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.
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.
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.
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.