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CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 14

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CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 14

Every boys basketball team in the state of Illinois has gone through at least one week of the playoffs now as we enter the home stretch of the season. 
 
The @CSNPreps Power Rankings have been updated this week to include four new teams, as we saw some upsets happen during regional play in Class 3A and Class 4A. If you're following the smaller school ranks, keep an eye on No. 12 Orr when they play Hales in a Class 2A supersectional on Tuesday night.
 
Keep an eye on our Twitter @CSNPreps this week as we'll have plenty of IHSA boys basketball updates throughout the week. 
 
1. Simeon (1) (26-3) — The Wolverines took care of business by beating T.F. South and Brother Rice during the week. Now, Simeon is the favorite in a tough Bloom Sectional in Class 4A where they get No. 10 Marian Catholic on Tuesday.
2. Fenwick (2) (27-2) —  Fenwick had two blowout wins that led to a Class 3A regional title as the Friars beat Golder and Urban Prep-West. The Friars get some better competition at the Westinghouse Sectional this week as they get Farragut on Tuesday night before potentially facing St. Joseph or North Lawndale on Friday night. 
3. Morgan Park (3) (24-3) — Morgan Park had two easy wins in Class 3A as they ran past Julian and Harlan for easy wins. The Mustangs are trying to make it to Peoria for the fourth consecutive season as they play No. 24 Mount Carmel 
4. Kenwood (4) (21-4) — With a bull's-eye on their back, Kenwood passed through the Morton Regional unscathed in Class 4A as they beat Von Steuben and Oak Park-River Forest. Kenwood gets tested at the Riverside-Brookfield next week as they play No. 22 Proviso East on Wednesday night.
5. Curie (5) (23-5) — Curie won a Class 4A regional at home as they knocked off Lane and Lincoln Park with easy wins. The Condors now move to the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional, where they play No. 11 Whitney Young on Tuesday. 
6. St. Joseph (6) (22-8) — St. Joseph needed a buzzer-beater to knock off Phillips for the Class 3A regional title. Now, the Chargers get a crack at No. 9 North Lawndale on Wednesday night in the Westinghouse Sectional.
7. Bogan (7) (19-7) — Bogan moved on with ease in the King Sectional as they rolled past DuSable and St. Laurence. The Bengals are hoping to get another playoff shot at rival Morgan Park on Friday night in the St. Laurence Sectional, but first, they have to take care of No. 13 Vocational on Wednesday. 
8. Benet (8) (27-3) — Benet had some close calls in winning a Class 4A regional title as they knocked off Willowbrook and Naperville Central to advance to the East Aurora Sectional. On Tuesday, the Redwings play No. 25 Hinsdale South.
9. North Lawndale (9) (22-7) — The Phoenix were able to win a Class 3A regional on the road by beating Bulls Prep and host Marshall to advance. North Lawndale gets a shot at No. 6 St. Joseph on Wednesday night in the Westinghouse Sectional semifinal. 
10. Marian Catholic (11) (23-5) — The Spartans appear to be peaking at the right time as they had convincing wins over Richards and St. Rita in Class 4A. Marian Catholic's biggest game of the season comes Tuesday at the Bloom Sectional when they play No. 1 Simeon.
11. Whitney Young (13) (19-8) — The Dolphins were able to win a Class 4A regional at home with wins over Schurz and De La Salle. Whitney Young now moves on to the loaded Riverside-Brookfield Sectional, where they'll play No. 5 Curie on Tuesday.
12. Orr (15) (20-3) — Orr continues to roll through Class 2A as they knocked off DePaul Prep and Uplift to advance to supersectional play this week. The Spartans will play Hales in the Joliet Central Supersectional on Tuesday night for a chance to go to Peoria. 
13. Vocational (16) (21-8) — Although they were buried in the Red-South this season, the Cavaliers won the Class 3A Brooks regional with wins over Urban Prep-Englewood and Brooks. Vocational gets a third crack at conference rival No. 7 Bogan on Wednesday night in the St. Laurence Sectional. 
14. Thornton (17) (24-3) — Thornton was able to win a Class 4A regional at home as they beat Shepard and outlasted Bloom in an overtime thriller. The Wildcats move on to the Bloom Sectional as they face No. 23 Crete-Monee on Wednesday night. 
15. Deerfield (18) (27-3) — Deerfield needed a buzzer-beater to beat Lake Forest for a Class 4A regional title, but they'll take it as they advance to the Glenbrook South Sectional this week. The Warriors play No. 18 Stevenson on Wednesday night. 
16. Evanston (19) (23-5) — After the losing streak to close the regular season, Evanston got back on track with wins over Glenbrook South and Niles North as they now advance to the Class 4A Glenbrook South Sectional. The Wildkits get a tough one with No. 17 Notre Dame on Tuesday night.
17. Notre Dame (21) (23-6) — Notre Dame needed a late comeback to top Loyola on the road for a Class 4A regional title, but they got it done as they move on to the Glenbrook South Sectional. The Dons will face Evanston on Tuesday night, a team they lost to, 71-64, on Nov. 27.
18. Stevenson (22) (24-6) — Stevenson continues to play its best basketball of the season lately as they beat Highland Park and Maine South in convincing fashion for a Class 4A regional title. Now, the Patriots get No. 15 Deerfield in the Glenbrook South Sectional on Wednesday.
19. Hillcrest (23) (22-6) — Hillcrest moved on to sectional play in Class 3A as they won the Thornridge Sectional with wins over Thornridge and Rich South. The Hawks will now face Plano in a Streator Sectional semifinal game on Tuesday.
20. Prairie Ridge (24) (25-3) — Prairie Ridge won its first regional title since 2007 as they continue a red-hot stretch. The Wolves beat Belvidere North and Rockford Jefferson to win a Class 4A regional and now they play Rockford Auburn in the Rockford Sectional on Wednesday.
21. Glenbard West (25) (25-3) — Glenbard West set a record for wins in a season by capturing its first regional title since 2008. The Hilltoppers beat Proviso West and Hinsdale Central as they move on to the East Aurora Sectional, where they face York on Wednesday night.
22. Proviso East (NR) (18-8) — Head coach Donnie Boyce is back on the sidelines as the Pirates beat St. Ignatius and Riverside-Brookfield to win a Class 4A regional title. The Pirates will try to take down No. 4 Kenwood on Wednesday night. 
23. Crete-Monee (NR) (20-8) — Crete-Monee enters the @CSNPreps Power Rankings after knocking off Argo and Homewood-Flossmoor for a Class 4A regional title. The Warriors face one of the best teams in the South suburbs on Wednesday night when they play Thornton in the Bloom Sectional. 
24. Mount Carmel (NR) (24-7) — The Caravan continued to pile up wins as they beat Solorio and Mount Carmel in Class 3A this week. Mount Carmel will get a crack at No. 3 Morgan Park on Tuesday night in the St. Laurence Sectional. 
25. Hinsdale South (NR) (22-9) — Hinsdale South took care of business in the Glenbard East in Class 4A, beating Metea Valley and Downers South by double digits to take home a regional title. Things get tougher for Barret Benson and company in the East Aurora Sectional as Hinsdale South plays No. 8 Benet on Tuesday. 

