Preps Talk

High School Lites hoops preview: Week 4

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High School Lites hoops preview: Week 4

It's a special Saturday night, holiday tournament edition of High School Lites this week as we'll have highlights of some of the best high school basketball action from across the area. 

While some events like the Wheeling Hardwood Classic and Hinkle Holiday Classic are playing championship games on Saturday night other events like the Proviso West, Big Dipper (Rich South), Jack Tosh (York) and the inaugural Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic are tipping off the opening day of action.

Here's a rundown of some local holiday tournaments we'll have highlights of. You can catch High School Lites on SATURDAY night at 11 p.m. on CSN and CSNChicago.com and we'll also air the next broadcast of the show on Saturday as well.

WHEELING HARDWOOD CLASSIC

The championship of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic will feature No. 14 Notre Dame taking on Libertyville. The Dons were the favorites to win this event entering the week and have performed up to expectations so far. Senior big men Ammar Becar and Anthony D'Avanzo have performed well at times during the event and they'll take on the Wildcats and talented sophomore forward Drew Peterson.

In the third-place game, No. 19 Naperville Central will battle Lake Park.

PROVISO WEST HOLIDAY BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL 

One of the area's premier holiday tournaments tips on Saturday at Proviso West as this 16-team field features five ranked teams and many other talented teams who have been in the CSN Preps Power Rankings at some point this season.

No. 1 Morgan Park will be the clear favorite entering the field, but Fenwick and St. Joseph are both unbeaten entering the tournament and teams like Bogan, Whitney Young, Proviso East, Uplift, Larkin and Hillcrest are all dangerous.

Here's the opening-day schedule (in bracket order):

New Trier vs. Cathedral Catholic, CA., 8:30
Proviso West vs. (9) Bogan, 7
Whitney Young vs. Morton, 5:30
(3) Fenwick vs. Von Steuben, 4
Proviso East vs. Uplift, 2
(1) Morgan Park vs. Providence-St. Mel, 12:30
(5) St. Joseph vs. Dunbar, 11 a.m.
(24) Hillcrest vs. Larkin, 9:30 a.m.

JACK TOSH HOLIDAY CLASSIC AT YORK HIGH SCHOOL 

With a ridiculous 32-team field, the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York is one of the most difficult events to win in the area. Now that Evan Boudreaux has graduated from Lake Forest, the Scouts are no longer the favorite, but there's still plenty of great teams in the field including a top-ten team in Riverside-Brookfield.

Other ranked teams in the field include Downers South, Oswego, De La Salle, Hinsdale South and Stagg. There are also plenty of other talented teams including Conant, Wheaton North, St. Patrick, York and returning champion Lake Forest.

St. Laurence vs. (21) Downers Grove South, 9 a.m.
Palatine vs. Elk Grove, 10:30 a.m.
Sandburg vs. Conant, noon
Nazareth vs. Wheaton North, 1:30
Highland Park vs. (16) Oswego, 3:30
Lyons vs. St. Patrick, 5
St. Ignatius vs. Glenbard East, 6:30
Schaumburg vs. York, 8
Providence vs. (23) De La Salle, 8:30 a.m.
Metea Valley vs. Batavia, 10 a.m.
McHenry vs. Minooka, 11:30 a.m.
Lane vs. (22) Hinsdale South, 1
Rolling Meadows vs. (7) Riverside-Brookfield, 3
Lake Forest vs. T.F. South, 4:30
Waubonsie Valley vs. (17) Stagg, 6
Timothy Christian vs. Naperville North, 7:30

HINSDALE CENTRAL HOLIDAY CLASSIC

It's the inaugural year of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic and with some quality programs from all over the area, this tournament will only continue to get better. Defending Class 4A champion Stevenson is a headliner in this one while Rockford Auburn, St. Charles East and Maine South are some of the better teams in the field. 

Richards vs. Hope Academy, 9:30 a.m.
Stevenson vs. Foreman, 11 a.m.
Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Lincoln Park, 12:30
Rockford Auburn vs. Westinghouse, 2
St. Charles East vs. DePaul Prep, 3:45
Maine South vs. Urban Prep-Englewood, 5:15
Hinsdale Central vs. Crete-Monee, 7
Crespi (CA) vs. Perspectives-MSA, 8:30

HINKLE HOLIDAY CLASSIC AT JACOBS HIGH SCHOOL 

Out in the Fox Valley, the Hinkle Holiday Classic will close up shop on Saturday night as the championship game will feature Zion-Benton battling Rockford Boylan. The Zee-Bees are off to a quietly good start this season and Boylan is once against a powerhouse in the Rockford area.

Barrington takes on host Jacobs in the third-place game.

RICH SOUTH BIG DIPPER HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

This could be the final year of the Big Dipper being at full strength as this south suburban classic once again has a very good field. Marian Catholic and Thornton will be the favorites entering the weekend but teams like Joliet Central, Leo and Lincoln-Way Central are off to good starts this season.

