Solorio quarterback Quincy Patterson II commits to Virginia Tech

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Solorio junior quarterback Quincy Patterson II has committed to Virginia Tech, he announced on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

Patterson has been highly sought after for months. The dual-threat quarterback had 20 scholarship offers at the time of his commitment — from schools in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and more. You can see the complete list here.

Patterson, who The Public League profiled last summer, earned all-state and all-Chicago Public League honors during his junior season. Here are his highlights.

By | February 27th, 2017|Football, Recruiting, Solorio|

Jorell Jones, who was shot last year, becomes invaluable for Solorio

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Solorio senior PG Jorell Jones dribbles the ball versus Johnson.

Note: This story, which is over 730 words, was free until 2 p.m. It is nowĀ available via a one-time payment of 47 cents or a subscription to The Public League. Each article/subscription purchased helps ensureĀ that Chicago Public League football and boys basketball receive this type of coverage beyond the 2016-2017 academic year.

By: Eric Van Dril Ā  | Ā  Jan. 6, 2017

Jorell Jones was walking near Solorio last winter when, in a split-second, an innocuous trip to the store almost cost him his life.

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A car drove past Jones on that night in early February, but Jones said he didn’t pay any attention to it. After all, he was near Solorio, which is in a relatively-safe area of the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest side.

But then it happened.

“One of my friends was like, ‘Watch out, Jorell!'” Jones, a senior at Solorio, recalled after a recent Solorio basketball game. “I saw them come out of the gangway and start shooting — like five (people). They looked like grown men. We just all started running. I fell in the street. I got grazed (in the right hip). When I got up, I felt it. It started burning. I went to the hospital and stuff. I’m from Englewood, so I hear shootings every day. I thought it was kind of safe over here.”

Jones continued: “That’s why I was surprised. I guess it was a stereotype. It was some Mexicans who shot at us. I was with my friend. We were walking to the store. I guess they saw us and they thought we were a threat. We didn’t do them any harm. They just came out of nowhere. We were surprised. They were right behind us — like 10 feet away. They started shooting at us. I thought I was gone.”

 

The bullet grazed Jones’ right hip and he fell on his right arm.

Jones’ junior season ended because of what happened that night, but he was fortunate. The shooting cost him his season, not his life.

He was also able to play again. Jones’ recovery lasted about two months, he estimated.

“I’m just glad they didn’t tear anything apart,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t be able to hoop to this day. I’m glad I’m OK.”

Anthony Newell, Solorio’s first-year head coach, is as well.

Jones has been a vital part of the Sun Warriors’ success this season. He grew up playing shooting guard, but moved over to point guard this season. He’s Solorio’s primary ball handler, but is still needed to score.

Jones finished with a team-high 14 points in the Sun Warriors’ 48-43 loss to Johnson on Thursday, Jan. 5.

“We’d probably be winless if we didn’t have Jorell,” said Newell, whose team is currently 6-10. “He’s a senior and this is his first year starting at point guard. I expect a lot out of him, and I try to get a lot out of him. He responds well. He keeps competing, and he’s getting better as the season goes on.”

Jones has continued to adapt to being a point guard as his senior season has gone on. He’s also continued to honor his older brother, Odell Jones, who was shot in the back and killed on Nov. 20, 2016, in West Englewood.

“Every game I play, I pray. I say something for him,” Jones said. “I talk to him. I got a shirt made and everything. I wear it before my games. He knew I know how to play. I was the only one in our family who really knew how to hoop. He said to stay with it. And I still take care of his daughter. He’s got a little daughter (who’s) one-year old. I babysit her.”

The gun violence that Jones has experienced first-hand in the last year has altered the way he lives, in a way.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Jones said. “I don’t want to go outside and have fun. I didn’t do anything this whole (winter) break. I’ve just been in the gym, at tournaments, (playing) basketball.”

The death of Jones’ brother and the night that he was personally shot has also reinforced Jones’ desire to do well in school, go to college and get out of the city, he said.

Jones has a 3.2 GPA at Solorio, a level 1+ high school. Jones’ achievement in the classroom creates additional avenues for him, if he’s unable to find a program to play basketball for in college.

But Jones’ preference is to play basketball at the next level. He hopes a college scout, or multiple scouts, come to see him play during the final months of his senior season — and that results in an athletic scholarship.

That would ease the financial burden on Jones and his family.

Plus, “I just love the game,” Jones said.

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By | January 6th, 2017|Basketball, Solorio|

Johnson defeats Solorio for much-needed win

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Johnson junior Cortez Quillin defends Solorio’s Jorell Jones.

