Scott Phillips' Top 25 Preps Power Rankings
Scott Phillips' Top 25 Preps Power Rankings
With a busy week full of tournament action there was a lot of movement in the latest CSN Preps Power Rankings.
25. Joliet Central (21-4, 11-2) (20)
The Steelmen won over Oswego but dropped a close one to rival Joliet West. Joliet Central finishes up Southwest Prairie play this week with a tough road game at Romeoville.
24. Oak Park-River Forest (20-6, 11-1) (NR)
Returning to the CSN Preps Power Rankings are the Huskies as they have won seven straight games and won the West Suburban Silver by three games. The Huskies get a game against Downers South this week.
23. Geneva (26-2, 10-1) (10)
The unbeaten season finally stopped for Geneva as they fell to St. Charles North and Quincy. It was tempting to drop the Vikings from the rankings after two straight losses to unranked teams but they still have one of the best teams in the area and beat a lot of solid teams during their impressive start. Geneva faces Elgin this week.
22. Jacobs (24-1, 13-1) (25)
Impressive effort from Jacobs on Friday by taking down Prairie Ridge and winning the rubber match between the two teams. While big man Cameron Krutwig gets a lot of attention for his efforts -- and justifiably so -- he also has plenty of help around him. Jacobs hosts McHenry and Dundee-Crown this week.
21. Uplift (21-5, 10-0) (24)
Uplift had the week off to prepare for the Class 2A playoffs after the upset loss to Farragut in the Public League Playoffs the week before. The Titans have their playoff opener on Tuesday and then might face No. 11 Orr for a regional title next Friday.
20. Naperville North (21-4, 13-2) (23)
The Huskies are up to 15 consecutive wins after over Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley. The win over Evanston looks even more impressive at this point in the season as the Huskies are the only Illinois team that can claim a win over the Wildkits. Naperville North gets another test this week when facing No. 9 Wheaton-Warrenville South on Wednesday.
19. Notre Dame (22-5, 6-2) (22)
Notre Dame scored another double-digit win over Nazareth as they continue to be one of the better teams in the ESCC. The Dons have a tough regular-season finale as they play on the road at rival St. Patrick on Wednesday.
18. Thornton (18-5, 10-0) (11)
The Wildcats fell to Bloom during the week and that makes things interesting come playoff time since those two teams could play again for a regional title. Still one of the better teams in the south suburbs, Thornton plays Thornwood and Thornridge this week.
17. T.F. North (21-3, 12-0) (21)
The Meteors continue to roll as they earned wins over T.F. South and Rantoul last week. T.F. North gets another solid test against Lemont on Tuesday night.
16. Kenwood (18-7, 8-2) (19)
The Broncos lost to Whitney Young in the Public League Playoffs last week. Kenwood will try to bounce back with a non-conference game against Rich East this week as they prepare for the Class 4A playoffs.
15. North Lawndale (20-7, 7-3)
The Phoenix lost to Morgan Park in the Public League Playoff quarterfinals as they were outplayed inside by the Mustang big men. North Lawndale is off this week as they prepare for the Class 3A playoffs.
14. Benet (21-6, 5-3) (18)
The Redwings picked up wins over Joliet Catholic and Carmel during the week as Benet is another team riding a winning streak. With seven consecutive wins, the Redwings are peaking at the right time as they host Marian Catholic in ESCC play this week.
13. Conant (23-4, 8-2) (17)
It seems like Conant is flying a bit under the radar at this point as they earned a win over Schaumburg last week. With head coach Tom McCormack announcing his retirement, effective at the end of the season, it'll be interesting to see how the Cougars fare in March after winning a sectional last year.
12. Prospect (22-4, 9-1) (14)
The Mid-Suburban East champs scored a really solid 20-plus point win over rival Hersey last week as things start to pick up for the Knights this week. Prospect gets a crack at unbeaten No. 8 Fremd in the Mid-Suburban League championship game this week.
11. Orr (16-5, 8-2) (13)
One of the major contenders in Class 2A, Orr gave Curie a huge scare in the Public League Playoff quarterfinals before losing by a point. The Spartans open the Class 2A playoffs with Wells on Wednesday and that could lead to an epic clash with No. 21 Uplift for a regional title next Friday night.
10. Fenwick (23-4, 9-0) (12)
Fenwick captured the Catholic League Tournament title for the second consecutive year as they hope to make a run in Class 3A. The Friars knocked off St. Joseph and Loyola during the week as they have dominated the Catholic League the past two seasons. Fenwick hosts Lincoln Park during the week.
9. Wheaton-Warrenville South (26-1, 15-0) (9)
The Tigers earned another double-digit win over Metea Valley as they continue to pile up wins. The Tigers get one final big test on Wednesday when they face No. 20 Naperville North in the DuPage Valley.
8. Fremd (25-0, 10-0) (8)
After seeing Geneva and Bolingbrook lose for the first time, you have to appreciate Fremd remaining unbeaten at this point in the season. The Vikings beat Palatine last week but they get a really good test in the MSL title game against Prospect this week.
7. Joliet West (22-3, 13-0) (7)
Joliet West scored a really good win over rival Joliet Central on Saturday and they also beat Minooka by 20-plus points. The Tigers have one of the most experienced lineups in the area and they're more battle-tested for the playoffs after making a solid run last year. Joliet West heads to Plainfield North this week.
6. Whitney Young (20-7, 8-2) (6)
The Dolphins scored an impressive double-figure win over Kenwood and then fell to rival Simeon in the city semifinals. Junior guard Javon Freeman has blossomed into a solid option for the Dolphins and between he and Lucas Williamson, Whitney Young remains one of the area's best teams.
5. Bolingbrook (23-1, 8-1) (1)
Finally losing for the first time this season was Bolingbrook as they played without Malik Binns and fell to Lincoln-Way East in SouthWest Suburban Blue play. The Raiders will try to get fully healthy for the postseason as they host Sandburg this week.
4. Curie (23-3, 10-0) (2)
The Condors fell to Morgan Park after surviving against Orr in the quarterfinals. The defending Class 4A champions are still going to be one of the contenders in Class 4A but they have to be more consistent on the interior in order to do so.
3. Morgan Park (19-6, 9-1) (3)
The Mustangs fell to No. 1 Simeon and Stevenson during the weekend but Morgan Park still managed great wins over Curie and North Lawndale. Junior Ayo Dosunmu continues to be solid and the big man combination of Melo Burrell and Lenell Henry has been really good down the stretch. Morgan Park might be the Class 3A favorites despite losing the city title.
2. Evanston (23-3, 10-0) (5)
You can certainly make a case that Evanston is the best team in the area after their impressive win over Simeon this weekend. While the Wildkits beat a Wolverines team more focused on the Morgan Park game the next day, Evanston still deserves credit for thoroughly outplaying a great team despite star senior Nojel Eastern only scoring four points. Evanston moves the ball as well as any team in the area and if their shooting is going they're tough to stop. Evanston faces Deerfield this week.
1. Simeon (24-3, 8-2) (4)
The Wolverines captured their eighth city championship by beating rival Morgan Park as they also beat Whitney Young and Farragut during the week. Although the Wolverines lost to No. 2 Evanston, it was a game Simeon wasn't fully participating in with the city championship looming. With a Pontiac title and a city title, Simeon is a major Class 4A contender.