Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: IHSA State Playoffs

High School Lites Preview: IHSA State Playoffs

High School Lites has a huge show in store this week as we feature IHSA Boys Basketball State Playoff highlights from all over the state. The Class 1A and 2A state semifinals begin on Friday while sectional finals in Class 3A and 4A will also be something to watch for.

If you have any crazy highlights or buzzer-beaters on video, be sure to share it with us on Twitter @NBCSPreps as we'll try to feature as many highlights as possible on Friday's show.

Class 1A and 2A State Semifinals

1A: Cissna Park vs. Central A&M, 11 a.m. (NBCSCH) -- Two 30-win teams meet in the opening Class 1A semifinal. Central A&M (32-3) has three capable scorers in junior guards Connor Heaton (19.9 ppg) and Jacob Paradee (14.0 ppg) and senior forward Griffin Andricks (16.4 ppg). Cissna Park (31-4) counters with 6-foot-7 senior Christian Stadeli as he's averaging 17.1 points per game on the season. 

1A: Providence-St. Mel vs. Triopia, 1 p.m. (NBCSCH) -- Another great Class 1A semifinal in this one as Providence-St. Mel remains the state title favorites. The Knights (28-6) have been one of the Chicagoland area's best teams this season (regardless of class) as they're paced by Tyriel Nelson and Deion Jackson. Triopia (33-3) is making its first trip to state as Garrett Snow and Shawn Bell are the team's leading scorers.

2A: Corliss vs. Orr, 5:30 p.m. (NBCSCH+) -- A matchup of Public League teams in the first Class 2A semifinal. Orr (23-11) is the two-time defending Class 2A champs as they are a balanced team led by guards Sherif Kenney and Greg Outlaw and forward Tujautae Williams. Corliss (20-8) lost to Orr on Feb. 7 in the Public League Playoffs as they've been hot ever since. Senior guard Dhason Dyson is having a standout season for the Trojans. 

2A: Nashville vs. GCMS, 7:15 p.m. (NBCSCH+) -- Another matchup of 30-win teams in this one. Nashville (34-2) is led by the duo of Carson Parker and Bryson Bultman as they've won 19 straight games. GCMS is led by Minnesota State commit Ryland Holt (14.4 ppg) as he's having a strong senior campaign. 

Class 3A Sectional Finals

Farragut vs. North Lawndale -- Two Public League teams battle in this one. North Lawndale (17-11) won when these two teams played on Dec. 12 as senior Demetrius Douglas leads the charge. Farragut (20-7) has improved greatly since the start of the season as senior guard Aaron Strong is an All-Area candidate.

Morgan Park vs. Bogan -- A classic rivalry game takes stage once again. The former Red-South (now Red/South-Central) rivals always seem to be on a collision course in Class 3A as they meet once again. Morgan Park (29-4) had a comeback win over Bogan on Dec. 4 as junior Adam Miller had a monster performance. Bogan (27-3) counters with its own Player of the Year candidate in senior big man Rashaun Agee, a double-double threat putting up monster numbers. 

St. Viator vs. DePaul Prep -- Another Class 3A sectional final that fans have been clamoring for all season. St. Viator (26-6) is healthy and thriving at the right time as seniors Jeremiah Hernandez and Trey Calvin lead the charge. DePaul Prep (24-9) also comes in with a veteran team as Perry Cowan is an All-Area candidate. 

Class 4A Sectional Finals

Curie vs. Whitney Young -- Two of the state's most successful programs battle for a sectional title at Proviso West. Curie (32-1) has been the best team in Illinois this season as they haven't lost to an in-state opponent yet. Senior DaJuan Gordon is looking like a Player of the Year threat as he's surrounded by a balanced supporting cast. Whitney Young (25-7) has been plagued by slow starts during the state playoffs, but junior guards D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard are as talented as any duo in the state. 

Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Simeon -- This one has a chance to be special as Class 4A has another rematch from earlier this season. Simeon (19-14) has found its footing after a tough start as senior guards KeJuan Clements and Antonio Reeves will be players to watch. Sophomore Ahamed Bynum and freshman A.J. Casey have also stepped up as the season has gone along. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-7) has knocked off two consecutive top-20 opponents in the state playoffs as the Vikings feature a tremendous amount of balance. Isaac Stanbeck, R.J. Ogom and Trace Williams are only a few of the options H-F relies on every game. 

