Preps Talk

High School Lites preview: Week 15


High School Lites preview: Week 15

This week's edition of High School Lites is filled with boys basketball playoff highlights as we're scheduled to bring you highlights of 14 games from across Illinois. CSN and will be airing the Class 1A and Class 2A state semifinals and finals on Friday and Saturday and highlights of those state semifinal games will be featured on High School Lites.
Tons of Class 3A and Class 4A sectional final games are also on the docket, including rematches between Morgan Park and Bogan, Fenwick and St. Joseph, Benet and York and Kenwood and Curie. Plus, we'll also have a Getting to Know feature on Fenwick senior point guard Mike Smith and our Team of the Week is the Benet girls basketball team after claiming back-to-back Class 4A state championships. You can catch High School Lites live at 11 p.m. this Friday night on CSN and streaming on Be sure to follow us on Twitter @CSNPreps for IHSA updates from all over the state.

Morgan Park vs. Bogan, St. Laurence Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — It will be the third time these two Red-South rivals meet this season when the Mustangs (25-3) take on the Bengals (20-7). Morgan Park won, 79-58, on the road on Dec. 17 while also winning at home, 77-67, on Jan. 21. Although the Mustangs swept the season series, this rivalry means this could be close. The Mustangs will rely on Player of the Year frontrunner Charlie Moore while Bogan counters with senior James Jones.

Fenwick vs. St. Joseph, Westinghouse Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Another rematch as Fenwick (28-2) takes on St. Joseph (23-8) for the third time. The Friars won at home on Jan. 28 with a 54-42 win while also winning the Catholic League Tournament title over the Chargers with a 73-51 win on Feb. 20. Senior Mike Smith is right in there for the Player of the Year race while senior Nick Rakocevic has been an All-Area threat for St. Joseph. 
Ridgewood vs. St. Patrick, Ridgewood Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Ridgewood (17-12) is hoping its late-season surge continues at home as they host St. Patrick (16-14). The Shamrocks made nine 3-pointers in a sectional semifinal win over Antioch on Wednesday night while Ridgewood took down top-seed North Chicago.  
Glenbard South vs. Boylan, Woodstock North Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Boylan (30-2) will be the heavy favorite when they face Glenbard South (20-9) on Friday night. The Titans are led by talented junior guard Zach Couper, who is a threat to score from all over the floor. Glenbard South hasn't been to a sectional final since 2000 as they try to pull off a big upset here.
Class 4A
Benet vs. York, East Aurora Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Another rematch in this one as Benet (28-3) knocked off York (20-12), 51-46, on Dec. 8. The Redwings have been one of the area's most consistent teams this season but York's defense has been impressive as they've earned quality wins over Naperville North and Glenbard West the last two games. 
Simeon vs. Thornton, Bloom Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — The Wolverines (27-3) will be the favorite in this one when they face Thornton. Simeon already bounced the south suburbs' other best team, Marian Catholic, earlier in the week as Zach Norvell, Evan Gilyard, Josh Thomas and company face the Wildcats. Thornton (25-3) is led by strong guard play in Patrick Rucker and Sam Taylor as they try to keep their strong season alive. 
Notre Dame vs. Deerfield, Glenbrook South Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Two of the north suburbs' best teams go at it when Notre Dame plays Deerfield. The Dons (24-6) have won eight consecutive games as they beat Evanston in the sectional semifinals. Deerfield (28-3) has been one of the most fun teams to watch this season as they're led by senior Jordan Baum. 
Conant vs. Lake Zurich, Fremd Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — Top seed Conant tries to close out a sectional title as they battle Lake Zurich. The Cougars (22-6) have a talented junior guard in Jimmy Sotos and plenty of size inside as they play in their first sectional final since 2007. Lake Zurich (24-9) has never played in a sectional final as they held off Fremd in a thriller in the sectional semifinal. 
Curie vs. Kenwood, Riverside-Brookfield Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — These two Red-Central rivals meet for the fourth time this season when Curie and Kenwood battle. The Broncos (22-4) have won two of the three meetings, including a win in the Public League Playoff semifinals a few weeks ago. Senior Nick Robinson and Zion Morgan will be key players for Kenwood in this one. Curie (24-5) counters with senior Devin Gage, a DePaul commit, and junior Elijah Joiner. 
Auburn vs. St. Charles East, Rock Valley Sectional, 7:00 p.m. — St. Charles East tries to continue its unlikely run when they play Rockford Auburn. The Saints (18-12) have won five straight games as they're coming off blowout wins over Batavia and Prairie Ridge. Auburn (23-6) picked up a blowout win over Jacobs in the sectional semifinals as they've won all three playoff games by double figures.

