One of the best things about high school basketball in Illinois is the amount of high-profile events that go on during the regular season. Conference rivalries are always fun to monitor, but for the fan who wants to see a few games in the same day, shootouts and showcase events are the way to go.
Here's a look at five of the premier, non-holiday events coming up this season. Be sure to mark down these on your calendar.
Team Rose Shootout at Moraine Valley College (Nov. 29)
The Team Rose Shootout has become one of the marquee events of the early portion of the season and the event features six more solid games of action in 2015. @CSNPreps Basketball Power Rankings teams like Joliet West (against Foreman), Marian Catholic (against Westinghouse) and Curie (against Proviso West) headline the event while a few Public League teams with big aspirations will be in the field as well. Richards battling Providence-St. Mel begins action at 10:10 a.m. while Seton vs. Von Steuben and Crete-Monee facing Farragut rounds out the event.
Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion (Dec. 4-5)
The best national showcase in the area, this year's Chicago Elite Classic is headlined by a matchup of city superpowers as Simeon battles Whitney Young to close out the nine-game, two-day event. Other great local games include Fenwick opening against Oak Park-River Forest and Morgan Park taking on Evanston. Besides those three tremendous local games, Chicago basketball fans will get to watch a couple of future McDonald's All-Americans as Duke commit Jayson Tatum and Chaminade (Mo.) battle Miller Grove (Ga.) and DeMatha Catholic and Washington commit Markelle Fultz plays St. Vincent-St. Mary (Oh.). Marian Catholic has a tough battle against Mater Dei out of California while Riverside-Brookfield gets a shot at Gonzaga College High School out of Washington D.C. East St. Louis also plays Larkin and Maine South plays Loyola Academy in some matchups of Illinois powers to round out two great days of basketball.
When Sides Collide at Glenbard West (Jan. 24)
Joe Henricksen of the City/Suburban Hoops Report has done a great job putting this event together the last few seasons and this season's event is no different. The matchup between Fenwick and Riverside-Brookfield has two teams with state title aspirations while Evanston and Whitney Young will have a lot of young talent on the floor. Glenbard East and Bradley-Bourbonnais is also an enticing game with both teams returning much of their rotations and Champaign Central coming up to face Kenwood means local fans can see talented Central sophomore Tim Finke.
Bank of O'Fallon Shootout (Feb. 6)
If you're going to travel south to see a shootout this season, this is probably the one to check out. Last year's event included a high-level game between Belleville Althoff and St. Joseph and the two teams eventually met in Peoria for the Class 3A state championship. This season, both Althoff and St. Joseph are back while Kenwood, Morgan Park, Hinsdale South and DeKalb also join the field.
Here's the full schedule of games:
- Columbia vs. Peoria Richwoods, 10:30 a.m.
- Nashville vs. St Joseph-Ogden, noon
- Centralia vs. Hinsdale South, 1:30 p.m.
- O’Fallon vs. DeKalb, 4:15 p.m.
- CBC vs. Westchester St. Joseph, 5:45 p.m.
- Hazelwood Central vs. Morgan Park, 7:15 p.m.
- Althoff vs. Chicago Kenwood, 8:45 p.m.
City-Suburban Showdown at Lyons-Township High School (Feb. 20)
One the best nights of high school basketball all season, in-part because it's late in the season and teams are really clicking right before the playoffs. This season's doubleheader starts with a couple of top-10 teams as Riverside-Brookfield battles Morgan Park. While the Mustangs are used to big-game environments, this will be a great test for the veteran Bulldogs. In the main event, Simeon takes on Evanston as Wildkit junior Nojel Eastern and his teammates face one of the deepest teams in the state.