Preps Talk

Morgan Park vs. Simeon highlights big week on High School Lites

Morgan Park vs. Simeon highlights big week on High School Lites

High School Lites has a great show lined up this week as we have highlights from all over the area. The huge clash between No. 1 Morgan Park and No. 3 Simeon leads the list of great games we have for this week. 

Be sure to watch High School Lites this Friday at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. 

Thursday

No. 3 Simeon at No. 1 Morgan Park, 5 p.m. -- It's always a huge deal when these two teams play and this year's rivalry matchup had some intriguing subplots. The first year of Public League conference realignment means these two rivals only get one guaranteed matchup per season now as the Wolverines made the most of it with a 70-57 win on Thursday night.

Using a second-quarter run and huge second half to get past the Mustangs, Simeon put on a ridiculous aerial show for the road win as senior Messiah Jones, a Drake commit, led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds -- including six dunks. Senior Talen Horton-Tucker also tallied 17 points for the Wolverines while St. Patrick transfer Xavier Pinson had a great second half to finish with 12 points -- including a huge fourth-quarter dunk that had the gym buzzing. 

Illiois commit and Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmu led Morgan Park with 18 points but he didn't receive enough consistent help to get by the balanced effort of Simeon. Senior Kenyon Duling added 15 points for the Mustangs with all of his points coming in the first half.

You won't want to miss the highlights of this intense rivalry as Simeon had numerous alley-oops and put on a show for the huge road win.

Friday

Lane Tech at Taft, 6:30 p.m. -- These two Public League White-North rivals always play intense matchups as Friday should be no different. The Indians (4-2) are off to a solid start this season as they look like one of the better teams in the White Division of the Public League this season. Guard Michael Malloy is off to a solid start for Lane. Taft (1-4) is off to a sluggish start as they've played a tough schedule so far.  

Stagg at Sandburg , 6 p.m. -- An intriguing matchup in the SouthWest Suburban Blue as Sandburg battles Stagg. The Chargers (3-2) knocked off Thornridge in their last contest as they try to make their way in the top half of a very difficult league. Sandburg (5-1) is also off to a solid start as they try to open Conference play on a positive note. 

Homewood-Flossmoor at No. 18 Lincoln-Way East. 6:30 p.m. -- We stay in the SouthWest Suburban Blue for this one. Lincoln-Way East (5-1) was unbeaten until a loss to Bloom earlier this week. Senior sharpshooter Sam Schaefer is headed to Southern Illinois next season as he’s one of the area’s best players. The Vikings (4-1) are an intriguing team in the Conference race as they’ve only lost to another ranked team in Marian Catholic this season. 

St. Viator at No. 17 Marian Catholic, 7 p.m. -- The East Suburban Catholic Conference looks to be wide open as this early clash could tell us a lot The No. 17 Spartans (4-0) are off to a great start after winning the Chicago Heights Classic as juniors Malik Tidwell and Chris White are some talented pieces while sophomore point guard Ahron Ulis is emerging as a player to watch. St. Viator (5-1) is also off to a solid start after winning their own Thanksgiving event against a good field. Junior Jeremiah Hernandez is a player to watch while junior Trey Calvin is a point guard to keep an eye on.

Evanston at Maine South, 7:30 p.m. -- It's always fun when these two CSL South teams get together and this year the league has a lot of overall depth. Evanston (4-1, 1-0) will rely on a trio of talented junior guards as Lance Jones, Ryan Bost and Jaheim Holden are all capable of making plays. Maine South (4-1, 0-1) was previously ranked before falling to a talented New Trier team last week as the Hawks will look to bounce back. 

Metea Valley at Naperville Central, 7:30 p.m. -- Two interesting teams in the DuPage Valley Conference as Naperville Central hosts Metea Valley. The RedHawks (5-1, 2-0) beat Neuqua Valley earlier in the week to continue a good start as senior center Ben Wolf is off to a positive start. Metea Valley (3-3, 1-1) fell to DVC favorite Naperville North earlier this week as they try to keep pace with the league leaders. 

Oak Lawn at T.F. North, 6:30 p.m. -- A crossover in the South Suburban as Oak Lawn heads to T.F. North. Coming off of a win over T.F. South earlier this week, Oak Lawn (5-1, 1-0) is off to a strong start this season. T.F. North (1-1, 1-1) dropped a close game to Shepard earlier this week as they try to bounce back against a tough opponent. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Andrew at Thornwood, 6:30 p.m. — The SouthWest Suburban Red hosts our Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week as this one won after over 1,400 votes. Andrew (3-4, 0-1) will try to get back on track after dropping a few to tough teams like Bolingbrook and Hinsdale South. Thornwood (3-2, 1-0) is coming off of a big win over Lincoln-Way West as they try to keep an unbeaten start going in conference play. 

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

devin_blakely.jpg
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Nazareth Academy junior three star ranked defensive back Devin Blakley (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment earlier this week.

