It's an important week of high school basketball in the area as High School Lites will have highlights of many key conference showdowns.
Both divisions of the Mid-Suburban League, the Central Suburban North, the SouthWest Suburban Red and the Fox Valley Fox all feature games between the top two teams in the standings. We'll also have highlights from the opening round of the Catholic League Tournament and highlights from the crazy race in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
This week's Team of the Week is the Whitney Young girls basketball team, as the Dolphins are coming off of yet another city title with a huge win over Morgan Park. Also be on the lookout for a "Getting to Know" feature on Kenwood senior forward Nick Robinson, as he's hoping to lead the Broncos deep into the postseason.
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High School Lites airs at 11 p.m. on CSN and streams live on CSNChicago.com. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @CSNPreps for the latest Friday night score updates.
No. 5 Thornton at Lincoln-Way Central, 6:00 p.m. - The top two teams in the SouthWest Suburban Red do battle as No. 5 Thornton travels to Lincoln-Way Central. The Wildcats (19-1, 10-0) are still unbeaten in the area and are looking to build a dominating conference lead while Lincoln-Way Central (15-6, 6-4) could use a statement win before playoff seedings.
Antioch at Lakes, 7:00 p.m. - The North Suburban Prairie has a group of teams clustered together in the middle and Antioch and Lakes will both try to make a move up the standings on Friday. Antioch (9-13, 4-6) lost at home against Lakes (11-13, 4-6) back in January and will be looking for revenge in this one. Lakes has dropped four straight games entering this one and will look to get back on track.
Prairie Ridge at Grayslake North, 7:00 p.m. - This is a huge game in the Fox Valley Fox as two 20-win teams do battle. Prairie Ridge (20-3, 10-0) is the current conference leader coming off of a solid non-conference win over Waukegan earlier in the week. Grayslake North (20-2, 9-1) will try to avenge a loss to the Wolves earlier this season. Prairie Ridge hasn't lost since the calendar turned to 2016.
St. Rita at Brother Rice, 7:00 p.m. - The Catholic League Tournament kicks off this week with an intriguing rivalry game as St. Rita travels to Brother Rice. This has been a bit of a rebuilding year for the Mustangs (9-14, 5-4) but they've been playing better recently. Brother Rice (15-9, 6-3) won the first matchup between these two teams with a 55-42 win on Dec. 18.
No. 14 Marian Catholic at St. Patrick, 7:00 p.m. - The race in the East Suburban Catholic Conference is heating up as Marian Catholic (17-5, 4-1) tries to keep pace with Benet and St. Viator. The Spartans had a disappointing home loss to Notre Dame at home last week and will try to win a tough one on the road. St. Patrick (13-10, 4-2) has been one of the better teams in the ESCC as well and they've already knocked off a ranked conference opponent at home this season when they beat Notre Dame.
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No. 23 St. Viator at No. 24 Notre Dame, 7:00 p.m. - Two ranked teams collide in the ESCC as St. Viator tries to pick up a key road win at Notre Dame. The Lions are tied in the loss column with Marian Catholic and Benet atop the conference standings and they've been impressive in tight finishes this season. Notre Dame (17-6, 3-3) has been one of the hardest teams in the area to peg as some nights they can play with any team in the state and other nights they come out with a lackluster effort.
Niles North at No. 20 Deerfield, 7:30 p.m. - The top two teams in the Central Suburban North play again as Deerfield tries to get revenge on Niles North. In the first meeting between these two, the Vikings (19-6, 6-2) picked up an easy win on Jan. 8 in their gym and they've won seven straight games. Deerfield (21-3, 7-1) will look to stay ahead in the conference standings in their home gym as senior Jordan Baum leads a balanced team.
Prospect at Elk Grove, 7:30 p.m. - It's an important Friday night in the Mid-Suburban League as both divisions will have games between the top two teams. In the East Division, Elk Grove (15-9, 3-2) gets a chance to tie Prospect (13-8, 7-1) in the standings. These two teams played on Dec. 18 with the Knights winning, 50-43, at home. Prospect had won five consecutive games before a recent non-conference loss to Lyons.
Conant at Fremd, 7:30 p.m. - In the West Division of the Mid-Suburban League, Fremd will host Conant. The first time these two teams played, Conant (16-5, 8-0) was the 45-38 winner at home on Dec. 18. The Cougars have won seven of their last eight games and are playing very good ball down the stretch. Fremd (17-6, 6-2) also enters this one with a winning streak, as they've won three straight.