Note: This story, which is over 800 words and includes sections on both Johnson and Solorio, was free until 10:30 a.m. It is now available via a one-time payment of 47 cents or a subscription to The Public League. Each article/subscription purchased helps ensureĀ that Chicago Public League football and boys basketball receive this type of coverage beyond the 2016-2017 academic year.

By: Eric Van Dril | Jan. 6, 2016

Noble-Johnson left last week’s Rich South Big Dipper Tournament winless.

The Pumas lost each of their three games at the event, and sophomore guards Mantraze Collier and Deandre Lyons agreed that their team needed a win over Solorio on Thursday night.

Mission accomplished.

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“We really did (need to win). Definitely,” Collier said, following Johnson’s 48-43 win over the Sun Warriors on Jan. 5. “We took a big hit at the Dipper. For us, being off two days, being able to come back and get a win, it says a lot. We got each other back on track.”

Lyons led the way with 15 points against Solorio (6-10). Collier finished with 14. Senior point guard Charles Jones also reached double-digits with 11.

Lyons and Jones combined to score the first seven points of the second half, which extended Johnson’s lead to 34-24. The Pumas (8-8) appeared in control, at that point, but Solorio responded.

Senior point guard Jorell Jones (14 points) scored six points in the third quarter to spark the Sun Warriors’ comeback. Johnson entered the fourth quarter ahead 36-34.

In the moment, Solorio felt in control of the game’s momentum. The Sun Warriors took a 39-38 lead with 5:05 remaining in the game, but the Pumas were able to recover.

They did so by maintaining a high level of energy. Johnson rebounded very effectively in the game’s key moments — especially offensively — and played well on defense en route to a key non-conference win.

“We work hard,” Collier said. “We work hard as a team, push ourselves to work hard in the game and pick each others’ slack up when we’re slacking. And (we’re) able to push through.”

Lyons added that it was important for Johnson to maintain its intensity in the second half.

That proved to be vital in the game’s crucial stretch, which began with 4:05 remaining in the fourth.

Solorio was ahead by one point at the time, but Lyons managed to grab an offensive rebound and get fouled before stepping out of bounds. He made both of his free-throws.

The Pumas then got a defensive stop, and Charles Jones knocked down a 3-pointer to the delight of the Johnson bench. Charles Jones’ triple from the top-of-the-arc put the Pumas ahead by four.

Solorio and Johnson traded free throws down the stretch of the scrappy game. The Sun Warriors had chances to tie the game, but they weren’t able to hit any of their 3-point attempts in the game’s final minutes.

Johnson’s intensity and energy level proved to be critical in its win over Solorio. That was one of the lessons the Pumas took away from their three losses at the Dipper.

“We just learned from it,” Lyons said, of going 0-3 at the Dipper. “We had to pick it up, work harder, push ourselves more.”

Lyons and Collier agreed that special things are in store for Johnson, which is scheduled to resume conference play on Monday evening when it hosts Hansberry. The Pumas and Bengals are both currently 2-0 in the Noble-Blue.

“We’re going to take this W and … keep moving on and keep working hard, and keep pushing each other,” Collier said. “Just striving — striving for greatness.”

Cortez Quillin finished with six points for Johnson. Dwayne Johnson scored two.

SOLORIO

The Sun Warriors’ 48-43 loss to Johnson followed a trend Anthony Newell has seen during his first season as head coach.

Solorio tends to struggle against scrappy teams. The way the Pumas rebounded, especially offensively, was an example of that.

“Any team that’s scrappy, we kind of struggle to match that,” Newell said. “We’ve got to get to a point where we come out of the blocks and are actually ready to scrap — and ready to actually play Chicago-style basketball. Until then, there are going to be games like this where we’re down and we’ve got to be ready to fight because we all of a sudden understand we’re in a fight. We’ve got to come out knowing we’re in a fight.”

Jorell Jones agreed with his head coach. He said that Solorio needs to do a better job at maintaining a high level of energy in scrappy games, and can’t put its head down.

“The problem is, at the beginning of the game, when they fight us. We wait until the second half until we fight back, and it’s too late because now we’re tired,” Newell said. “We fought all the way back and we were tired. But we’re getting there. We actually had a good showing at the (Catalyst-Maria) Christmas tournament, but we’ve taken two steps back since then. We’ve just got to figure it out.”

Nuri Knighten (10 points) played well off of the bench for the Sun Warriors. Junior guard Marcus Arnold had seven points. Sophomore forward Keeshawn Chambers finished with five.

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By | January 6th, 2017|Basketball, Johnson, Solorio|