells (/Palatine) set a PR in the weight throw with a toss of 11.08m (36 feet, 4.25 inches).

Men's Track and Field: Anderson-Barajas-Modlin-Ramirez North Central Cardinal Classic 2014
Anderson, Barajas, Modlin, and Ramirez all ran national-qualifying times at North Central. (Jim Cummins)
North Central captured the team title for a second straight weekend, scoring 210 points. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater finished second with 148 points while University of Wisconsin-Platteville placed third with 137 points.

The Hawks return to competition on Friday, March 7 at Carthage College.

Three Hawks Set PR's at North Central


NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The Harper College women's track and field team continued improving over the weekend at the North Central Cardinal Classic as four athletes set PR's in their respective events.

Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd) set a PR in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.37 seconds and also in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.02 seconds. Gabrielle Brosnan (Mount Prospect, Ill./Christian Liberty) improved upon her best 400-meter dash time with a new PR of 1:13.19.

Lori Delfin (/Wheeling) shattered her previous best time in the mile run by over 10 seconds with a time of 6:16.79.
Hurwitz, Brosnan and Delfin all set PR's at North Central. (Jim Cummins)
The Hawks return to competition on Friday, March 7 at Carthage College.

Reibel Rising to the Occasion in First Year

PALATINE, lll. – Harper freshman basketball player Brad Reibel played soccer at Div. I University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the fall of 2012. It seemed like a good fit because it was close to home and Reibel's club soccer coach had a strong relationship with the UIC coach. Despite these positives, something was missing.

Athlete of the Week: Bradley Reibel 2014 "I just missed playing basketball," Reibel said. "I never had a time in my life where I didn't play basketball and soccer. Basketball was always a constant."

Reibel withdrew from UIC after the spring semester and enrolled at Harper College to continue his education and basketball career. A steady presence who has started all 28 games for the Hawks and elevated his game in conference play, Reibel now owns the title of 15th Harper College Athlete of the Week for the 2013-14 school year.

Reibel immediately felt at home at Harper playing alongside his former Prospect High School teammates Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) and Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect). He also formed chemistry quickly with local area players who were former opponents such as Tyler Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows ), Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) and Stefan Vucicevic (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey).

"You're at home, your focus is going to work out, going to the gym for practice and lifting weights," Reibel said of the benefits of Harper. "Academically, it's great, and now I have basketball as well."
Athlete of the Week: Bradley Reibel File

The 6-foot-2 guard/forward has been crucial to the Hawks' success this year that included an early season eight-game winning streak and a five-game N4C winning streak. He ranks second on the team in several offensive categories, including points per game(13.7), rebounds per game (4.5), assists per game (3.4) and field goal percentage (52.0).
"He's a really strong competitor and dedicated kid who knows the game very well," said head coach Tony Amarino. "He does a lot of things well, is very intelligent, deceptively quick and a physical player."

Reibel has elevated his play in conference, leading the team in scoring at 15.4 PPG and rebounding at 4.6 RPG.  He says he's improved greatly from his time in high school to the player he is now. In high school, Reibel was more of a mid-range player in high school, but a more consistent long jumper and an occasional 3-pointer has opened up his game. He is 17-of-49 this year from deep (34.7 percent) after only attempting four 3-pointers in two years of varsity basketball.

The business management major wants to continue his basketball career after Harper and has looked into playing at a Div. II or III school. With three years of eligibility left, Reibel will be a very attractive player to many four-year schools.

"He plays hard all the time and gives you everything he has," Amarino said. "He expects a lot from himself and is a solid character kid."

Men's Basketball Adopts Honorary Team Member

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team made their final home regular season game of the 2013-14 season a memorable one, partnering with Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to adopt six-year-old Kadeen Alansari as an honorary team member.
Men's Basketball: Kadeen Alansari Honorary Team Member 2014
Kadeen (center with basketball) and his family with the Harper men's basketball team prior to the game. (Doug Spiwak)
Alansari and his family of Huntley, Ill. met the team prior to the start of the game and received a certificate, making him an honorary member of the Harper men's basketball team. Alansari, who suffers from a health condition known as Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma, began his evening by meeting the team and taking a team photo along with his family.

He was then introduced in the starting lineup as the honorary sixth player for the Hawks prior to tip. The team put him in the center of the huddle prior to the game where Kadeen gave the team a jolt of energy. He cheered on the team from the bench, where he met a new friend, redshirt freshman Jonathan Pratscher.