"Miami of Ohio is just a great fit for me so I decided to commit," Blakley said. "I've known for a while now that Miami was the place for me. I just didn't see any reason to keep waiting so I called up the coaches and committed."

Blakley, who had offers from the likes of Iowa State and Air Force long with multiple Mid American Conference schools is the second State of Illinois pledge for the Redhawks Class of 2019. Blakley joins Simeon QB Alante Brown who earlier this month gave Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. 

New Trier junior three star ranked athlete recruit Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has been looking harder at his multiple college offers and options. Olges, who has been playing baseball for the Trevians this spring will make two unofficial visits this weekend then will begin to narrow down his favorite schools.

"My plan is to go see Duke and Virginia this weekend and see how everything goes with those visits," according to Olges. "After that I'm either going to narrow things down to a top schools list or I might even make a decision. I just feel that I have some great offers right now and don't want to wait too long in making a decision. Playing the waiting game is a risk because kids are already starting to make decisions. I don't want to miss out and lose some great offers."

Stevenson junior inside linebacker recruit Maema Njongmeta (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers this spring including recent offers from both NIU and Toledo. Njongmeta was also able to head out east over his recent spring break and made a handful of college visits.

"I was able to go out to visit Princeton, Army and Penn over my spring break then we headed up to Canada to visit with some family," Njongmeta said. "All three visits I felt went very well and overall it was a fun trip. I thought it was very beneficial to see all three schools in person. Army has the whole military stigma but it was good to see the academy in person. It was great to see what West Point and academy life is all about in person and it was super cool. Every school brings something different to the table. I was able to definitely get a better feel for each school I visited."

Njongmeta has reached also out to someone very familiar with the recruiting process in former Stevenson and current Northwestern super back Cameron Green.

"We have a wonderful lady who works at our school who was able to get me in touch with Cameron Green. I knew of Cameron since I was in eight grade but didn't know him at all. He's a great guy and has been a big help for me. He's given me some good advice and is someone who's been through the process and knows what I'm going through with the recruiting process."

Urban Prep Bronzeville junior defensive back Jeremiah Webb (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) was able to add his first scholarship offer earlier this week from Northern Illinois University. 

"I'm still really excited (about adding his first offer from NIU) and my phone has been blowing up," Webb said. "I've been working hard for a long time now and it just feels good to add my first offer from NIU."

Webb has been eyeing the NIU Huskies program for some time now.

"I've been looking into NIU for a long time. They have a great, winning program and have been to multiple bowl games over the years. NIU is also close to home and I've been to NIU for a camp last summer and I also went to the NIU spring game. It's great to get my first offer from such a good program like NIU."

Webb has also drawn recruiting attention from Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Cornell and Holy Cross so far this spring. 

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

alanta_brown_01-26_1920x1080_1147163203668_0.jpg
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Simeon junior quarterback Alante Brown (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) earlier this week decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. Brown, who narrowed down his Top 4 schools to the Redhawks along with NIU, Western Michigan and Toledo pointed towards a few key reasons he gave Miami of Ohio his commitment.

"I was able to see everything that Miami has to offer," Brown said. "They offer a great education and very strong overall academics. The football program is heading in the right direction plus they already have a younger team. I'm hoping to help bring in even more kids in my class and I've already started to work on a few guys from here about Miami."

West Aurora sophomore defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) has been one of the top recruit names to watch in the Class of 202 in Illinois. Warren, who has scholarship offers from the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa State made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I had a good visit to Illinois," according to Warren. "They have a great overall energy and I just liked it. Illinois also has a strong brotherhood between the players and the coaches. The coaching staff at Illinois is pretty amazing. It was my first time ever at Illinois and I liked the facilities and the stadium. Illinois is also pretty close to home. I just came away impressed with the bond between the players and the coaches at Illinois."

Warren is also planning to transfer at the end of the spring semester to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

"It's a great opportunity and I want to go and get better and take my game to the highest level. My Mom and I have looked really hard at everything and I made my final decision and talked to my coaches about it. I'm going to visit IMG Academy on May 10th and 11th and I'll go back to register for school on July 14th."

St. Charles North junior three-star ranked defensive back Tyler Nubin (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) made a verbal commitment to Minnesota Thursday morning.

"I had a really good visit to Minnesota," Nubin said. "I spent the day with Coach (PJ) Fleck and the defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae. Their coaching staff is just unbelievable and the facilities are top notch."

Nubin held 16 scholarship offers this spring, including six offers from the Big Ten conference.  

Momence junior three-star ranked athlete Jason Bargy (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has drawn nine Power 5 scholarship offers so far this spring and made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I wanted to see the tempo and how the coaches get after the players," Bargy told Orange and BlueNews.com's Doug Buschon. "How the guys interact with each other. "

Bargy, who doesn't plan to announce any Top schools list is planning to make a college decision "over the next few months."