Preps Talk

High School Lites hoops preview: Week 3

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High School Lites hoops preview: Week 3

This week's edition of High School Lites has five games between ranked teams as plenty of conferences have huge contests.

The Public League's Red-South and Red-Central both have great games on Thursday before the West Suburban Gold, Catholic Red and East Suburban Catholic Conference all host ranked matchups on Friday.

Be sure to check out High School Lites on CSN this Friday night at 11 p.m. and streaming at CSNChicago.com

GAMES ON THURSDAY

No. 1 Morgan Park at No. 7 Bogan, 5:00 p.m. - Two of the top team in the city collide when the No. 1 Mustangs (4-1) travel to face Red-South rival Bogan. The No. 7 Bengals (4-1) get a chance to pick up a big conference win while Morgan Park is trying to win on the road at Simeon and Bogan before January.

No. 25 Hyde Park at No. 4 Curie, 5:00 p.m. - This Red-Central tilt also features two teams in the CSN Preps Power Rankings as No. 25 Hyde Park (7-2) travels to Curie (5-0). Hyde Park has received strong play from senior Tajuan Agee while the Condors are trying to establish themselves as city and state title contenders.

GAMES ON FRIDAY

Thornridge at Lincoln-Way Central, 6:00 p.m. - A SouthWest Suburban Red contest as Thornridge (2-5, 2-0) travels to Lincoln-Way Central (5-1, 1-1). Thornridge has started the season slowly, but is unbeaten in conference play with a big win over Bradley-Bourbonnais. Lincoln-Way Central has only lost on the road at Thornwood this season.

Oswego East at No. 18 Oswego, 6:30 p.m. - This rivalry game is an important one in the Southwest Prairie as Oswego East (3-4, 2-0) goes to No. 18 Oswego (6-1, 2-0). These two teams split last season and both enter this one unbeaten in the conference.

St. Patrick at No. 12 Notre Dame, 7 p.m. - This ESCC rivalry game is our Viewer's Choice Game of the week as St. Patrick (5-3, 1-0) travels to No. 12 Notre Dame (7-1, 1-0). Notre Dame is looking to build its impressive early resume while St. Patrick could use a road win in the ESCC.

No. 3 Fenwick at No. 16 De La Salle, 7:00 p.m. - An important game in the Catholic Red as No. 3 Fenwick (7-0, 2-0) travels to No. 16 De La Salle (6-1, 1-1). The Friars are a major contender for a state title in Class 3A and they have senior leadership in point guard Mike Smith. De La Salle has its own senior leader in George Wilborn and they're coming off a big win over Lincoln Park.

No. 11 Benet at No. 15 Marian Catholic, 7:00 p.m. - With the ESCC being deep and talented, this becomes one to watch in the conference race. No. 11 Benet (7-0, 1-0) is unbeaten and could use a big road win early while the No. 15 Spartans (6-2, 1-0) are young and talented but still haven't put it all together.

Nazareth at St. Viator, 7:00 p.m. - Staying in the ESCC, conference unbeaten St. Viator (5-1, 1-0) hosts Nazareth (2-4, 0-1). The Lions have only fallen to local rival Conant, while Nazareth is trying to get an upset on the road.

No. 20 Fremd at Conant, 7:30 p.m. - The top two teams in the Mid-Suburban West battle as No. 20 Fremd (9-1, 2-0) travels to face Conant (6-1, 2-0). The Vikings have won eight consecutive games since losing to Uplift and they're playing great basketball. Conant has won six straight games since dropping its opener by one point. It should be a great early-season conference battle for both teams.

No. 14 Hinsdale South at No. 21 Downers Grove South, 7:30 p.m. - Two more teams from the CSN Preps Power Rankings collide as No. 14 Hinsdale South (6-1, 2-0) takes on No. 21 Downers South Grove (5-2, 2-0). Northwestern commit Barret Benson will try to lead Hinsdale South to a big conference road win while Downers South is coming off of a loss to Fremd.

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

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: Glenbard North

Head coach: Ryan Wilkens

Assistant coaches: Rich Smelko, John Cassidy, Bruce Donash, John Pullia, Tom Gudella, Kudret Kamabari and Matt Ng

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Glenbard North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Batavia in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Neuqua Valley

Aug. 31 vs Warren Township

Sept. 7 @ St. Charles East

Sept. 14 vs Batavia

Sept. 21 @ Wheaton North

Sept. 28 @ Lake Park

Oct. 5 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 12 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Oct. 19 @ Geneva

[MORE: 50 Days to Kickoff - Neuqua Valley]

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have a new conference home. Can the Panthers reload and fare well in the DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: LB Michael Wellman and FB Jake Wilson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will need several players to step up on offense with just one returning starter back from a season ago-- senior FB Jake Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard North says farewell to the DuPage Valley conference and says hello to all things DuKane. The Panthers will undoubtedly be a younger team in 2018. While some of the star power has graduated, head coach Ryan Wilkins will once again focus on establishing a strong, fast and physical running game. Getting off to a good start against a loaded schedule will be a big key for Glenbard North this season. 

Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout

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USA TODAY

Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout

EMERSON, Ga. -- Rolling Meadows rising sophomore guard Max Christie is having a strong spring and summer on the grassroots circuit as he's emerged as one of the area's newest breakout stars.
 
At 6-foot-5 with an ability to play both on and off the ball, Christie is a versatile perimeter player who can be either a big point guard or a smooth wing. Even though he's only finished one year of high school, Christie already has earned some major college scholarship offers as Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Loyola, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin have all been involved. Playing up an age group with the Illinois Wolves U16 team, Christie is starting to generate a lot of buzz among college coaches and national scouts.
 
"I think I've played well. I've been growing. I have a huge target on my back. So I'm just confident and humble and playing my game," Christie said. "College coaches are coming in everywhere, but I'm just playing my game and not worrying about them. I'm just having fun."
 
Christie is coming off of a positive freshman season at Rolling Meadows in which he had some big games as a freshman while playing on varsity. Although Christie is still very skinny and trying to add strength, he has started to adjust to opponents trying to play physical against him. As he starts to get older, Christie is adjusting to how certain opponents will handle him.
 
"On the court, it's physical. So I have to get used to that. I have encouraging teammates so that's good for me. But everybody is double-teaming me and face-guarding me, so I just have to use screens and everything," Christie said.
 
"I've been in the weight room working. The strength is there. I'm always using it against other teams. I just have to get used to it. I feel like [the physicality] is not as much of a factor as I get stronger."
 
Christie will be one of the marked men in the area this season as he'll draw a lot of attention at Rolling Meadows. He has the potential to be an all-area player. With multiple high-major scholarship offers and national recruiting profiles, Christie is just trying to maintain his focus on staying a versatile player. Playing both on and off the ball, Christie is trying to improve the consistency on his perimeter jumper while also trying to grow his basketball IQ.
 
"Both of them are fine. Off the ball, I like to set screens and get teammates open. I like to get open. On the ball, I like to create, passes, all that stuff," Christie said. "So I'm just trying to make plays, get my teammates open, set better screens."
 
"Leadership is something I need to work on, so it's something I need to accept for this season. So, since I've built this reputation, I'm trying to be more of a leader and encourage. Just being a better teammate."
 
Christie averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as a freshman at Rolling Meadows, as he has the ability to put up monster numbers as a sophomore. Underclass players don't typically compete for awards in the Chicagoland area, but Christie is a potentially special talent at the high school level as he attempts to ascend into a national-level recruit.