This week's edition of High School Lites has plenty of great games from around the area. The Public League Playoff semifinals will feature some conference rivalries between top-10 teams while we'll also feature conference matchups from the DuPage Valley, SouthWest Suburban Blue, Metro Suburban West and Central Suburban South. The IHSA girls basketball state tournament has also kicked off as Whitney Young will face Morton in the Class 4A Oak Lawn regional championship. This week's show will also feature 24-win Burlington Central as our Team of the Week and we'll get to know high-flying Larkin junior Christian Negron, as he's drawing significant college interest for his strong play. And, of course, we'll update the latest with #MascotMadness as we reach the Sweet 16 in our bracket.
Catch this week's edition of High School Lites on Friday night at 11 p.m. on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Be sure to follow @CSNPreps for all of the latest IHSA updates from around the state of Illinois.
Public League Playoffs
No. 5 Curie vs. No. 6 Kenwood, 5:30 p.m. - In the first of two tremendous semifinals in the Public League Playoffs, Red-Central rivals Curie (20-4, 8-2) and Kenwood (18-3, 9-1) battle. These two teams split the regular season series with the Condors being short-handed in both games. The first game, which Kenwood won after trailing by 15 in the fourth quarter, Curie was without senior guard Devin Gage. The second game, the Condors won by a point without head coach Mike Oliver, who was suspended. Curie has proven themselves in big games this season by winning the Pontiac Holiday Tournament and playing well in a national showcase win over Orangeville Prep and Thon Maker. Kenwood is very talented but they have to prove that they can win on the biggest of stages before the state playoffs.
No. 3 Simeon vs. No. 1 Morgan Park, 7:00 p.m. - In the second Public League Playoff semifinal, The Battle for Vincennes continues as Simeon and Morgan Park have a rubber match after splitting the regular season series. Morgan Park (21-2, 9-1) is the favorite behind Player of the Year frontrunner Charlie Moore but Simeon (21-3, 9-1) did a nice job of slowing him down in a road win by putting junior Evan Gilyard on him. The winner of that matchup could be key to the outcome of this one.
[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings - Week 11]
No. 14 Homewood-Flossmoor at Stagg, 6:30 p.m. - Homewood-Flossmoor (18-5, 10-1) is trying to stay ahead in the SouthWest Suburban Blue when they travel to Stagg (14-8, 6-5). These two teams played earlier in the season with the Vikings taking a 59-43 win back on Jan. 15. The Vikings have aspirations to make a deep postseason run and they've won six straight games entering this one.
No. 10 Riverside-Brookfield at Glenbard South, 7:00 p.m. - Riverside-Brookfield tries to finish the conference season undefeated as they travel to Glenbard South. The Bulldogs (19-4, 11-0) beat Glenbard South (16-8, 7-3) at home on Jan. 8 as they have already wrapped up the Metro Suburban West.
Naperville Central at Wheaton North, 7:30 p.m. - DuPage Valley rivals collide when Naperville Central (14-10, 8-6) travels to Wheaton North (16-8, 9-5). The Redhawks won the first game between these two teams at home with a 52-37 win on Jan. 22.
[MASCOT MADNESS: Vote here]
No. 4 Evanston at Maine South, 7:30 p.m. - Red-hot Evanston (21-2, 9-0) tries to finish off the Central Suburban South conference season with an undefeated record as they travel to rival Maine South. This matchup was our Game of the Week on High School Lites earlier this season with the Wildkits winning a close one, 58-53, at home on Jan. 14. Junior guard Nojel Eastern continues to be a major All-Area candidate with his solid overall play this season.
IHSA Girls Basketball Playoffs
Whitney Young vs. Morton, 7:00 p.m. - In the Class 4A Oak Lawn Regional championship, Public League champion Whitney Young battles Morton. The Mustangs beat Hinsdale South to reach the regional title game earlier this season with Maryam Wilcher scoring 23 points. The Dolphins had an easy time taking care of Jones in its playoff opener as Kiarra Lewis dropped 36 points.