Preps Talk

High School Lites Basketball Preview: Week 1

High School Lites Basketball Preview: Week 1

High School Lites shifts to basketball for the first time this week as the Chicago Elite Classic and a Public League battle between top-five teams highlights a packed weekend of highlights. Catch High School Lites on Friday at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming on the NBC Sports app.

Thursday's Games

No. 4 Orr vs. No. 5 Curie, 7 p.m. — This clash of Public League superpowers should be a fun one. Defending Class 2A champion Orr (1-0) is one of the most balanced and unselfish teams in the state as they return key pieces like Raekwon Drake, Dannie Smith and Ty Mosley from last season's team. With the addition of point guard Chase Adams, a transfer from Marian Catholic, the Spartans have a ton of offensive firepower. Curie (0-0) counters with some transfers of their own as Marquise Walker and Jayden Gasby are key additions. Senior big men Traevon and Tyree Martin are also back for the Condors while other transfers like Marquise Walker and Jayden Gasby should play a factor.

Friday's Games

No. 8 Romeoville at Plainfield South, 6:30 p.m. — Romeoville is living up to early expectations as they try to remain unbeaten against Plainfield South. The Wildcats (4-0) are off to an unbeaten start as they go on the road in the Southwest Prairie. Seniors DeAndre Heckard, Dontia Johnson and Eddie Creal are all players to keep an eye on. Plainfield South (1-3) played in the Joliet West Thanksgiving tournament and has already faced some quality teams in Lincoln-Way East and Brother Rice so they should be prepared for another top opponent.

Waukegan at No. 22 Lake Zurich, 7:00 p.m. — Quality matchup in the North Suburban as Waukegan tries to bounce back against Lake Zurich. The Bulldogs (2-2) fell out of the top 25 after starting the season in the top 10. Junior Bryant Brown has had some big-time performances but Waukegan has played some tough early competition. Lake Zurich (4-0) hasn't faced very good competition so far but they'll get a real test in this one. The Bears have a lot of flood spacing, led by senior Ryan Kutsor while junior J.R. Cison is a very solid point guard.

No. 17 St. Joseph at St. Laurence, 7:00 p.m. — Two unbeaten teams go head-to-head in this one. St. Joseph (5-0) had a great opening week taking the title at St. Charles East as head coach Gene Pingatore has a lot of returning experience. St. Laurence (4-0) is one of two Catholic League White teams to start 4-0 on the season as they try to prove they are for real against one of the area's better teams.

Hinsdale Central at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m. — Hinsdale South (4-1) tries to fight their way back into the Power Rankings when they battle Hinsdale Central. The Hornets have a star player in senior Zion Griffin, an Iowa State commit who is one of the area's most productive players. Hinsdale Central (1-3) has played a tough early schedule against ranked teams like Naperville North and West Aurora while also playing Oswego and Oswego East to close finishes.

Chicago Elite Classic at UIC

Bloomington vs. No. 15 St. Rita, 6:00 p.m. — Bloomington travels from downstate to face Catholic League power St. Rita. The Purple Raiders (4-0) are off to a strong start as junior wing Chris Payton is committed to Illinois State. St. Rita (4-1) has already faced some quality competition as they lost to Rockford Jefferson. The Mustangs had some solid weeks from senior Jordan Matthews and junior Jeremiah Oden.

Lyons vs. Riverside-Brookfield, 7:30 p.m. — After slow starts to the season both of these teams will be looking to rebound. Lyons (1-3) lost its first three games by single digits before running past Glenbard North. Riverside-Brookfield (1-3) has a very talented senior in Ryan Cicenas but the Bulldogs haven't found much success yet.

No. 11 OPRF vs. No. 9 Fenwick, 9:00 p.m. — This battle for Oak Park should be a good one as two top-12 teams collide. The Huskies (4-0) are off to a hot start as they are led by a strong backcourt in Isaiah Fuller and Dashaun Enoch. Their press could be an issue for a Fenwick team that had some difficulties with Whitney Young's press last week. The Friars (3-2) counter with sophomore D.J. Steward as he's playing like an early Player of the Year candidate. Fenwick also has some solid players around him in Damari Nixon and Billy Bruce while Mike O'Laughlin is tough in the post.

Viewers’ Choice

Rolling Meadows at Buffalo Grove, 7:30 p.m. — This week's Viewers' Choice Game of the Week is an intriguing battle in the MSL East. Rolling Meadows (1-3) is off to a sluggish start but they have the potential to be dangerous. Freshman Max Christie has generated some early buzz while senior Gio Carillo is a solid scorer. Buffalo Grove (3-1) has a deep and experienced team with five returning starters. The Bison are led by senior guard Jack Vaselaney as he has plenty of options around him.

Three new teams enter latest Preps Power Rankings

Three new teams enter latest Preps Power Rankings

Three new teams enter the picture in the Preps Power Rankings this week as some shakeups occured due to a lot of ranked matchups. While many of the top teams remain the same, a lot of changes went down towards the back end of the rankings this week.

1. Simeon (17-3, 7-0) (1) -- The Wolverines made quick work out of Vocational and Brooks to maintain its conference lead. Big week ahead for Simeon as they play Dunbar, No. 3 Curie and head to Baltimore to face Polytechnic (MD). 

2. Orr (16-3, 7-0) (2) -- Orr took down North Lawndale and Westinghouse during the week to remain unbeaten in conference play. The Spartans face Marshall before hosting Vashon (MO) at their own shootout on Saturday. 

3. Curie (17-3, 7-0) (3) -- The Condors had another strong week, beating Hyde Park, Vocational and North Lawndale. Curie has another busy week as they play Brooks, Simeon and North Chicago. 