Geneva vs. Downers North -- Top-seeded Geneva tries to add to its school-record win total in a tough matchup with Downers North. The Vikings (31-1) are led by seniors Jack McDonald and Mitch Mascari as they've been one of the state's best teams all season. Downers North (23-11) is peaking at the right time behind some talented senior guards of their own in Semaj Henderson and Trey Boston. 

Evanston vs. Loyola -- A rematch on the North Shore in this one. Evanston (29-4) won the first matchup on Jan. 29 as they are led by senior guards Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost. Loyola (22-12) has picked things up since the playoffs started as senior Connor Barrett has had the hot hand throughout the last few games.

Rockford East vs. South Elgin -- Can South Elgin knock off the top seed in this sectional? The Storm (25-8) have been one of the fun surprises of the Class 4A bracket as senior Vince Miszkiewicz is starting to impress college coaches. Rockford East (32-2) have been one of the state's top teams this season as Chris Burnell and Sincere Parker are a potent one-two punch. 

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

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USA TODAY

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

Lincoln-Way East junior kicker Dominic Dzioban (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) added a recent scholarship offer from Miami of Ohio and has since given the Redhawks and head coach Chuck Martin his verbal commitment. 

"I just had a great visit on Saturday to Miami of Ohio and I was able to get every question I had about the school and the program answered on Saturday," Dzioban said. "When I was first offered by Miami (Ohio) I had no idea what they had to offer or what they are all about. Miami (Ohio) has a historic campus and they also offer an amazing education. It seems like every facility at Miami (Ohio) is brand new and Oxford is just a great small college town. Miami (Ohio) really offers everything I was looking for in a school and having a chance to go to Miami on a full scholarship is a huge opportunity I couldn't pass by at all."

Lake Forest sophomore linebacker Cal Uihlein (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) was able to add his first offer recently from the Wisconsin Badgers, and Uihlein also made a visit to the University of Wisconsin this past Saturday. 

"I had a great visit to Wisconsin on Saturday," Uihlein said. "It wasn't a usual recruiting type of visit, it was much more low key and I was able to just see everything behind the scenes including seeing the team scrimmage. I was able to get a good feel for the team and the coaches after the scrimmage. I was also able to talk with some of the coaches at Wisconsin including head coach Paul Chryst and linebacker coaches. Everyone at Wisconsin seems very excited about me and it was just good to get to know them a bit better. I was able to just basically see the stadium and I didn't get to see too much of the facilities or the campus. I'll definitely head back again to Wisconsin soon and see more of the school and the facilities and overall it was a great visit."

Warren Township junior three star ranked defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer from the University of Illinois last Saturday while on a visit to watch the Fighting Illini's spring game. 

"I was hoping that an offer (from Illinois) was coming but I still had no idea," Singleton Jr. said. "I know that Illinois is on the rise and have added some really strong players from my recruiting class. My Dad also went to Illinois and just telling him over the phone that Illinois had offered me was an amazing felling and experience."

Singleton Jr. also said that "Illinois is definitely on the top of the spectrum. My recruitment is open, but there are definitely one of the top schools because of how they went about things with me on the visit."

Bolingbrook sophomore safety Justin Walters (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) has also seen more and more schools take notice of him this spring. Walters is currently holding six FBS level offers and growing by the day. 

"I have six scholarship offers now," Walters said. "I have offers from Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Army, Iowa, Iowa State and now Minnesota. Minnesota is my latest offer and they offered me a few weeks ago."

Walters has also been hitting the road and visiting a few schools this spring and plans to see even more soon.

"I've made visits already to Iowa and Iowa St and Wisconsin. I also visited Northwestern awhile ago. I'm also planning to visit Michigan State sometime this spring."

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

It didn't take Wheaton North junior outside linebacker Xander Mueller (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) long to give the Northwestern coaching staff his verbal commitment today. Mueller — whose older brother (junior linebacker Erik Mueller) is already on the Wildcats roster — attended the Wildcats final spring practice today. He picked up a scholarship offer and then gave head coach Pat Fitzgerald his verbal commitment on the spot. 

"I didn't expect it (adding a Northwestern offer) and I was very surprised," Mueller said. "Northwestern is the place for me because of the incredible academics, the location, having my brother already on the team and the amazing coaching staff and football program. I'm super happy."

Mueller is the second in-state name for the Wildcats and the seventh known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2020. Mueller joins Lake Zurich tight end Hunter Welcing (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) as the Wildcats in state commitments so far in the 2020 class. 

Mueller was also the Wildcats second overall verbal commitment today as Groveport (Ohio) Madison three star ranked offensive guard TeRah Edwards (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) also committed to the Wildcats after today's final spring practice.