Power Rankings: #5 - Lake Zurich

Power Rankings: #5 - Lake Zurich

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: Lake Zurich

Head coach: Luke Mertens

Assistant coaches: Aaron Towne, Nate Boekholder, Jason Newburger, Matt VanAcker, Nick Summers, Vito Andriola, Rick Erickson, Jeff Bartlett, Shane Williams, Kelly Henkel, Chris Barberis, Christian Wollard and Alec Malachowski

How they fared in 2017: 13-1 (7-0 North Suburban Conference). Lake Zurich made the 7A state playoff field and defeated Schaumburg, Plainfield North, St. Rita and Mount Carmel. In the state title game, they lost in OT to Batavia. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Fremd

Aug. 31 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 7 vs Zion-Benton

Sept. 14 vs Lake Forest

Sept. 21 @ Stevenson

Sept. 28 @ Libertyville

Oct. 5 @ Warren Township

Oct. 12 vs Mundelein

Oct.20 @ Waukegan

[MORE: Power Rankings #6 - Nazareth]

Biggest storyline: The program didn't miss a beat when they changed coaches in the 2017 offseason. Can the program, one year removed from a state title game, reload once again and not skip a beat for the second consecutive season?

Names to watch this season: LB Luke Dwyer (North Dakota State) and WR Michael Gallus

Biggest holes to fill: The Bears will need to have some fresh faces step up on offense, especially in the skills department: quarterback and running back. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Bears will simply reload this season. Head coach Luke Mertens was able to make quite a state playoff run in his first season. Keep an eye on senior QB Matt McGraw (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), who transferred in this summer from Grant. He brings a big arm and a passing threat to the Lake Zurich offense. The Bears' defense will once again be a strength. Keep an eye on senior DL Jackson Farsales, senior LB Luke Dwyer and senior DB Austin LePage. The underclassmen talent for Lake Zurich is also impressive and will provide much needed depth this season. 

Power Rankings: #6 - Nazareth

Power Rankings: #6 - Nazareth

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: Nazareth Academy

Head coach: Tim Racki

Assistant coaches: Casey Moran, Joe Reynolds, Rudy Luna, Brody Budmayr, Jeff Tumpane, Joe Battaglia, Steve Gray, Tom Minogue, Matt Letcher, Larry White, Jonathon Bittle and Joe Felice

How they fared in 2017: 12-2 (6-1 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Nazareth Academy made the 6A state playoff field and defeated Springfield, Danville, Sacred Heart-Griffin and Providence Catholic before losing to Prairie Ridge in the state title game.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. Lutheran North (Mo.)

Aug. 31 @ Lake Zurich

Sept. 7 @ Marian Central Catholic

Sept. 14 vs. St. Patrick

Sept. 21 @ Benet Academy

Sept. 28 @ Carmel

Oct. 5 vs. Marist

Oct. 12 vs. Joliet Catholic

Oct. 19 @ Marian Catholic

[MORE: 33 Days to Kickoff - Benet]

Biggest storyline: Can the Roadrunners move up a class to 7A and win a state title in 2018?

Names to watch this season: RB/DB Devin Blakley (Miami of Ohio) and WR/DB Michael Love (Bowling Green)

Biggest holes to fill: The Roadrunners welcome back 16 returning starters (seven offense, nine defense) from last year's Class 6A state title runner-up team. But still, more depth will be needed playing "up" in 7A this playoff season.

EDGY's Early Take: The Roadrunners and head coach Tim Racki (who will be playing up in Class 7A this year due to the IHSA Success Factor rule) came up just short in the 6A state title in 2017. This year's team brings back nearly every key player from that squad. The offense will need to settle on a starting quarterback (including D1 recruit sophomore QB J.J. McCarthy) but the overall skills group will be a major strength on offense this fall. Nazareth's defense is also loaded. Senior DB/WR Diamond Evans along with senior DT Cameron Leach are just names among several others who are expected to make a major impact this season. If the Roadrunners' offense can settle in under a new quarterback, this team has the potential to win a state title in Class 7A.