Preps Talk

2016 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

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2016 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

With the conclusion of the 2015-16 IHSA boys basketball season, it's time to hand out the third annual @CSNPreps All-Area Team.

This year's 15-man, three-team group is led by Player of the Year Charlie Moore, as the Morgan Park senior point guard was the easy choice after his outstanding season. Moore is joined on the first team by four other seniors, including three players who recently went to Peoria for the Class 3A and Class 4A state tournament.

The other two teams of players in the All-Area team were much tougher to decide, as the list of viable candidates was longer than ever this season. Selections for the @CSNPreps All-Area team are based both on regular season and postseason accomplishments, since many players are remembered by what they did in the playoffs.

THIRD TEAM

Antonio Williams, Proviso East senior guard: After missing the first part of the season while dealing with eligibility issues, the 6-foot-0 Williams burst into the season with a strong performance at Proviso West. Williams ended up as an All-Conference selection in the West Suburban as he put up 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals per game. 
 
Sam Taylor III, Thornton senior guard: The most surprising inclusion on this year's All-Area team, the 5-foot-11 Taylor was a first-year starter with minimal fanfare entering the season. Taylor emerged into a force for one of the area's best teams, averaging 19 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. 
 
Nojel Eastern, Evanston junior guard: One of the area's best juniors, Eastern returned from an offseason ankle injury to average 14.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, four assists and two steals per game. The 6-foot-5 Eastern can play both guard spots and has multiple Division I high-major scholarship offers. 
 
[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Basketball Final Power Rankings]
 
Micah Bradford, Bradley-Bourbonnais senior guard: A Valparaiso commit, the 6-foot-0 guard averaged 19.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3 steals per game. Bradley-Bourbonnais' all-time leading scorer, Bradford was a two-time SouthWest Suburban All-Conference selection.
 
Justin Smith, Stevenson junior forward: Taking over for Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw as the go-to guy at Stevenson wasn't easy, but the high-flying 6-foot-6 junior made a smooth transition into the spotlight. Smith came on strong at the end of the season as he averaged 17 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 52.2 percent shooting.
 

SECOND TEAM
 
Barret Benson, Hinsdale South senior center: A 6-foot-10 center heading to Northwestern, Benson has been one of the area's best post players the last three seasons. Benson averaged 20.1 points, 11 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Hinsdale South's career leader in scoring, rebounding and blocks, Benson was an All-Tournament selection at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
 
Lorenzo Edwards, Lake Forest senior forward: After playing in the shadow of former CSN All-Area selection Evan Boudreaux, the 6-foot-7 Edwards had a monster senior season. The unsigned forward put up 19.1 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game while shooting 56 percent from the field. In Lake Forest's 26 games this season, Edwards had double-doubles in 20 of them.
 
Justin Pierce, Glenbard West senior forward: Pierce was one of the area's breakout stars as a senior as he averaged 24.7 points, 11 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game on 50 percent shooting. The 6-foot-6 William & Mary commit helped Glenbard West win their first conference title in 43 years as he became Glenbard West's all-time leading scorer. 
 
James Jones, Bogan senior guard: One of the area's most electric players, the 6-foot-3 Jones is headed to Buffalo next season. As a senior, Jones averaged 19.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as he's been one of the city's best players the last two seasons. Jones helped Bogan capture the Public League Playoffs as a junior when he teamed with former CSN All-Area selection Luwane Pipkins. 
 
Nick Robinson, Kenwood senior forward: Over the past few years the 6-foot-6 Robinson has helped put Kenwood on the city basketball map as he averaged 17 points, 9.3 rebounds and three assists as a senior. One of the area's best unsigned seniors, Robinson was previously committed to Indiana State and will be a big target for colleges this spring. 
 
FIRST TEAM
 
Player of the Year: Charlie Moore, Morgan Park senior guard: The Memphis commit averaged 28 points, seven assists and five steals per game for one of the area's best teams. A four-year varsity player, the 5-foot-11 Moore reached Peoria three times and won two state titles during his career. Moore earned the MVP of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament this season and was the area's toughest player to stop. Two-time CSN All-Area selection after making the second team last season.
 
Mike Smith, Fenwick senior guard: A recent commit for Columbia, the 5-foot-9 Smith was sensational in his senior season for the Friars, averaging 19 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals per game while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range. The Chicago Catholic League Player of the Year, Smith was an All-Tournament selection at Proviso West. Smith was at his best against the area's best as he had 38 in a win over Simeon as his signature performance.
 
Devin Gage, Curie senior guard: A strong postseason and Class 4A state title catapulted the DePaul commit onto the first team as the 6-foot-2 Gage averaged 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals per game for the Condors. Also the A.C. Williamson Award winner at Pontiac, Gage was one the area's most clutch players this season, making multiple game-winning shots. 
 