"Jonathan's 7-foot stature became even taller in my eyes," said Director of Athletics Doug Spiwak. "When I saw the student-athlete reach out to befriend his new teammate, I was reassured that our program attracts individuals with good character."

The Hawks are currently ranked third in the region, which would give them a home game for the quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 26.

"We will be looking for Kadeen to come back to Harper and cheer his team on," Spiwak said.
Kadeen's mother Brenda Alansari, who attended Harper, said that Kadeen had a great time and felt special and "he keeps asking when the next game is."

Friends of Jaclyn is a non-profit organization that states their mission as,"Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors and to raise awareness about this insidious disease." They have been featured twice on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Click here to view those videos.

Alansari's father Muhannad also attended Harper College from 1999 to 2000 and ran cross country and track and field for the Hawks.

"He seems like he really enjoyed it," he said. "He's shy until he opens up, and then you can't really get him to stop talking."

Hinderer Named Player of the Week

PALATINE, Ill. – Fresh off of being named Harper College Athlete of the Week for the third time in her illustrious career, Harper women's basketball standout Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy) was named Region IV Div. III Player of the Week.
Women's Basketball: Monica Hinderer 2013-14
Hinderer was named Region IV Div. III Player of the Week. (Jim Cummins)

The 6-foot center averaged 29.0 PPG and 14.5 RPG in two games last week. She scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds against DuPage Feb. 12. Against Milwaukee on Feb. 15, Hinderer exploded for 34 points and 20 rebounds. For the week, she shot 54.8 percent (23-of-42) from the field.

Hinderer is averaging 21.6 PPG (13th in nation) and 14.4 RPG (fourth in nation) in 24 games this season.

Hawks Finish 14th at Chicagoland Indoor Championships

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Facing a high level of competition at the 18-team Chicagoland Intercollegiate Indoor Championships on Saturday, the Harper men's track and field team took 14th place with a team total of seven points. 
Host North Central College captured the meet championship with 159.5 points, followed by second place Lewis University (99 points) and third place Carthage College (90 points).

The distance medley relay team of John Majerus (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove), Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) and Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) crossed the finish line in 10:50.97 for sixth place and three points. Stella also earned points in the 1000-meter run with a fifth place finish in a time of 2:38.81.

The Hawks return to North Central on Friday for the Cardinal Classic. Competition begins at 5 PM.
Men's Cross Country: Zach Stella 2013
Stella took fifth in the 1000-meter run and was a part of the sixth place distance medley relay team. (Jim Cummins)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Harper Baseball Team Donates Blood

Baseball: Blood Drive 2014
Harper baseball players wait to donate blood at the Harper College Blood Drive. (Cliff Brown)
PALATINE, Ill. – Members of the Harper College baseball team recently participated in the Harper College blood drive hosted by LifeSource on Feb. 5. In total, 22 players and head coach Cliff Brown donated blood.

According to the fact page of, every two seconds, someone needs blood. Each year, 4.5 million Americans would die without the help of lifesaving blood transfusions.

"This was a really great opportunity for us to give back. They told us donating blood could help save three lives," Brown said. "It's great to know we may be impacting 69 lives."

Hinderer Expands Her Game in Second Year

Athlete of the Week: Monica Hinderer
PALATINE, Ill. – Opposing teams specifically game plan to stop Harper women's basketball standout center Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy). A force to be reckoned with in the post, Hinderer sees double and triple teams all game long.

This hasn't stopped her from being a dominant force ranked near the top of the NJCAA in points and rebounds once again. The star center for the Hawks has become a more well-rounded player and taken on a leadership role in her sophomore year, and for these reasons she can lay claim to the 14th Harper College Athlete of the Week award. Hinderer is now a three-time winner of the honor; no other Hawk athlete has won the award more than once.

Hinderer earned Second Team All-Conference honors as a freshman, averaging nearly 20 points per game. Despite opposing teams packing their defenses into the lane to stop Hinderer, she has improved in nearly every statistical category.

Her 21.0 PPG ranks 16th in the nation while her 14.2 rebounds per game is sixth-best in the country. Hinderer has 18 double-doubles in 23 games for the Hawks.

