Preps Talk

The best IHSA playoff performances

704464.png

The best IHSA playoff performances

It is every Illinois high school basketball player's dream to register his greatest individual performance in the championship game of the state tournament, as Breese Central's Brandon Book did in last week's Class 2A finals.

Max Hooper started it all in 1950. The two-time All-Stater from Mount Vernon scored a then single-game record of 36 points as the top-rated Rams crushed second-ranked Danville 85-61 for their 46th victory and second state title in a row.

Hooper scored 104 points in the last four tournament games to lead all scorers. His 36-point standard stood for 22 years. One of the state's all-time best teams, Mount Vernon overpowered its opponents by margins of 17, 25, eight and 24 points.

In 1953, in the highly ballyhooed "Battle of the Decade" pitting top-ranked Kankakee and Harv Schmidt vs. third-rated La Grange and Ted Caiazza in the sectional semifinal at Joliet, Caiazza had 31 points and 14 rebounds as La Grange won 83-74. Schmidt finished with 37 points.

Both teams were unbeaten. La Grange went on to win the state title with a 29-0 record with no opponent coming within nine points. The Lions swept past their last four tournament opponents by margins of 17, 32, 13 and 12 points. Caiazza, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior, averaged 30 points per game and had over 200 scholarship offers.

After being upset by Morton of Cicero in the 1941 semifinals, Centralia came back in 1942 to beat favored Paris 35-33 as the legendary Dike Eddleman emerged as the tournament scoring leader and capped his high school career by scoring 16 points and sparking the Orphans' dramatic comeback victory in the final.

Jay Shidler became a rock star in 1976. The Lawrenceville senior scored a then record 157 points in four games to turn the Class A finals into a personal Woodstock. No one else on his team scored more than 28 points. On the final Saturday, he scored 48 in a semifinal loss to Oneida ROVA in the afternoon, then came back at night to score 45 in a consolation victory over Buda Western. In a 29-2 season, Shidler averaged 32.7 points.

Dave Robisch was just as sensational in 1967. The 6-foot-9 senior from Springfield averaged 32 points per game as the Senators finished 30-3 and third in the state tournament. In the last four games, he set records of 152 points and 77 rebounds. In a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Pekin, he scored 41 points. In beating West Rockford for third place, he scored 39. His scoring record stood until 1987. His rebounding record has never been surpassed.

Boyd Batts always played in the shadow of his older and more celebrated brother Lloyd Batts, a two-time All-Stater at Thornton, and his Thornridge teammate, Quinn Buckner. But in Thornridge's 104-69 rout of Quincy in the 1972 Class AA championship game, the 6-7 senior scored 37 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. He shot 14-of-18 and converted 9-of-10 free throws.

In 1970, 6-foot-8 junior Owen Brown put a cap on La Grange's 31-0 season by scoring 24 points and grabbing a record 24 rebounds in the Lions' 71-52 victory over East Moline in the state final.

In Class A, Pierre Pierce of Westmont set a tournament record with 159 points in 2001. He scored 28, 41, 42 and 48 points as Westmont finished fourth.

In Class AA, Marcus Liberty of King set a tournament record with 143 points in 1987. He scored 41, 23, 38 and 41 points as King finished second to East St. Louis Lincoln. His 41 in a 79-62 loss in the state final also is a tournament record.

Hinckley-Big Rock's Jim Edmondson continues to hold the tournament single-game scoring record with 55 against Winnebago in the 1984 supersectional.

Glenbrook North's Jon Scheyer holds the Class AA mark with 48 points against Waukegan in the 2005 supersectional.

Shawn Jepson of Spring Valley Hall scored 51 against Warsaw in the 1997 Class A championship game, most ever in a Class A state final.

But did you know that the most points ever scored in state tournament competition is 62?

Dennis Brown of Canton and Don Slusarek of La Salle-Peru each scored 62 in regional games, the most points ever scored by an Illinois high school player in a single game in the month of March.

Brown scored 62 against Illini Bluffs in 1970. He made 24-of-27 shots and 14-of-17 free throws. Slusarek scored 62 against Chillicothe IVC in 1976. He made 24-of-35 shots and 14-of-17 free throws.

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Naperville Central

Head coach: Mike Stein

Assistant Coaches: Mike Ulreich: (DC/Inside LB), Tim Boecker (DB) Marc Anderson (DB), Adam Pucylowski (Outside LB), Eric Novak (DL), Pat Watson (OC/OL), Phil Allen (OL), Ryan Clifford (TE/H-backs), Adam Freed (RB), Chad Bradley (QB), Josh McLeod (WR) and Kofi Hughes (WR)

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (7-1 DuPage Valley Conference). Naperville Central made the 8A state playoff field and defeated West Aurora and Homewood-Flossmoor. In the quarterfinal round, they lost to Maine South. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Hinsdale Central

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way East

Sept. 7 vs Naperville North

Sept. 14 @ St. Matthews (Trinity) Kentucky

Sept. 21 @ Metea Valley

Sept. 28 vs Naperville North at NCC

Oct. 5 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 12 vs Waubonsie Valley

Oct. 19 @ Cary-Grove

[MORE: 12 Days to Kickoff - Hinsdale Central]

Biggest storyline: The schedule. Can the Redhawks survive a grueling regular season slate and go deep in the Class 8A playoffs?

Names to watch this season: QB Payton Thorne (Western Michigan) and OG Luke Hallstrom (Air Force)

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will need to reload upfront on both the offensive and defensive line this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Welcome to the new-look DuPage Valley, Naperville Central fans. The Redhawks will face a stiff test for all nine weeks of the regular season. It includes back-to-back games against fellow Class 8A state title contenders right out of the gate: Hinsdale Central and Lincoln-Way East. But Naperville Central features one of the state's top quarterbacks in senior Payton Thorne. He has capable targets in senior WR Cade McDonald and senior TE Jared Suchevits. As for the defense, they'll feature senior DB Jack Jopes along with senior LB Matt Oliver. A major plus to help Central's cause: they always have a deep roster and strong overall program numbers year in and year out. 

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 4: Roster overview

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 4: Roster overview

In a 10-part series, we look back at the 10-year anniversary of the 2008-09 season, the start of the Blackhawks dynasty.

Starting a dynasty means you have to identify a group of core players to build your team around. Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews were those guys, along with Marian Hossa, who joined that mix later on.

You also need a mixture of young talent and strong veterans to fill out the depth to become successful. That's exactly what the Blackhawks had at the beginning of their dynasty and throughout.

On the first day of NHL free agency in 2008, the Blackhawks inked All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell to an eight-year deal, which solidified Chicago as a destination players wanted to commit to long term. That same year, Kris Versteeg emerged as the Blackhawks' third Calder Trophy candidate in two years, Martin Havlat and Andrew Ladd set a career high in points with 77 and 49, respectively, while youngsters Dave Bolland, Troy Brouwer and Dustin Byfuglien began to make a name for themselves as valuable pieces to the puzzle.

"Real good group of guys," Joel Quenneville said on Oct. 18, 2008. "I can say that it's the first time I walked in the room where, wow, I was impressed."

Six of the Blackhawks' Top 10 scorers in 2008-09 were aged 23 or younger. The average age for the other four? 27. The youth movement was real and they all contributed in a big way.