Zach Norvell, Simeon senior guard: Headed to Gonzaga next season, the 6-foot-5 Norvell was one of the toughest covers in the area as he put up 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Norvell helped Simeon make it down to Peoria this March and he was an All-Tournament selection at Pontiac in December. Also won the Public League Playoffs as a senior and a Class 4A state title as a freshman.
 
Nick Rakocevic, St. Joseph senior center: The only senior on St. Joseph this season, Rakocevic and the Chargers returned to Peoria this season after last season's Class 3A state title. Uncommitted for next season, the 6-foot-11 Rakocevic averaged 19.8 points, 15.1 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game this season. Rakocevic is now a two-time CSN All-Area selection after making the third team last season.

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

High School Lites is down to the final week of the regular season in local high school hoops as the Class 3A and 4A schools finish up conference play. The boys basketball playoffs have also started as the Class 1A and Class 2A regional championships will be played on Friday night.

The girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals will also be featured. You can catch all of those games on NBC Sports Chicago on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. with the 1A semifinals. High School Lites will air Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago

East Aurora at No. 11 West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- These two rivals meet for the 225th time. The Blackhawks (20-4, 9-0) won the first matchup by 22 points as they try to finish the season on a 12-game winning streak. 

Jacobs at Dundee-Crown, 7:00 p.m. -- Fox Valley rivals match up as Jacobs tries to go unbeaten in the conference. The Eagles (23-3, 15-0) has been playing very well as they've won 20 of 21 games heading into this one -- including an earlier win against Dundee-Crown. The Chargers (14-11, 10-4) has won seven consecutive games since dropping to the Golden Eagles as they're second in the Fox Valley heading into this one. 

Yorkville at DeKalb, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East play in this one. DeKalb (16-11, 11-1) has already clinched a share of the conference title as the team's only league loss has come against Yorkville. The Foxes (17-8, 10-2) knocked off DeKalb at their place on Feb. 3 as they try to win again to get a piece of the division title. 

T.F. North at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the better teams in the South Suburban Blue battle on the eve of the playoffs. Lemont (17-8, 9-3) has picked up three straight wins entering this one. T.F. North (11-9, 9-3) is trying to build some momentum after recent close losses to Hillcrest and T.F. South.

Carmel at No. 10 Benet, 7:30 p.m. -- The ESCC closes out its season with this one. Benet (22-4, 7-1) is coming off a nice road win at Marian Catholic earlier this week. Carmel (17-10, 4-4) knocked off Joliet Catholic during the week as they've been a dangerous team in the ESCC. 

Class 2A Boys Basketball Regional Championships

Leo vs. Marshall, 6 p.m. -- The Lions are the favorites but the Commandos are the host of this regional title game. Leo (20-5, 8-0) has a 13-game winning streak as they won the Catholic League White. Marshall (8-17, 4-5) struggled in the win column but they were a competitive 4-5 in a very deep Public League Red-South. 

Uplift vs. Northridge, 7 p.m. -- This should be an interesting battle as Uplift is playing on the road at Northridge. Uplift (17-9, 6-3) has played an extremely competitive schedule that includes a recent close loss to No. 1 Simeon as Kansas commit Markese Jacobs and senior forward Toraze Dobbs are one of the best combinations in the Class 2A field. Northridge (22-5, 12-0) went unbeaten in the Independent School League this season as they're riding a 13-game winning streak.

Class 1A Boys Basketball Regional Championships 

Aurora Christian vs. Harvest Christian, 7 p.m. -- These two teams play for the third time this season in what should be an interesting regional title game. Aurora Christian (23-1, 10-0) is the host as they only lost to Winnebago this season. The Eagles beat Harvest Christian twice in a six-day span in December. Harvest Christian (18-8, 8-2) finished third in the Northeastern Athletic as they played the second game within two points. 

Class 1A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Okaw Valley vs. Stockton, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Okaw Valley (29-5) is making its first state appearance after winning its first regional title in school history. Stockton (31-2) finished under .500 last season (13-15) and had an amazing turnaround that includes a current 15-game winning streak. 

Lebanon vs. Schlarman, 12:45 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- These two teams have combined for two losses this season as this should be a good one. Lebanon (31-1) just won its first sectional title in school history as they've now moved on to state. Schlarman (31-1) is led by junior Anaya Peoples, a Notre Dame commit and five-star prospect in the Class of 2019. 

Class 2A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Harlan vs. Eureka, 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two red-hot teams play in the first semifinal in Class 2A. Harlan (25-6) is riding a 12-game winning streak as this is its first appearance at state for girls basketball. Eureka (28-3) has a 19-game winning streak as they make their first state appearance since 1988.

Marshall vs. Teutopolis, 7:15 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two storied programs in the state match up in this one. Marshall (20-7) will be making its 21st state appearance as head coach Dorothy Gaters is one of the most storied coaches in Illinois. Teutopolis is making its 17th appearance at state as the Lady Shoes (28-6) seek their first title since 1995.