Tony Baranek,

Tony Baranek

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Recent articles by Tony:

Customers of Oak Forest bowling alley destroyed in fire say they are in shock; cause still being probed

Oak Forest fire Chief Gary Kasper said a preliminary investigation shows the fire may have started on an exterior wall of the building, but that “we do not believe this was an intentional fire.” → Read More

Column: It starts now. Marist alum Le’lani Harris helps St. Francis as a freshman with ‘South Side toughness.’

It hasn't taken freshman guard Le'lani Harris long to evolve from a show-stopping star at Marist to a steady starter in college at St. Francis. → Read More

After a torn ACL, Lincoln-Way Central’s Lina Panos picks up pieces and comes back stronger. ‘I feel confident.’

The 6-foot forward was at the top of her game as Knights defeated Lincoln-Way West 48-41 to clinch the SouthWest Suburban Red title. → Read More

Fearless factor: There’s no deer in headlights for H-F freshman Aunyai Deere. Not anymore. ‘I just try to keep pushing.’

Aunyai Deere did some leading herself Thursday for the Vikings in a 62-32 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Lockport in Flossmoor. → Read More

Column: A crash artist? Never. East Hazel Crest’s Larry Middleton Sr. was picture of prominence wherever he raced.

Larry Middleton Sr. was a late model champion at Raceway Park and Illiana Speedway, and a top runner at Grundy County Speedway. → Read More

With 15 stitches above her eye, Josie Canellis just keeps going, scores career-high 32 points for Sandburg. ‘She is so tough.’

Nothing was going to stop her. Senior guard Josie Canellis has the night of her high school career Tuesday for the Eagles in loss to Andrew. → Read More

After early season injury, Syracuse recruit Alyssa Latham returns to lead H-F. ‘I’m a little beat up. But it feels good.’

With a career-high 32 points against Sandburg, Alyssa Latham is ready to lead H-F on a second-half charge. → Read More

Tony Baranek’s Daily Southtown girls basketball rankings and player of the week for Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023

Providence and H-F make the biggest moves up the rankings, while Providence's Annalise Pietrzyk is the player of the week. → Read More

Column: A hug, an offer and a new beginning for Kira Chivers. Former Marist standout finds the ‘perfect’ home at Loyola.

Second on the team in assists. Third on the team in steals. Marist graduate Kira Chivers a quicker learner under Loyola coach Allison Guth. → Read More

Strike up the band: Basketball star Khamille Jackson tries something new to lead Marian Catholic. ‘I’m in color guard.’

The senior forward was the chairman of the boards Wednesday in the Spartans' 50-29 East Suburban Catholic Conference win over Marist. → Read More

Rapid rewards: SIU Edwardsville-bound Ava Gugliuzza scores in bunches for Lincoln-Way West. The key? ‘You’re in rhythm.’

The senior guard was quick with her release Tuesday night as the Warriors eased past Andrew for a 63-29 SouthWest Suburban Red win. → Read More

Isabel Lopez once hits 37 straight free throws in practice for Reavis. The streak ends because ‘we’ve got a bus to catch.’

Isabal Lopez only shot two free throws, but she used other components of her game to lead the Rams to a 53-43 win over Bremen. → Read More

Column: Six-year basketball plan works out just fine for St. Xavier’s Claire Austin. But her future could be calling.

St. Xavier's Claire Austin is leading the team in points and rebounds while already keeping her options open to a career in coaching. → Read More

Using five guards, Lincoln-Way Central needs someone inside with a ‘go get her’ mentality. That someone? Gracen Gehrke.

Gracen Gehrke was solid across the board Monday night as the Knights defeated the host Porters to improve their record to 5-1. → Read More

Division I prospect Madison Davis stars for Marian Catholic. And a career-high 33 points? ‘I couldn’t even tell you.’

After scoring 33 points in their season opener, Davis found more double-digit success as the Spartans swept to a tournament title. → Read More

Tony Baranek’s Daily Southtown girls basketball rankings and players of the week for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Marian Catholic and Lincoln-Way West come up big with tournament titles, while H-F rebounds behind return of Alyssa Latham. → Read More

Food for thought: Ayham Salah recovers as Oak Lawn rallies on Mount Carmel to win tourney. ‘Maybe Thanksgiving dinner.’

Ayham Salah had an incredible finishing kick as the Spartans came from behind to win in the Spartan-Ram Classic championship game. → Read More

Column: A big surprise for Evergreen Park’s Emma Bik. That’s an understatement. ‘It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.’

Bik never dreamed that competing in a club volleyball tournament would land her a scholarship to Louisville in a very different sport. → Read More

H-F practice ended at 6:25. The signing ceremony was at 6:30. Would Syracuse recruit Alyssa Latham leave early? ‘That actually did feel really weird.’

With four freshmen on the varsity roster, Latham not only expects to lead the way on court, but help develop the new talent for when she leaves. → Read More

Tony Baranek’s top 10 girls basketball teams and 25 players to watch in the Southland for the 2022-23 season

Syracuse recruit Alyssa Latham has H-F thinking about another long playoff run, while LSU-bound Janae Kent is back for Oak Forest. → Read More