Inside Boys Basketball: CL South's Austin Rogers Athlete of the Week
Athlete of the Week
Crystal Lake South, sr.
Rogers had games of 26 and 32 points as the Gators defeated Woodstock and Crystal Lake Central to remain unbeaten.
The 6-foot-2 forward scored 26 in South’s 70-50 victory Wednesday at Woodstock.
Rogers came back with 32 points in the Gators’ 77-65 win against Central on Saturday, scoring 14 in the pivotal third quarter when South took a double-digit lead. He finished that game hitting 10 of 13 field goals and 12 of 17 free throws.
Family affair: Sophomore guard Payton Otto gives Prairie Ridge a solid ballhandler and shooter in its backcourt, and comes with a high pedigree. Otto is the son of former Cary-Grove head coach Dave Otto, who coached the Trojans from 1990 through 2001.
The Ottos are together this season, Dave as an assistant to Wolves coach Corky Card, but that is nothing unusual.
“He’s coached me since fifth grade,” Payton said. “I played FCA Wolves through eighth grade and with Kessel Heat last year, and he coached me there.”
Payton says his father helped him develop as a player and with his character as a person. Otto, who is 6-foot, has played a big part in the Wolves’ 3-2 start.
“Sometimes he can be a little hard on me, but that’s good because it pushed me to work harder and become a better player,” Payton Otto said. “It’s nice because my dad’s at all my games and he’s encouraging me.”
Quick starts: Crystal Lake South remains the area’s only unbeaten team, while McHenry is off to a 5-1 start.
South likes to play at a fast tempo and relies on forward Austin Rogers inside. The Gators also have 6-9 Josh Friesen and 6-6 Wes Buckner inside, and just keep bringing guards off the bench who can hit 3s.
Crystal Lake Central coach Rich Czeslawski, whose teams were 71-15 in the three previous seasons, was impressed.
“[South] is a good, good team,” Czeslawski said. “I’ve coached some good teams the last three years, and they have all the pieces. That team is loaded.”
McHenry again thrives with 3-pointers and is led by guard Greg Johnson at 16.2 points a game. Cody Freund add 13.7 a game.
This week’s top games
Woodstock North vs. McHenry
7 p.m. Tuesday, McHenry West Campus
The Warriors are hitting 37.6 percent on 3-pointers and will try to get to 6-1; North is 1-4.
Richmond-Burton vs. Woodstock
7 p.m. Saturday, James M. Shipley Gymnasium
Two of the area’s biggest players – R-B’s Joey St. Pierre (6-8, 240) and Woodstock’s Damian Stoneking (6-7, 260) – will battle inside in this game.
– Joe Stevenson