High school boys basketball insider: Crystal Lake Central's Alex Timmerman is Athlete of the Week; plus notes and what to watch

Sarah Nader -
Crystal Lake Central's Alex Timmerman shoots over Huntley's Andrew Fulcra during the third quarter of Friday's game in Huntley Dec. 1, 2017. Crystal Lake Central won, 56-44.
Sarah Nader - Crystal Lake Central's Alex Timmerman shoots over Huntley's Andrew Fulcra during the third quarter of Friday's game in Huntley Dec. 1, 2017. Crystal Lake Central won, 56-44.

Athlete of the Week

Alex Timmerman

Crystal Lake Central, Jr., Center

Timmerman was 8 of 13 from the field and scored a team-high 21 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds, as the Tigers defeated Huntley, 56-44, in their Fox Valley Conference opener on Friday.

Timmerman had a three-point play and another basket early in the pivotal third quarter as Central put together its decisive run.


Record setter: Johnsburg junior guard Zach Toussaint broke his own school record Tuesday night, that was less than two weeks old, when he fired in 52 points in the Skyhawks' 99-89 victory over Wilmot, Wisconsin.

Toussaint scored 41 points on Nov. 24 in a 78-70 win over Grayslake North at the Johnsburg/Richmond-Burton Thanksgiving Tournament. On Tuesday, he hit seven 3-pointers and made 14 of 17 free throws to reset the single-game record.

The record holder prior to the season was Scott Dixon, who scored 38 in a game against Richmond-Burton in the 1978-79 season, the first year Johnsburg High School was open. Later, Dixon’s son, Mike, and daughter, Melissa, both earned Northwest Herald Player of the Year honors (Mike in 2010, Melissa in 2010 and 2011).

In the zone: McHenry coach Chris Madson knows what his team will need to work on after Saturday’s 43-40 loss to Crystal Lake South – working against a zone defense.

In the first quarter, the Warriors looked smooth on offense and grabbed a 14-2 lead against the Gators’ man-to-man. When South switched to a 2-3, McHenry did not attack well, missed shots and turned the ball over. South took a 20-19 lead by halftime.

“The blueprint is out there right now on how to play a zone and guard us,” Madson said. “If you’re timid, it’s easy to trap. It’s adapting. (South) was doing all sorts of things and (our guys) froze a little and forgot they can shoot and dribble and we did fundamentally bad offensive things. You have to do it with confidence and attack.”

McHenry has the shooters with Gavin Markgraff, Gio Calabrese and Maki Mohr that should be able to counteract zones.

Expanded role: Jacobs 6-6 forward Kameron Mack was integral for the Golden Eagles on their 30-2 team last year as their top reserve. Now, as a starter, Mack’s length and athleticism have been an even bigger help.

Mack joins Ryan Phillips and Nikolas Balkcom as double-digit scorers at 10.8 points a game and has hit a team best 10 3-pointers.

This Week’s Top Games

Jacobs vs. Crystal Lake Central

7 p.m. Wednesday

• The defending FVC champion Golden Eagles play their first conference game, while Central plays its second. Jacobs lost only one FVC game last year, but Central almost won their first meeting, losing 54-51. Jacobs has won three Fox Valley Conference Valley Division titles and one FVC championship in the last four years.

Cary-Grove vs. McHenry

7 p.m. Wednesday

• C-G is off to a fast start after winning four of its first five games. McHenry is coming off a loss to Crystal Lake South and does not want to fall further back in the FVC race.

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