St. Patrick’s Max Kurland Thanksgiving Tournament

Scott Kitun/The Medillian

The 2012 Max Kurland Tournament kicked off Monday night with a bang for the St. Patrick Shamrocks.

The Shamrocks defeated Mather High School 81-42, in a breakneck paced game. Led by shamrock senior Royale Ewing, the team began the game by making its first eight shots and stifling the Mather offense by hustling to loose balls from both ends of the court.

“We have given a great effort so far and I expect it to continue throughout the tourney and season,” Coach Bailey said after the game.

The Shamrocks added to their success Wednesday by again relying on the hot shooting of senior guard Ewing, while handling Phillips 74-43 in a very similar style game to their victory on Monday against Mather.

The Max Kurland Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament has been a highlight of the St. Patrick High School season since the great former coach left the sidelines in 1994.

Every year, St. Patrick hosts a Thanksgiving tournament that is usually highlighted by a few marque teams, such as perennial powerhouse Fenwick or last season’s tournament winner, Oak Park River Forest.

The Max Kurland Tournament is a five day, five-team tournament that crowns a winner based on the team that has the best record at the end of the week.

“This tournament is named after the legendary coach that I replaced. It means a lot to our boys, our alum and most of all to me.” St. Patrick’s head coach Mike Bailey said.

Max Kurland, who devoted 38 years to coaching basketball at St. Patrick High School, was elected into the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1980.

Kurland’s name is synonymous with St. Patrick High School and since he retired in 1994, his impact on the school has remained.

“I was an assistant coach under Kurland for years and I still think of him as a mentor to this day.” St. Patrick Principal Joe Schmidt said.

Following a break from play to enjoy Thanksgiving, play will continue Friday at 7:30 p.m. when St. Patrick plays against Hyde Park.

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