Basketball

High school basketball: Johnsburg's Jackson LaMarche injured in loss to host Jefferson at MLK tourney

Johnsburg's Jackson LaMarche grabs a rebound in front of Jefferson's MyQuion Garrett during the first quarter Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in the Jefferson MLK Showcase in Rockford.
Johnsburg's Jackson LaMarche grabs a rebound in front of Jefferson's MyQuion Garrett during the first quarter Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in the Jefferson MLK Showcase in Rockford.

ROCKFORD – Johnsburg’s Jackson LaMarche leaped and swung at the driving layup of Jefferson’s Jeremiah Jones, trying to block the shot before his momentum carried him into the first row of bleachers under the basket.

LaMarche, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, winced in pain while holding his right arm. Skyhawks players and fans knew it was a bad sign.

LaMarche, with a bone of his right shoulder protruding abnormally under the skin, immediately went to see the trainer and a few minutes later was taken to a local hospital.

The Skyhawks know LaMarche’s contributions would not have been enough to help them overcome powerful Jefferson, which rolled to an 87-54 victory at its own Martin Luther King Showcase on Saturday. They also know they need LaMarche in the lineup when they resume Kishwaukee River Conference games next week but wonder now whether that will happen.

Johnsburg coach Mike Toussaint and forward Mason Sobiesk both thought the injury happened when LaMarche swung at the ball. His landing in the seats did not appear to be the cause.

“I’ve been thinking about it since it happened,”Sobiesk said. “I was right next to him. It didn’t come off my head the entire game. He popped it out in football, too, so it’s recurring. It’s really unfortunate. I hope we get him back as soon as possible and we’ll all be praying for him for sure.”

Johnsburg (8-6) struggled early with the full-court pressure of Jefferson (15-3). LaMarche hit two 3-pointers in the first half and helped the Skyhawks keep things respectable, trailing, 43-30, at halftime.

“He has something torn (in the shoulder), and it’s not going to heal on its own,” Toussaint said. “[LaMarche’s doctor] said he could play for the season – he wasn’t going to make it any worse – but it was up to how much pain he could tolerate.”

Although LaMarche has been nagged by the shoulder this season, this injury was the worst by far. The Skyhawks must wait to find out more about his status.

Johnsburg guard Zach Toussaint led the team with 14 points, LaMarche had eight, and Gibson Groves added seven off the bench.

The Skyhawks lost their second game of the day, 73-60, to New Trier on Saturday night. Zach Toussaint scored 22 and hit four 3s, and Sobiesk added 10 points in that game.

Johnsburg realized it likely will not see another team that applies defensive pressure like Jefferson, which is co-leader in the Northern Illinois Conference 10.

“It’s a great learning experience about handling the pressure they bring and being ready for teams that like to pressure us,” Zach Toussaint said. “They’re really quick, always on the ball and always in your face at all times. They always have their hands on you and make it really tough for you to dribble.”

Sobiesk feels that can help in upcoming KRC games.’

“They’re quick, they block shots,” Sobiesk said. “Most of the time when we have opponents like that we tend to worry, but we did a good job. We took it well and played some good quarters. It was getting us ready to come back to conference and will make us a better team overall.”

Mike Toussaint felt the J-Hawks’ relentless rebounding also gave his team something to work on.

“We struggled rebounding,” Mike Toussaint said. “We didn’t [block out] anybody. We didn’t do the little things. We have to box out better. We talked about mental toughness. We have to get better at that.”

Jefferson coach Todd Brannan liked the way his team jumped to a 14-3 lead early, hitting shots and forcing turnovers on defense. He also lauded 5-9 guard George Williams’ defensive work on Zach Toussaint.

“Our defensive pressure was a key,” Brannan said. “Toussaint is a tremendous player and a tremendous scorer. For the most part, we paid attention to the scouting report and did what we were supposed to do on him. You have to run off the 3-point line (at Toussaint). If he shoots a pull-up 2, we’re OK, but we cannot let him get going on 3s and George did a good job with that.”