She has also improved her field goal shooting from 44.5 percent last season to 48.9 percent this year and free throwing shooting from 58.4 percent to 60.8 percent. Additionally, Hinderer has added a jump shot to her repertoire to keep defenses honest and has even extended her range beyond the 3-point line. Last year she didn't even attempt a shot from deep, but this year she is 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) from beyond the arc.

Athlete of the Week: Monica Hinderer File
"She is our leading scorer, so we have to find new ways to get her the ball," said Harper head coach Jenny Turpel. "She isn't as one-dimensional anymore."

Hinderer acknowledged her newfound jumper is starting to feel more natural, and she has also been working on her face-up moves in the post.
While the expanded range has allowed Hinderer to take less of a beating down in the post, Turpel is even more impressed with Hinderer's increased leadership role.

"I know she can handle pressure, and I'm telling her to be a leader and hold her teammates accountable," Turpel said. "I think she's stepped up."

Despite the Hawks' struggles this year, Hinderer has seen her team improve from earlier in the year, most notably two weeks ago when the Hawks led Joliet with under eight minutes to play. They ended up losing 69-58, but it was a far cry from a 36-point defeat back in early January against the same team.

Hinderer is on track to graduate in May with an Associate in Arts degree and is planning on majoring in psychology. She has received numerous letters, calls and emails from four-year college basketball programs across the country expressing interest.

Hinderer, who is Harper's second all-time leading scorer dating back to 2000 and needs only 59 points for 1,000 career points, is optimistic about the rest of the year.

"I know there are certain teams we can beat," she said. "I also know we can give other schools a run for their money in the playoffs."

Hawks' Late Rally Comes up Short vs. DuPage

Men's Basketball: Bradley Reibel 2013-14
Reibel scored a game-high 25 points on Wednesday night. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score

PALATINE, Ill. – Trailing by 13 early in the second half, the Harper College men's basketball slowly chipped away at the DuPage lead. The Hawks could not overtake their opponent, as the Chapparals held on for an 83-78 win to hand Harper its first home conference loss of the season.

Leading 46-40 at halftime, DuPage (10-16, 4-6 N4C) stretched the lead to 60-47 in the first two minutes of the second half. Harper (15-11, 7-4 N4C) slowly got back into the game. Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect)'s bucket cut the deficit to 62-55 with 11:10 to play, and Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator)'s 3-pointer made it 62-60. Michael Boyd (/Lake Zurich) went to the line for the Hawks on the next possession and split a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one.

The Chapparals responded with a 9-2 run to regain command with under seven minutes to play. The Hawks would not go quietly as Botefuhr scored with 2:35 remaining to make it 73-69. Bradley Reibel (/Prospect)'s three-point play a minute later cut the lead to one, but DuPage's Kenneth Weaver (team-high 18 points) made an off-balance jumper and was fouled.  Weaver missed the free throw, but Harper committed a costly 5-second violation following a timeout.

Weaver split a pair of free throws to make it 78-74, and Sexton hit two on the other end to cut the margin in half. The Hawks nearly stole the ensuing inbounds pass but were forced to foul. Kendall Bailey knocked down two free throws, but Reibel scored on a layup to again cut the deficit to two.

Bailey split a pair of free throws on the other end to push the lead to 81-78, and Reibel got a clean look to tie it with five seconds remaining. His 3-point attempt clanged off the rim, and Bailey's two free throws with 1.9 seconds to play sealed the win.

Reibel scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting while Walsh added 14 points.

Harper built an early 20-7 lead as Walsh hit three 3-ponters in the first six minutes. However, DuPage shot their way back into the game by hitting 19-of-35 field goal attempts (54.3 percent). The Chapparals made 33-of-63 attempts (52.4 percent) for the game while the Hawks made 27-of-60 attempts (45 percent).

The Hawks play a road N4C contest at Milwaukee Saturday at 3 PM on the campus of Alverno College. Harper won a dramatic 87-84 double overtime contest against Milwaukee on Jan. 23.

Hawks Slip up Against DuPage

Women's Basketball: Packard/Hinderer/Payne Sophomore Night 2014
Packard, Hinderer and Payne were honored on Sophomore Night (Jim Cummins)
Box Score

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's basketball team got off to a blazing start on Wednesday night against DuPage but could not keep the momentum going. The end result was an 88-57 defeat on Sophomore Night.

