Preps Talk

Previewing the Beach Ball Classic on CSN, CSN+


Previewing the Beach Ball Classic on CSN, CSN+

The Beach Ball Classic, one of the premier high school basketball holiday tournaments in the country, returns to CSN and CSN+ this year as some of the top players and teams in the country square off in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31.

Since 1981, the Beach Ball Classic has taken four teams from South Carolina and put them in a tournament with teams from all over the country as the event has grown to a 16-team field loaded with star power.

This year's field includes a couple of juggernaut programs including defending national champion Montverde (FL), and defending state champions from West Virginia (Poca), Georgia (St. Francis). Other notable programs include legendary California program Mater Dei as well as St. John's College Prep in Washington D.C.

10 Players to Watch

Tony Bradley, Bartow (FL) - The senior center is a North Carolina commit and is making a strong push for the McDonald's All-American game with his start to the season.

T.J. Gibbs, Seton Hall (NJ) - The younger brother of UConn guard Sterling Gibbs, T.J. is a senior guard committed to Notre Dame and a consensus top-100 prospect.

M.J. Cage, Mater Dei (CA) - NBA fans will recognize this senior center's name, as the Oregon commit is the son of former 15-year NBA veteran Michael Cage. 

Michael Bibby, Shadow Mountain (AZ) - More NBA bloodlines enter the field as the son of former NBA star Mike Bibby is one of the better unsigned senior guards on the west coast.

Rowan "RJ" Barrett, Montverde (FL) - Just a freshman, this 6-foot-6 lefty is already in the starting lineup for a defending national champion and could be a big-time prospect in the next few years.

Howard Washington, Montverde (FL) -  A senior point guard and Butler commit, Washington is one of the best passers in all of high school basketball.

Jalek Felton, Mullins (SC) - The nephew of Dallas Mavericks guard Ray Felton, Jalek is one of the nation's elite juniors and he's committed to North Carolina just like his uncle.

Kobi Simmons, St. Francis (GA) - One of the best unsigned seniors in the country, this potential McDonald's All-American guard took official visits to Kentucky, Ohio State and UNLV during the fall.

Jakolby Long, Mustang (OK) - A rugged and physical lefty, the Iowa State commit is a high-level perimeter scorer and perhaps the best senior in Oklahoma.

Anthony Cowan, St. John's (DC) - A consensus top-100 senior, Cowan is committed to Maryland and he's one of the best floor generals in the country.

Here is the schedule of games for the Beach Ball Classic that can be found on CSN and CSN PLUS:

For more information on the event, including the tournament bracket, be sure to check out their website.

Sat, Dec. 26

2:30 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Montverde (FL) vs Socastee (SC)  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  St. Francis (GA) vs Poca (WV)   (LIVE)
6:00 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Seton Hall (NJ) vs St. James (SC)  (LIVE)
7:45 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Moeller (OH) vs Mullins (SC)  (LIVE)

Sun, Dec. 27

4:00 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Teams TBA  (LIVE)

Mon, Dec. 28

2:30 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Bartow (FL) vs East Jackson (GA)  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Shadow Mountain (AZ) vs St. Edward (OH)   (LIVE)
6:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Mustang (OK) vs St. John’s (DC)   (LIVE)
7:45 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Mater Dei (CA) vs Myrtle Beach (SC)   (LIVE)

Tue, Dec. 29

4:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #14 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
9:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #15 (Delay from 6p)
10:45 p.m.  Beach Ball Classic:  Game #16 (Delay from 7:45p)

Wed, Dec. 30

2:30 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #20 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #21 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
9:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #22 Teams TBA  (Delay from 6 p.m.)
10:45 p.m.  Beach Ball Classic:  Game #23 Teams TBA  (Delay from 7:45 p.m.)

Thu, Dec. 31

12:30 p.m.   Beach Ball Classic:  Consolation Bracket Championship  (LIVE)
2:30 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  5th Place Game  (LIVE)

4:30 p.m.       Beach Ball Classic:  3rd Place Game  (LIVE)
6:30 p.m.       Beach Ball Classic:  Championship Game  (LIVE)

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. 

Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down


Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down

Here is the latest AP boys basketball polls. The girls basketball polls are done with the playoffs underway in all four classes.

Class 4A

School                                 W-L       Pts   Prv

1. Simeon (9)                      25-3      90    1

2. Belleville West                23-2      75    3

3. Curie                                22-3      74     2

4. Danville                           23-2      67      4

5. Whitney Young               22-7     52     T5

6. Normal West                   21-6     28     T5

7. Quincy                              19-4      21     T10

8. Bloomington                   18-7      15     8

9. Evanston                          20-5      14     7

10. New Trier                       22-3       12     NR

Others receiving votes: Moline 11, Niles North 10, Lisle (Benet Academy) 10, St. Viator 5, Naperville North 4, Maine South 2, Rockford Jefferson 1.

Class 3A

School                                            W-L          Pts    Prv

1. Morgan Park (7)                       18-9         88     2

2. Springfield Southeast (2)        22-3         82     1

3. Marian Catholic                        20-4         67     4

4. Hillcrest                                      21-5         57     5

(tie) Springfield Lanphier             22-3         57     3

6. Alton Marquette                       28-0         44      6

7. Centralia                                    21-4          32      7

8. DePaul College Prep                20-6          31      8

9. Champaign Central                  17-7          13      10

10. Decatur MacArthur                 18-8         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 6, Burlington Central 6, Bogan 3.

Class 2A

School                                       W-L          Pts     Prv

1. Orr (11)                                 23-4         110     1

2. Warsaw West Hancock      22-2         83       3

3. Pinckneyville                       25-3         76       T4

4. Winnebago                          24-2         75       2

5. Monticello                            22-1         69       6

6. Leo                                        19-5         65       T4

7. Bloomington Central Catholic       21-6         42   8

8. Effingham St. Anthony                    25-3         23   7

9. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley               24-3         12   NR

10. Trenton Wesclin                             24-4         9     NR

Others receiving votes: Eldorado 7, Corliss 6, St. Joseph-Ogden 6, Bureau Valley 5, Uplift 5 Teutopolis 4, Williamsville 3, Quincy Notre Dame 2, Farmington  2, Casey-Westfield 1

Class 1A

School                                      W-L          Pts      Prv

1. Aurora Christian (9)            22-1        108      1

2. DePue (1)                              24-2        85        2

3. East Dubuque (1)                26-3        80        4

4. Annawan                              25-3        75        5

5. Payson Seymour                 26-2        68        3

6. Sterling Newman                 23-4       57        6

7. Colfax Ridgeview                  24-4       48        7

8. New Berlin                             25-3       33        8

9. Cairo                                       21-5       22        9

10. Nokomis                              21-7         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Newark 8, Quest Academy 5, Milford 4, Cissna Park 2. Okawville 1.