Elder Les gets the win
Bradley basketball coach Jim Les sat stoically in the stands at Peoria Notre Dame High School Saturday as his older brother, Tom, coached one team and his son, Tyler, played for the other team.
Les did not cheer when something went right, or cringe when something went wrong. He just studied the game intently and breathed a small sigh of relief when it was over.
“It’s nice to see my brother and my son in the same game,” Les said. “I obviously wasn’t wishing for either team to lose. I wish they both could have won.”
Niles Notre Dame, coached by the elder Tom Les, beat Peoria Notre Dame, 60-49. Tyler Les, who scored 20 points last week at Richwoods, scored six points against his uncle’s team.
“I know how well he can shoot,” Tom Les said. “I made sure our guys knew not to leave him open.”
Tom Les said he talks to his younger (and more famous) brother, Jim, just about every day.
“The most important thing we talk about is Tyler. We’re all so proud of him. I always want to hear about how he is doing,” Tom Les said.
Peoria Notre Dame coach Eddie Mathews, who, like the Les brothers, played basketball at Bradley, said he grew up idolizing Tom Les, so it was an honor to coach against him.
“When (Tom Les) he ran the point at Bradley, I was glued to the TV,” Mathews said. “Then his younger brother came a long, and he was so fun to watch play.”
Last year, Mathews beat Tom Les’ Niles ND team. This year, the outcome was not as favorable.
“They put a lot of pressure on our guards, and we didn’t handle it very well,” Mathews said. “Right now, I’m looking for more consistency from my team. We’re an inexperienced team, so I thought we would have some ups and downs, but after the Richwoods game, I was hoping to have more consistency the rest of the way.”
Niles Notre Dame got off to a 7-0 lead and also outscored Peoria Notre Dame, 16-8, in the third quarter.
Max Bielfeldt led Peoria Notre Dame with 27 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 11 of Notre Dame’s 24 points in the second half.
“We didn’t have an answer for their big guy (Bielfeldt),” Tom Les said. “He’s quite a player.”
• Peoria Notre Dame beat New Trier, 53-38, Monday in the River City Shootout at Illinois Central College.
Bielfeldt had 18 points. Charlie Bryant and Justin Smith each scored nine pits for the Irish.
• Notre Dame plays at Dunlap at 7 p.m. Friday.