Preps Talk

CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 10


CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 10

Now that we're getting closer to the state playoffs, the latest edition of the @CSNPreps Power Rankings has a lot of familiar faces. This week's action the Public League Playoffs and the Catholic League Tournament will give us plenty of chances to see ranked teams face very good competition as it gives us a taste of what the state playoffs are going to look like in a little under a month.

While the city has a lot of the spotlight during these tournaments, there are still plenty of great conference races to be decided in the next few weeks as well.

1. Morgan Park (1) (19-2, 9-1) - The Mustangs are still the top dog in the area and had impressive wins last week over No. 19 Orr and a Missouri power in Hazelwood Central. Morgan Park gets an intriguing second-round game against No. 21 Hyde Park in the Public League Playoffs.

2. Fenwick (2) (20-2, 9-0) - The favorites in the Catholic League Tournament, senior point guard Mike Smith is playing great ball and was named the conference's Player of the Year.

3. Simeon (3) (19-3, 9-1) - One of the favorites in the Public League Playoffs, the Wolverines rolled past Collins and have a matchup against Dunbar in the second round in which they should be heavily favored.

4. Evanston (4) (20-2, 8-0) - The Wildkits have won 12 straight games and could be the hottest team in the area. Junior guard Nojel Eastern is starting to hit his stride as a go-to player, but he has plenty of talented support.

5. Thornton (5) (18-1, 9-0) - Thornton is still unbeaten in the area after two solid wins over good team in Lincoln-Way West and Bradley-Bourbonnais. Although Tai Streets' ballclub is clearly among the area's best, they still need a signature win over a marquee opponent. 

6. Curie (6) (18-4, 8-2) - Curie will face No. 7 Bogan in the second round of the Public League Playoffs and that's a ridiculous game this early in the tournament when you consider how good both teams have played this season. 

7. Bogan (8) (17-6, 6-4) - The Bengals rolled past Urban-Prep West in their Public League Playoff opener and get another crack at a top-10 team in No. 6 Curie. Can Bogan get over the hump and make a run in the tournament?

8. Kenwood (7) (16-3, 9-1) - Kenwood is safely in the second round of the Public League Playoffs after beating Mather, but an ugly loss to Belleville Althoff leaves questions as to whether the Broncos are truly an elite team.

9. St. Joseph (9) (16-7, 8-1) - The Chargers are the No. 2 seed in the Catholic League Tournament and the semifinals are in their gym, so they're the favorites to potentially reach the finals on that side of the bracket.

10. Benet (10) (21-3, 5-1) - Benet doesn't play flashy and they win a lot of close games, but there's something to be said when you have 21 wins and are tied atop the deepest league in the area. The Redwings have a legitimate shot at winning the very difficult ESCC.

11. Riverside-Brookfield (13) (16-4, 8-0) - The Bulldogs haven't made a lot of headlines recently, but they still have the talent to make a major move in the Class 4A state playoffs. 

12. North Lawndale (15) (19-6, 8-2) - North Lawndale knocked off Carver in its Public League Playoff opener and get one of the second rounds more favorable matchups in DuSable. That could lead to a potential home game against No. 1 Morgan Park this weekend.

13. Whitney Young (16) (16-7, 8-2) - The Dolphins also have a favorable draw heading into the second round as they get a home game against King. A win and a Simeon win means the two storied rivals will meet in the quarterfinals of the Public League Playoffs this weekend.

14. Marian Catholic (11) (17-5, 4-1) - Clinging to a one-game lead in the loaded ESCC, Marian Catholic laid an egg in an ugly loss to No. 24 Notre Dame. The Spartans still have a ton of talent but that loss is concerning. 

15. Homewood-Flossmoor (17) (16-5, 8-1) - The Vikings picked up two double-digits wins last week over Lincoln-Way East and Joliet Central. Some tough tests loom this week as Homewood-Flossmoor battles Bolingbrook and Joliet West.

16. Proviso East (18) (13-5, 7-1) - The red-hot Pirates have won eight straight games as they try to hold onto the lead in the West Suburban Gold. After beating rival Proviso West by two, the Pirates face Hinsdale South and Addison Trail this week.

17. Vocational (19) (18-7, 4-6) - Vocational needed a buzzer-beater to knock off Marshall in the first round of the Public League Playoffs, but they get a great opportunity to make some noise with a second round game against No. 8 Kenwood.

18. Naperville North (17-4, 10-1) - The Huskies had an eight-game winning streak snapped this weekend in a close loss to Bloomington but they're still beating everyone in the area that comes their way. Naperville North is another team that seems to do well in close games.

