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David Vargas provides spark for Sandburg


Good things happened to Sandburg David Vargas after skull collision.

The senior guard suffered an injury near his left eye during the Feb. 7 game against Tinley Park. He left the gym in the first quarter to receive five stitches and was lucky his injury did not cause any damage.

“We were having our press break and I was cornered,” Vargas said of the play. “I was trapped and I moved my head a little bit and we made head-on contact.

“I opened my forehead. There was a decent amount of blood, but not a ton.”

Two days later, Vargas returned to the field with a large bandage. He finished the match against Lincoln-Way East with 19 points in a 65-52 loss and scored the 1000th point of his career in this match.

Vargas then scored 38 points and tied a program record with nine 3-pointers in an 80-76 win over the SouthWest Suburban Blue in Lockport on Feb. 13 to close the regular season.

“There are nights when everything cools down or warms up,” Vargas said. “I was very confident that night. The first half was a bit bad and we were down 20 points.

“But I kept shooting and they were going in. I have to thank my teammates for giving me the ball.”

Sandburg coach John DanielsStagg’s former coach, has enjoyed watching Vargas develop over the past three years.

“Even if he’s not the best shooter, he’s got to be one of the best shooters I’ve ever had as a coach,” Daniels said. “When you look at the players I coached (Max.) Structure with (Darius) Draper with (Sean) Dwyer … I mean, I’ve had great shooters over the years.”

The 6-foot-11 Vargas is receiving notice from NCAA Division III schools, including North Central College, where the former Sandburg sharpshooter coaches Vince Kmiec.

Vargas, who wants to major in nursing, hopes to be able to play basketball in college.

He missed the opportunity to talk to doctors and nurses because his mind was elsewhere while he was getting stitches.

“I was focused on whether we could win the game,” Vargas said. “I was texting my coaches. But I didn’t know we won until the end of the match.”

Stagg coach Marty Strus talks to junior forward Domas Narcevicius against Andrew during the Southwest Suburban Red game on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Palos Hills. (Jeff Vorva/Daily Southtown)

Charged based on conference title

The SouthWest Suburban Red was shared by the two schools as they earned their first conference championship in program history.

Lincoln-Way West and Stagg finished with a 5-3 record. It’s been a long wait for Stagg, which opened in 1966.

The Chargers needed to beat Bradley-Bourbonnais on the road and won 50-45 on Feb. 13 for the split. That was in stark contrast to Stagg’s 90-64 win over the Boilermakers on Jan. 27 at Palos Hills.

“Going to Bradley is always a tough place to play,” coach Stagg said. Marty Stress aforementioned. “We had scored 90 points to beat Bradley a few weeks ago and we knew we had to find a different way to win at their place.

“We certainly did that by holding them to 45 points.”

Lemont guard Matas Gaidukevicius hits a 3-pointer over Stagg during a non-conference game at Palos Hills on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Jeff Vorva/Daily Southtown)

score increase

junior guard Matas Gaidukevicius He put up 38 points in Lemont’s 84-70 win over Hinsdale South on Thursday, and for those wondering where that came from, coach Rick Runaas He’s been waiting for this for a while.

“We knew he could shoot and score,” Runaas said. “But he started the season injured and is working his way back.”

“In my 30 years of coaching, he’s one of the few players I have to tell to shoot more.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.


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