Belvidere 63, Marian Central 50: The Hurricanes (6-9) had a 39-30 lead after three quarters, but the Bucs exploded for 33 points in the fourth quarter for the victory.

A.J. Golembiewski led Marian with 20 points and a pair of 3s. Thomas Menner added 13.

STAR OF THE GAME

Zach Toussaint

Johnsburg, jr., G

Toussaint led the Skyhawks with 14 points. He hit all five of his free-throw attempts.

THE NUMBER

2: Turnovers committed by Johnsburg in the second quarter, as the Skyhawks kept the margin to a respectable 13 points at halftime.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

Jefferson was without 6-1 point guard Terry Ford, who suffered a bone bruise to his left knee in Friday’s practice. J-Hawks coach Todd Brannan expected Ford would be back for games Monday. Ford was named to the all-tournament team at Jacobs’ Hinkle Holiday Classic.

Jefferson 87, Johnsburg 54

JEFFERSON (87)
Dixon 5 0-0 12, Garrett 6 3-4 15, Williams 5 0-0 15, Powell 4 2-4 10, Jy. Robinson 5 0-0 13, Newble 0 0-0 0, Ja. Robinson 2 3-4 7, Jones 1 1-2 3, Massey 1 0-0 2, Hill 2 0-0 4, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Henigan 2 0-0 4. Totals: 34 9-15 87.

JOHNSBURG (54)

Toussaint 4 5-5 14, LaMarche 2 2-2 8, Sobiesk 2 1-2 6, Frazier 2 1-2 5, Smith 00-0 0, Gutierrez 1 0-0 2, Groves 2 2-2 7, Straulin 1 2-2 4, Stern 0 0-0 0, Rowe 1 0-0 2, Shelton 0 0-0 0, Beitzel 1 0-2 2, Muehlfelder 1 0-0 2, Benn 1 0-0 2, Hess 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 13-17 54.

Jefferson 22 21 26 18 – 87

Johnsburg 14 16 15 9 – 54

3-point goals: Jefferson 9 (Williams 5, Jy. Robinson 3, Dixon), Johnsburg 5 (LaMarche 2, Toussaint, Sobiesk, Groves). Total fouls: Jefferson 10, Johnsburg 15.

New Trier 73, Johnsburg 60

Johnsburg 15 13 18 15 – 60

New Trier 18 17 26 12 – 73

JOHNSBURG (60)

Straulin 3 0-0 7, Sobiesk 4 0-0 10, Toussaint 9 0-0 22, Groves 2 3-3 7, Paprocki 2 0-0 4, Frazier 5 0-0 10. Totals: 25 2-2 60.

NEW TRIER (73)

Kirkpatrick 3 1-2 10, Conaghan 2 0-0 5, Osher 1 1-2 4, Silverstein 1 4-4 6, Brayboy 5 5-8 15, Samuelson 1 0-0 , Boehm 1 0-0 2, 13 0-0 28. Totals: 27 11-16 73.

3-point goals: Johnsburg 7 (Toussaint 4, Sobiesk 2, Staulin), New Trier 9 (Kirkpatrick 3, Ryan 2, Conaghan, Osher, Samuelson, Boehm).

Belvidere 63, Marian Central 50

Marian Central 10 13 16 11 – 50

Belvidere 11 9 10 33 – 63

MARIAN (50)

Baranski 1 2-2 4, Kramer 2 0-1 4, Preston 2 0-0 5, Golembiewski 8 2-2 20, Limbaugh 2 0-1 4, Menner 5 3-6 13. Totals: 20 7-12 50.

BELVIDERE (63)

Dean 3 3-3 9, Valladares 1 2-2 4, Kolk 6 7-7 23, King 1 0-0 2, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Tobler 6 2-2 18, Dalipi 2 1-4 5. Totals: 20 15-18 63.
3-point goals: Marian 3 (Golembiewski 2, Preston), Belvidere 5 (Tobler 4, Kolk).

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