The Hawks (3-20, 0-11 N4C) opened a 10-3 lead in the first six minutes behind a strong defensive effort and six points from star center Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy). Harper led 16-8 on a Rachel Payne (Wheeling, Ill./Schaumburg Christian Academy) basket, but Hinderer picked up her third foul with 9:45 to play in the half and the Chapparals came to life.

Sarah Lang's basket gave DuPage (15-11, 6-4 N4C) an 18-17 lead, and they continued the run for the remainder of the half. A basket by Brandi McAlister with 3:45 left pushed the lead to double digits and a Donna Koerber (21 points) layup capped off a 30-5 run for a 40-21 halftime lead.

Hinderer and Payne combined for 27 second-half points in their final career home game. Maddie Baillie led the Chapparals with 22 points and seven rebounds while Melissa Niggins scored all 13 of her points in the second half to go with 12 rebounds.

Hinderer scored 24 points on 11-of-22 shooting and totaled nine rebounds while Payne scored 16 points and had five steals. Hinderer, Payne and fellow sophomore Ashley Packard (Wheeling, Ill./Buffalo Grove ) were all honored prior to the start of the game. Packard scored eight points and had five rebounds.

The Hawks play a road N4C contest at Milwaukee Saturday at 1 PM on the campus of Alverno College.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Baseball Inks Six Players to Recruiting Class of 2014

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College baseball program welcomed in their first wave of class of 2014 recruits on Saturday afternoon. Six players signed their NJCAA Letters of Intent to play for Harper College and head coach Cliff Brown next season.

James Walthers (Lockport), Ryan Nudd (St. Edwards), Brandon Kaminski (Joliet Catholic), Jonathan Nugent (Huntley), Nathaniel Paprota (Plainfield Central) and Tucker Robinson (Tuscola) will join a Hawks program that was one game away from the NJCAA World Series in 2013 and shows promise in 2014.

Baseball: Recruit Signing Day 2014
Six recruits signed their NJCAA Letters of Intent on Saturday. (Bill Smith)
"We are excited to welcome in these six guys into the Hawks family," Brown said. "We look forward to seeing these players grow both academically and athletically once they get here."

Walthers is a senior at Lockport whose primary position is pitcher. He is planning on studying to be an athletic trainer. Nudd, a middle infielder, will complete his senior season at St. Edwards in Elgin this spring and is a four-year varsity starter.

Kaminski was a pitcher on the Joliet Catholic team that won the state title in 2013. He also is a three-year letter winner in football and letter winner in basketball. Nugent, a third baseman, has been a key piece to a Huntley program that went 27-8 in spring of 2013 and won their conference. The Red Raiders also made the summer league state finals in 2013.

Paprota is a senior outfielder at Plainfield Central and a National Honor Society member who has earned two letters in baseball. Robinson, a senior at Tuscola High School, primarily plays first base and can also play catcher. He is a two-year letter winner in baseball and letter winner in golf who was named most improved player.

Harper Men Place Sixth at UW-Parkside

SOMERS, Wis. – The Harper College men's track and field team kicked off their season with a sixth place finish out of 10 schools at the fourth annual Parkside Classic hosted by UW-Parkside on Saturday. The Hawks tallied 32 points in the meet and had several athletes turn in strong performances.

St. Norbert captured the team title with 165 points, followed by runner-up UW-Parkside with 125 points and Greater Milwaukee Technical College with 48 points.

Sophomore Max Anderson (/Cary Grove) took fifth place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 52.42 seconds. In the 800-meter run, Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) scored a point for Harper with an eighth place finish in 2:02.31.

In the distance events, the Hawks' Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) ran a 4:31.61 mile to take fifth place. Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) took fourth place in the 3000-meter run in a time of 9:21.31 while teammate Sebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine) also earned points with a time of 9:28.22.

Track and Field: Max Anderson and Juan Barjas UW-Parkside Meet
Anderson and Barajas had strong showings at UW-Parkside. (Jim Cummins)
Daniel Lim (Schaumburg, Ill./Streamwood) clocked a time of 8.87 seconds in the preliminaries of the 55-meter hurdles and 8.99 seconds in the finals to take fourth place.

The 4x400m relay team of Tom Rohn (/Cary), John Majerus (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove), Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and Max Anderson (/Cary Grove) took third place out of eight teams with a time of 3:39.95.

Brad Wells (/Palatine) was the most notable Hawk in the field events, taking 10th in the shot put with a throw of 11.53m (37 feet, 10 inches) and 11th in the weight throw with a toss of 10.11m (33 feet, 2 inches).
The Harper men are back in action on Saturday at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships at North Central College.