19. Orr (14) (16-3, 10-0) - Orr was bounced from the Public League Playoffs by No. 1 Morgan Park but they have an intriguing matchup with St. Charles North at Kaneland this weekend.

20. Deerfield (20) (21-3, 7-1) - Deerfield won a tight game over Highland Park and will be tested this week against Carmel and Niles North. That Niles North game is especially important for the Central Suburban North race.

21. Hyde Park (21) (18-6, 7-3) - Hyde Park continues to overcome injury as they blew out Foreman in the opening round of the Public League Playoffs. The Thunderbirds get a major test against No. 1 Morgan Park in the second round.

22. Hillcrest (22) (16-5, 10-0) - The Hawks are trying to close out the South Suburban Blue and they have a huge game with T.F. North on Wednesday to decide the league's top dog. 

23. St. Viator (24) (16-4, 4-1) - Here's a wild stat for you: St. Viator is 9-1 in games decided by five points or less. The only loss in those close games was a one-point loss to No. 10 Benet. The Lions haven't beaten many teams of substance, but they win close games and are tied atop the standings in the deepest league in the area.

24. Notre Dame (NR) (17-6, 3-3) - Re-entering the CSN Preps Power Rankings is Notre Dame, who earned an impressive win against No. 14 Marian Catholic. The Dons have some puzzling losses, but there is no doubting how talented they are when they're focused.

25. Glenbard West (NR) (19-2, 7-1) - Also re-entering the CSN Preps Power Rankings are the Hilltoppers, who picked up solid wins over Downers North and York last week. Alex Passi is starting to emerge as a very credible second option to Justin Pierce, making Glenbard West that much stronger.

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. 

Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down


Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down

Here is the latest AP boys basketball polls. The girls basketball polls are done with the playoffs underway in all four classes.

Class 4A

School                                 W-L       Pts   Prv

1. Simeon (9)                      25-3      90    1

2. Belleville West                23-2      75    3

3. Curie                                22-3      74     2

4. Danville                           23-2      67      4

5. Whitney Young               22-7     52     T5

6. Normal West                   21-6     28     T5

7. Quincy                              19-4      21     T10

8. Bloomington                   18-7      15     8

9. Evanston                          20-5      14     7

10. New Trier                       22-3       12     NR

Others receiving votes: Moline 11, Niles North 10, Lisle (Benet Academy) 10, St. Viator 5, Naperville North 4, Maine South 2, Rockford Jefferson 1.

Class 3A

School                                            W-L          Pts    Prv

1. Morgan Park (7)                       18-9         88     2

2. Springfield Southeast (2)        22-3         82     1

3. Marian Catholic                        20-4         67     4

4. Hillcrest                                      21-5         57     5

(tie) Springfield Lanphier             22-3         57     3

6. Alton Marquette                       28-0         44      6

7. Centralia                                    21-4          32      7

8. DePaul College Prep                20-6          31      8

9. Champaign Central                  17-7          13      10

10. Decatur MacArthur                 18-8         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 6, Burlington Central 6, Bogan 3.

Class 2A

School                                       W-L          Pts     Prv

1. Orr (11)                                 23-4         110     1

2. Warsaw West Hancock      22-2         83       3

3. Pinckneyville                       25-3         76       T4

4. Winnebago                          24-2         75       2

5. Monticello                            22-1         69       6

6. Leo                                        19-5         65       T4

7. Bloomington Central Catholic       21-6         42   8

8. Effingham St. Anthony                    25-3         23   7

9. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley               24-3         12   NR

10. Trenton Wesclin                             24-4         9     NR

Others receiving votes: Eldorado 7, Corliss 6, St. Joseph-Ogden 6, Bureau Valley 5, Uplift 5 Teutopolis 4, Williamsville 3, Quincy Notre Dame 2, Farmington  2, Casey-Westfield 1

Class 1A

School                                      W-L          Pts      Prv

1. Aurora Christian (9)            22-1        108      1

2. DePue (1)                              24-2        85        2

3. East Dubuque (1)                26-3        80        4

4. Annawan                              25-3        75        5

5. Payson Seymour                 26-2        68        3

6. Sterling Newman                 23-4       57        6

7. Colfax Ridgeview                  24-4       48        7

8. New Berlin                             25-3       33        8

9. Cairo                                       21-5       22        9

10. Nokomis                              21-7         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Newark 8, Quest Academy 5, Milford 4, Cissna Park 2. Okawville 1.