Preps Talk

High School Lites preview: Week 9

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High School Lites preview: Week 9

Should be another fun week on High School Lites as we have some great games in store. Conference rivalries are heating up as we'll have battles from Red-West, Catholic North, Mid-Suburban West, South Suburban Blue, West Suburban Gold as well as the Interstate Eight Conference Tournament.

Our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week also had outstanding participation this week, with a photo finish going to Joliet West at Joliet Central. I'll be in the building to watch this SouthWest Suburban Blue rivalry and it should be a great matchup.

This week's Getting to Know feature is on talented Bogan senior James Jones while our team of the week is the Morgan Park girls basketball team.

High School Lites airs this Friday night at 11 p.m. on CSN and streaming live at CSNChicago.com. Be sure to follow us on @CSNPreps and send us scores and highlights on Twitter.

Thursday games

No. 4 Simeon at No. 1 Morgan Park, 4:30 p.m. - After all of the controversy surrounding where this game would be played, the Mustangs will finally host the Wolverines in a Red-South rematch this week. Morgan Park (16-1, 8-0) is unbeaten against Illinois competition and has been the class of the area behind Player of the Year frontrunner Charlie Moore. Simeon lost the first matchup in December but will try to tie for the conference lead behind Gonzaga commit Zach Norvell and a deep and talented team.

No. 9 St. Joseph at No. 3 Fenwick, 7:00 p.m. - Two unbeatens in the Catholic North collide as Fenwick hosts St. Joseph. The Friars (17-2, 6-0) are coming off of great wins over Simeon and Riverside-Brookfield and senior point guard Mike Smith has been outstanding lately. The Chargers (13-5, 6-0) have dropped a few since a hot start but they're in the conference title hunt as senior Nick Rakocevic has played at a high level. These two Class 3A powers could also meet in the Catholic League Tournament and the Westinghouse Sectional in the next few months.

Friday games

Plano vs. Peotone, 5:30 p.m. (at Coal City) - The third-place game at the Interstate Eight Tournament features Plano (10-8, 4-2) taking on Peotone (16-4, 5-1). In the first matchup of these two teams, Peotone took home the 61-42 victory on Dec. 8. 

Reed-Custer vs. Sandwich, 7:00 p.m. (at Coal City) - The title game of the Interstate Eight Tournament pits Reed-Custer (19-2, 7-0) against Sandwich (12-10, 3-2). While Reed-Custer has been a Class 2A contender for much of the year, Sandwich earned an impressive win over Peotone to reach the finals.

De La Salle at DePaul Prep, 7:00 p.m. - Two talented Catholic North teams take the floor when De La Salle visits DePaul Prep. The Meteors (14-5, 4-2) have spent a good chunk of time in the @CSNPreps Power Rankings this season while DePaul Prep (11-10,  has perhaps the area's most productive freshman in guard Perry Cowan.

No. 24 Hillcrest at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. - This could be an intriguing one in the South Suburban Blue as Hillcrest (14-4, 8-0) travels to Lemont (12-6, 5-2). The Hawks recently re-entered the @CSNPreps Power Rankings after a strong stretch of play after the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Lemont is led by junior point guard P.J. Pipes, an underrated floor general who is averaging 20 points per game.

No. 20 Proviso East at Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m. - A huge one in the West Suburban Gold as Proviso East tries to get revenge after falling to Downers Grove South earlier this season. The Pirates (10-5, 5-1) have looked like a different team since senior Antonio Williams entered the lineup at Proviso West and they've been playing good ball lately. Downers South counters by winning seven of their last eight games since the holidays as juniors T.J. Clifford and Denis Alibegovic are a talented duo.

Palatine at Conant, 7:30 p.m. - Conant is looking for the season sweep as they take on Palatine in this Mid-Suburban West contest. The Cougars (12-4, 6-0) won the first matchup on the road, 58-52, on Jan. 8 as junior guard Jimmy Sotos has played well this season. Palatine (15-8, 4-2) has been balanced all season as they try to form a winning streak after 

Joliet West at Joliet Central, 6:30 p.m. - A great SouthWest Suburban Blue rivalry is our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week. Joliet West (12-6, 3-3) has spent time in our top 25 this season and will look to win the first of two against Joliet Central (10-7, 5-1) as these two teams battle Homewood-Flossmoor atop the conference standings.

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

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

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

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.