Harper Women Open Season at UW-Parkside

SOMERS, Wis. – The Harper College women's track and field team opened their season at the fourth annual Parkside Classic hosted by UW-Parkside on Saturday. The Hawks scored 16 points to finish in eighth place out of eight teams in the meet.

UW-Parkside captured the team title in convincing fashion with 155 points, followed by runner-up Wisconsin Lutheran with 72 points and Cardinal Stritch with 70 points.

Women's Track and Field: Stephanie Hurwitz/Gabrielle Brosnan UW-Parkside Meet 2014
Hurwitz and Brosnan scored points for the Hawks in the first meet of the season. (Jim Cummins)
Harper's Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd) qualified for the 55-meter dash finals with a time of 7.90 seconds and ran the same time in the finals to take seventh place and earn points. Hurwitz finished as the Hawks' top 200-meter dash runner as well with a time of 28.71 seconds (11th place).

The 4x400m relay team of Hurwitz, Taylor LoCoco (/Prairie Ridge), Amanda Hagen (/Hoffman Estates), and Gabrielle Brosnan (Mount Prospect, Ill./Christian Liberty) earned points with a season-opening time of 4:59:13. Brosnan also earned points with a fifth place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:13.63.

Lori Delfin (/Wheeling) took ninth place in the mile run with a time of 6:27.41 in her college track and field debut.

The Harper women are back in action on Friday at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships at North Central College.

Hawks Top Wright 74-62

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team avenged a previous loss to Wilbur Wright College with a 74-62 home victory on Saturday afternoon.

Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) led the Hawks (15-10, 7-3 N4C) with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Luis Gallego scored a team-high 17 points for the Rams (3-19, 1-9 N4C).

Men's Basketball: Kevin Walsh 2013-14
Walsh scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win over Wright. (Jim Cummins)
Strong shooting from Walsh and Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) (13 points) allowed the Hawks to lead throughout much of the first half. The last of Sexton's three first half 3-pointers gave the Hawks a 32-24 edge with 4:35 to play in the half. The Rams cut the lead to two, but Walsh's late baskets gave Harper a 39-34 lead at halftime.

Wright tied the game early in the second half but never led. Harper went on a 20-5 run over the next 10 minutes to open up a 59-44 lead. Wright cut the lead to single digits, but center Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) (12 points) scored two big baskets down the stretch to put the game out of reach. 
Eric Porter (Arlington Heights, Ill./Lake Zurich) provided a big lift off the bench for the Hawks with six points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The Hawks play their final home regular season game of the year against DuPage (9-16, 3-6 N4C) on Wednesday night.

Hawks Narrowly Lose to Wright

Box Score
PALATINE, Ill. – Despite a 19-point, 21-rebound performance from sophomore center Monica Hinderer (Arlington Heights, Ill./The Willows Academy), the Harper College women's basketball team lost 41-38 to Wright on Saturday afternoon inside the Wellness & Sports Center.

Both the Hawks (3-19, 0-10 N4C) and Rams (5-17, 3-7 N4C) struggled from the field in the game. The Hawks shot just 21.4 percent (12-of-56) while the Rams shot 21.7 percent (15-of-69).

Women's Basketball: Monica Hinderer 2013-14
Monica Hinderer's 19-point, 21-rebound performance was not enough to give the Hawks a win against Wright. (Jim Cummins)
Harper held its largest lead of the game at 11-6 with 12:58 to play in the first half on an Ashley Packard (Wheeling, Ill./Buffalo Grove ) (eight points) jumper. The Hawks led throughout much of the first half, but the Rams tied it at 17-17 on a Magdalena Barron basket late in the half. Hawks point guard Rachel Payne (Wheeling, Ill./Schaumburg Christian Academy) scored with just over three seconds to play to give the Hawks a 19-17 lead at the break.

Hinderer and Mikayla Nagle (/Rolling Meadows) were unstoppable on the glass in the first half, racking up 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.

Hinderer's basket to open up the second half gave the Hawks a four-point advantage, but the Rams flipped the script with a 11-3 run over the next 4 ½ minutes to take a 28-24 lead. The Hawks tied it at 32-32 on a Packard 3-pointer with 8:05 to play but never took the lead. Wright pushed the lead to 39-34 on a Bria Redmond (13 points) basket with 5:54 remaining.

