Sandburg and Stagg will continue their District 230 boys basketball rivalry on Saturday but neither team will enjoy a home-court advantage.
There will be few complaints about that from the Eagles and Chargers.
The two squads will face off at 2 p.m. on a special neutral court — the United Center. For years, the Bulls have been offering high school teams the opportunity to play on the UC court as a part of an afternoon/evening doubleheader with the high schools playing in the afternoon and the Bulls playing at night. The Bulls will play Philadelphia in the nightcap.
This will be special for more than just the players.
"We are really excited to be playing at the UC," Eagles coach Todd Allen said. "It will be a great experience for all involved. I know the players are really looking forward to it. The band and cheerleaders are as well."
"I was and still am a huge Bulls fan," Allen said. "I started watching in high school when Michael Jordan was a rookie. I've been to many games at the old Stadium and the United Center. Coaching in the building that Jordan built will be a great experience."
While the Bulls have been doing well of late — even with the trade of longtime teammate Luol Deng — the Eagles and Chargers are looking at this game to jumpstart the rest of the 2013-14 campaign.
Sandburg is 4-9 overall and 1-3 in the Southwest Suburban Conference Blue division. The Eagles were hoping to snap a three-game losing streak on Friday night when they had a nine-point lead against Joliet West but dropped a 77-73 decision in overtime at home. Senior Niko Cahue had 32 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.
Stagg (12-4, 2-2) was scalding at the beginning of the season but dropped two of its last three contests, including a 51-41 home setback to Lockport Jan. 9. Coach John Daniels told reporters after that game he was embarrassed by the way the team played in the first half of that contest. Jeff Goral led the team in scoring with 15 points. Max Strus and Kevin White have been the scoring leaders for many of the Chargers' games this season.