Bolingbrook vs. Butler, 9 a.m.
Hales vs. Lincoln-Way Central, 10:30 a.m.
Rich East vs. Leo, noon
(20) Thornton vs. Perspectives-Calumet, 1:30
Joliet Central vs. King, 4
Rich South vs. U-High, 5:30
Rich Central vs. Marquette, 7
(11) Marian Catholic vs. Tinley Park, 8:30

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

High School Lites had five matchups between top-25 teams on Friday night as the Public League Playoff semifinals and big matchups in the CSL South, Catholic League Blue and SouthWest Suburban Blue took shape.

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

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Palatine's Eduardo Orozco

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Maine West girls basketball

Highlights

No. 1 Simeon holds off No. 4 Whitney Young

No. 2 Orr gets revenge on No. 3 Curie

No. 9 New Trier takes down No. 6 Evanston

No. 8 Fenwick handles No. 10 Loyola Academy

No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor rallies past No. 18 Bolingbrook

Oswego East upsets No. 20 Joliet Central

Andrew shuts down Thornridge

Sandburg tops Lockport in OT

Richards runs by Shepard

Maine West captures second straight girls basketball regional title

Five ranked matchups lead a loaded edition of High School Lites

Five ranked matchups lead a loaded edition of High School Lites

High School Lites has a huge lineup in place for this week's show as we'll feature five matchups between top-25 teams. With the Public League Playoff semifinals, Catholic League Blue, CSL South and SouthWest Suburban Blue. 

Catch the newest edition of High School Lites this Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. 

Public League Semifinals at Chicago State

No. 2 Orr vs. No. 3 Curie, 5 p.m. -- A huge rematch in the first semifinal puts these two top-3 teams against each other. Curie (23-3, 8-1) won the first matchup between the two teams early in the season as they were playing without senior guard Maurice Commander. Junior guard Marquise Walker and senior big men Traevon and Tyree Martin stepped up in that one. Orr (22-3, 9-0) has been on a roll lately as seniors Raekwon Drake, Dannie Smith, Ty Mosley and Chase Adams are playing at a high level. 

No. 1 Simeon vs. No. 4 Whitney Young, 7 p.m. -- The second semifinal puts two Public League titans against each other. The Wolverines (23-3, 9-0) will be the favorite as they're still unbeaten against Illinois competition. Senior Talen Horton-Tucker is the leading Player of the Year candidate and he's surrounded by talented teammates. Whitney Young (22-6, 7-2) earned a huge quarterfinal win over Morgan Park earlier this week as the Dolphins are playing with a lot of confidence. Seniors Javon Freeman and Xavier Castaneda are experienced while sophomore Tyler Beard has elevated his play.

Friday's Other Games

No. 9 New Trier at No. 6 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- A huge rematch in the CSL South that could ultimately decide a tight conference race. Evanston (20-4, 8-1) won the first matchup in overtime on the road on Jan. 12 as they've won six straight games. New Trier (20-3, 7-1) has won 10 straight games since that loss to the Wildkits as they picked up an important overtime win over Maine South earlier this week.  

No. 8 Fenwick at No. 10 Loyola, 7:00 p.m. -- Two Catholic League powers battle here. Fenwick (17-7, 7-0) is trying to stay unbeaten in the conference as they picked up a win over Marmion earlier this week. Loyola (21-5, 5-2) has dropped two straight games on the road but the Ramblers are still trying to gain some momentum before the postseason starts. 

No. 18 Bolingbrook at No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the top teams in the SouthWest Suburban Blue face in this one. The Vikings (15-6, 5-1) have recent wins over Hillcrest and Lincoln-Way East as they've been playing better basketball the past few weeks. The Raiders (17-5, 5-2) won the first matchup between these two teams on Jan. 19 as they beat Sandburg in their last game. After a 10-day layoff, it'll be interesting to see how Bolingbrook looks in such an important game. 

Lockport at Sandburg, 6:00 p.m. -- We stay in the SouthWest Suburban Blue in this one as Sandburg look to get back on track. The Eagles (15-8, 2-5) have dropped two straight games, including a recent loss to Bolingbrook. Lockport (7-14, 1-6) recently knocked off Bolingbrook but they've also lost two straight heading into this one. Sandburg won the first matchup between these two teams with an overtime win on Jan. 19. 

Thornridge at Andrew, 6:30 p.m. --  Heading over into the SouthWest Suburban Red, Andrew tries to stay ahead of the pack for the league title. The Thunderbolts (16-8, 8-2) have won three straight games as they won on the road at Thornridge on Jan. 12. Thornridge (14-9, 3-6) has gone on a lot of runs this season as they've won two straight on the road after a five-game losing streak. 

Richards at Shepard, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the best teams in the South Suburban Red matchup here. Shepard (15-7, 7-4) lost to Oak Lawn last week to snap a seven-game winning streak. Richards (11-12, 8-3) has played significantly better lately after a slow start. Both of these teams are battling with Oak Lawn for league supremacy. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

No. 20 Joliet Central at Oswego East, 6:30 p.m. -- Our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week heads to the Southwest Prairie. Joliet Central (19-4, 11-0) is trying to go unbeaten in league play as they've won three straight games. Oswego East (16-7, 8-3) is coming off a big win over Romeoville earlier this week. The Steelmen won this first matchup between these two teams on Dec. 15.