Harper closed to within two on a pair of Hinderer free throws with 1:21 left, but the Hawks committed a costly turnover with 19 seconds remaining in the game. After Barron split a pair of free throws to give the Rams a three-point lead, Hinderer was fouled.

She missed the first free throw and the second one deliberately, but Harper retained possession and called timeout to set up a play. Rise' Henderson stole the inbounds pass and dribbled out the clock to preserve the win.

Hinderer's double-double was her 18th in 22 games. Zaporia Smith led Wright with 14 points while center Latrice King scored six points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

The Hawks play their final home regular season game of the year against DuPage (14-11, 5-4 N4C) on Wednesday night. It will be Sophomore Night for Harper as the program will honor the three sophomores on the team.

Men's Track and Field Seeking Return to the Top in 2014

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's track and field team begins their 2014 season on Saturday with an indoor meet at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The Hawks took second place at the 2013 national meet and will look to capture their sixth national title in the past eight seasons under head coach Renee Zellner
A small but talented group of sophomores returns this season. They include Max Anderson (/Cary Grove), Daniel Lim (Schaumburg, Ill./Streamwood), Tom Rohn (/Cary), Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling), Vince Greco (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) and Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood).
The Hawks begin competition on Saturday at UW-Parkside. (Jim Cummins)
The distance and middle distance group for the Hawks figures to be extremely competitive this season, with several members of Harper's 2013 cross country national championship squad represented. The longer distance races will be covered by cross country All-Americans Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) and Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg), Modlin, Sebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine) and Connor Williams (/Wauconda). Middle distance races will be covered by cross country All-Americans Lino and Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) in addition to John Majerus (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove), Junius Matlock, Andrew Guibord (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) and Rafael Quintana (/Larkin).

Modlin, who will compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m races and may even add the 3,000m steeplechase to his repertoire, is eager to start the season.

"There is some unique thrill I get when doing 12 or 20 laps at sunset with hundreds of competitors all residing within a short distance," Modlin said. "On the distance side of the equation, we are absolutely a stronger team than we were last year."

Key pieces to the sprint team will be Anderson and Rohn, who were both successful at nationals last year. Anderson was a member of the title-winning 3200m relay team while he and Rohn were on a third place 400m relay team and sixth place 1600m relay team at 2013 nationals.  New to the sprint team this season will be Tyren Petty (/Orr Academy), Ernest Downing, Alex Brown (/Rolling Meadows), John Walker, AJ Mcghee and Matt Lisowski (/Rolling Meadows).

In the hurdles, Lim will be working on improving his times in the 110m and 400m hurdles. Lim took seventh place in the 110m hurdles at last year's national meet. Downing will also add depth as a hurdler in the 400m hurdles.

Looking at the field events, Alex Mallek (/Barrington) will cover long jump and triple jump. In hope to continue the 15-year winning tradition for the throwers, Coach Zellner will be looking to freshman Brad Walls, who shows promise in all four throwing events. Harper basketball players Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) and Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) will also be counted on to score big points in the throws.

"This is a very talented team despite the loss, through graduation, of some key national champions and point getters," Zellner said. "They have the potential to win the national championship this year but will have to rely on more depth in key events."

New to the coaching ranks this year is assistant coach Larry Cochrane, who replaces assistant Dale Ankele. He will work with the 100m and 200m sprinters as well as overseeing the weight training program and assisting in jumps, hurdles and the 400m. Cochrane was a standout hurdler who competed for Chicago State University.

Three-time cross country Coach of the Year Jim Macnider continues as the distance coach as well as assisting in other events. Distance coach Eric Wallor will also be working with the distance group.

The Hawks will compete in two more February indoor meets, the Chicagoland Indoor Championships hosted by North Central College (Feb. 15) and the North Central Cardinal Classic (Feb. 21).

The schedule for March features Carthage College (March 7), and the outdoor season begins with Augustana College (March 22) and the College of DuPage Invite (March 29).

In April, Harper competes at Wheaton College (April 5), the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships hosted by Lewis University (April 10-12), Concordia University Invite (April 17), Jesse Owens Classic (April 18-19-coaches select) and the Illinois Benedictine Twilight (April 25).

The final tune-up before nationals is a May 3 meet at Carroll University. The NJCAA Division III National Championship will be hosted by Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y.  May 8-10.