4. Whitney Young (17-4, 6-1) (4) -- Whitney Young handled a very tough week, taking down Uplift, North Lawndale and Bloomington. The Dolphins get another week of quality opponents as they play Westinghouse and Chaminade (MO). 

5. Bolingbrook (15-2, 4-0) (5) -- Huge week for Bolingbrook as they followed up a win over Morgan Park with wins over Joliet Central and Homewood-Flossmoor. The Raiders play Joliet West and Lincoln-Way East this week. 

6. Morgan Park (15-7, 6-2) (6) -- Adam Miller looked like a potential star as the sophomore made nine three-pointers in a Morgan Park win over Fenwick. The Mustangs have been without Ayo Dosunmu and Tamell Pearson but still look like a top team. The Mustangs face Harlan and St. Frances (MD) this week. 

7. Niles North (18-2, 4-2) (10) -- Blowout win for the Vikings over crosstown rival Niles West as they get another conference game against Glenbrook South during the week.

8. Fenwick (14-6, 5-0) (8) --  Fenwick lost to Public League powers Simeon and Morgan Park but they remained unbeaten in the Catholic League with an overtime win over St. Rita. The Friars get a huge conference game this week when they take on DePaul Prep.

9. Marist (18-2, 3-1) (9) -- The RedHawks beat Brother Rice for a quality win before falling to Benet in overtime. Still looking like a major contender, Marist face Joliet Catholic this week.

10. Marian Catholic (14-3, 2-2) (12) -- The Spartans took down Notre Dame in ESCC play as they prepare to play St. Patrick during the upcoming week. 

11. DePaul (18-4, 3-1) (13) -- DePaul Prep continues to pick up quality wins as they beat St. Joseph and Evanston during the weekend. The Rams have a huge Catholic League game against Fenwick during the week.

12. Loyola (17-3, 4-1) (14) -- Loyola held off St. Ignatius for a close win as they played in the first high school game at Wintrust Arena. The Ramblers play De La Salle and Detroit (Jesuit) this week. 

13. Evanston (14-4, 5-1) (11) -- The Wildkits needed overtime to outlast Glenbrook South before falling to DePaul Prep. Evanston has another busy week ahead as they play Maine South and Geneva. 

14. Oak Park-River Forest (14-4, 5-0) (15) -- The Huskies bounced back with a conference win over Hinsdale Central as they've easily looked like the best team in the West Suburban this season. OPRF plays Proviso West and Lyons this week. 

15. Hillcrest (16-4, 8-0) (16) -- Making quick work of Tinley Park in South Suburban play, the Hawks remain undefeated in the league. Hillcrest gets T.F. South and Homewood-Flossmoor next week. 

16. Lincoln Park (14-5, 6-2) (8) -- Lincoln Park dropped a conference game to Farragut and won a close game against Marshall as they prepare to face La Lumiere (IN), one of the premier high school teams in the country. 

17. New Trier (14-3, 4-1) (21) -- The Trevians had the week off after Monday as they try to regroup to face Niles West and St. Viator during the week. New Trier is still right in the mix in the CSL South race.

18. Benet (15-4, 3-1) (24) -- Fresh off of winning a Martin Luther King event at Wheaton Warrenville South, the Redwings took down Marist in overtime in ESCC play. Benet has Nazareth coming up in ESCC play this week.

19. West Aurora (14-4, 5-0) (25) -- Another solid week for West Aurora as they took down Bartlett in conference play before rolling past a talented Romeoville team. The Blackhawks have Glenbard East this week before facing Willowbrook at the Batavia Night of Hoops. 

20. Joliet Central (15-3, 8-0) (18) -- Tough loss for Joliet Central as they fell to a red-hot Bolingbrook team. The Steelmen came back with a double-digit win over crosstown rival Joliet West. Joliet Central hosts Romeoville in a huge Southwest Prairie clash of unbeatens this week while also playing Lincoln-Way East this weekend. 

21. Wheaton Warrenville South (16-4, 7-1) (NR) -- Impressive DuPage Valley Conference win for the Tigers over Naperville North as they are tied for first in the league. Wheaton Warrenville South has a road game at Wheaton North before taking on Lake Park in conference play this week.

22. North Lawndale (13-7, 3-4) (17) -- Tough week for the Phoenix as they dropped three games to top-5 teams. North Lawndale played Orr to the limit in a four-point loss before losing to Whitney Young in overtime. Curie also got the best of the Phoenix with a weekend clash. North Lawndale gets another tough game against Uplift this week.

23. Naperville North (15-2, 7-1) -- The Huskies dropped a DuPage Valley Conference clash against Wheaton Warrenville South as the league continues to be one of the toughest to win in the suburbs. Naperville North has winnable game coming up this week against Metea Valley as they try to stay with the Tigers. 

24. St. Viator (16-4, 4-0) (NR) -- With four consecutive double-digit wins and the only unbeaten conference record in the loaded ESCC, the Lions re-enter the Power Rankings. St. Viator has plenty of quality wins this season, including Marian Catholic, Benet, Prospect, Conant and Libertyville. 

25. Aurora Christian (16-0, 6-0) (NR) -- The area's only remaining unbeaten team, Aurora Christian joins the Power Rankings after a solid win over Mooseheart during the week. Our Team of the Week last week, senior Jake Wolfe leads Aurora Christian as the Lipscomb commit is an All-Area candidate.

High School Lites Roundup: Class 1A and Class 2A schools are the focus

High School Lites Roundup: Class 1A and Class 2A schools are the focus

High School Lites focused on the small schools this week as Class 1A and Class 2A received most of the love. With four winning streaks of 12 games or more being featured on the show, there were a lot of intrguing storylines to keep an eye on.  

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

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: St. Viator's Myia Clark

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Aurora Christian


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