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Extra Points: Stagg's Ahern Plays with a Big Heart

Chargers' senior Dan Ahern doesn't let his relative lack of size stop him from taking the ball to the basket.

At first glance, Dan Ahern doesn't look like your typical basketball player. The Stagg senior guard stands 5-9 and plays on a team where everybody else measures at least 6-0.

But Ahern stands tall where it matters most--on the court.

"All my life I've been smaller than everyone, you just get used to it," he said. "You just have to deal with it. You've got guys like (Darius) Draper, who is 6-5, to help you out, bring out the ball and get all the rebounds. I just shoot the threes in overtime and hopefully hit them, like today."

Ahern scored 13 points and snared two rebounds in Stagg's 49-47 overtime victory over Andrew on Tuesday night. But that wasn't out of the ordinary for him. He averages 16 points and is the Chargers' second-leading scorer.

Ahern said there are times when being shorter can serve as an advantage for him.

"At times, it is," he said. "I can break presses and dribble lower than people. I can play defense and stay lower. People will say, 'Look at this guy, he can't dribble.' "

Stagg coach John Daniels said he was impressed by the way that Ahern stood tall in the face of Andrew's defensive pressure.

"The pressure at the end of the game, Danny (Ahern) did a great job handling that," Daniels said. "They were really pressuring him the whole game. But he was getting from point A to point B to just go get those shots. It shows a lot about him and how far he's come as a player."

 The Best Play: Ahern went behind-the-back, scored and was fouled. He nailed a free throw shot to complete the three-point play midway through the fourth quarter. His nifty work helped Stagg regain the lead 33-31.

 A Look Ahead: Stagg returns to its home court on Friday night to take on Thornton (18-1). The Chargers will be looking to gain some ground in the Southwest Suburban Red.  Andrew will play host to Bradley-Bourbonnais on Friday night. The T-Bolts also will be looking to improve in the Southwest Suburban Red.

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Bill Beddow February 11, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Our observations are that Dan Ahern is a term player and knows what is going on on the court at all times. Big things come in small packages. We think he is a great team player. Bill & Marge Beddow

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