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. The show also live streams at High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday. 

Week 9 is “Bubble Week” for many teams fighting to stay on the right side of the postseason bubble. Who moves on? Whose bubble will burst? Will Wauconda advance to the playoffs after finishing 2-7 last year? Or will Grant end their season on a winning note? Schaumburg and Fremd both stand at 4-4. The winner goes to the postseason. The winner stays home for November. Zion-Benton hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2003. A win over Libertyville gets them there. But for the Wildcats, this ‘is’ their playoff game. Who wins in the North Suburban conference? We’ll send our cameras to one of the following:

Grant at Wauconda, 7:15 p.m.

Schaumburg at Fremd, 7:30 p.m.

Libertyville at Zion-Benton, 7:30 p.m.

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.
1. Lincoln-Way East 8-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 56-18
This Week: vs Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Griffins get a nice Week 9 test hosting Bolingbrook. Can the Raiders push the Griffins for four quarters?

2. Batavia 8-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat St. Charles North, 27-24
This Week: @ Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: An epic drive late in the game with no timeouts. The Bulldogs pull out the close-call win over St. Charles North.  

3. Brother Rice 8-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Leo, 48-0
This Week: @ Montini Catholic
EDGY's Take: What were the preseason that the biggest Chicago Catholic League game of the year would be Brother Rice at Montini?

4. Marist 7-1 (4)
Last Week: Beat Marian Central Catholic, 42-6
This Week: @ Benet Academy
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks will get a nice Week 9 on Friday from Benet at Benedictine University. 

5. Mount Carmel 7-1 (5)
Last Week: Beat St. Laurence, 40-0
This Week: vs Fenwick
EDGY's Take: The Caravan have been playing as well as any contenders ranked here.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Andrew, 35-3
This Week: vs Sandburg
EDGY's Take: Head coach Craig Buzea got his 200th career win last Friday over Andrew.

7. Cary-Grove 8-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Prairie Ridge, 21-14
This Week: vs Naperville Central
EDGY's Take: The Trojans rallied from being down 14-0 and scored 21 unanswered points to defeat their bitter rivals.

8. Simeon 8-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Taft, 58-7
This Week: @ Curie
EDGY's Take: The big question coming Saturday night-- Will the Wolverines wind up in 8A or 7A? 

9. Nazareth Academy 7-1 (9)
Last Week: Beat Joliet Catholic, 49-20
This Week: vs Marian Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners get a nice bounce-back win last Friday over Joliet Catholic.

10. Maine South 7-1 (10)
Last Week: Beat New Trier, 38-21
This Week: vs Niles West
EDGY's Take: The Hawks get another big Central Suburban South win. 

11. Oswego 8-0 (11)
Last Week: Beat Joliet Central, 49-0
This Week: @ Plainfield South
EDGY's Take: The Panthers will take on a very defensive-minded Plainfield South team on Friday.
12. Richards 8-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Reavis, 51-0
This Week: vs Eisenhower
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs continue to cruise and are gearing for a high seed in Class 6A.
13. Phillips 6-2 (14)
Last Week: Beat Westinghouse, 46-6
This Week: @ Raby
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will look to finish strong this week against Raby.

14. Willowbrook 8-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Proviso East, 40-7
This Week: @ Downers Grove South
EDGY's Take: The Warriors will look to send Downers Grove South (4-4) home for the holidays on Friday.

15. Naperville Central 6-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Waubonsie Valley, 35-14
This Week: @ Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks have won six straight games and have the makings of a team that could make some postseason noise. 

16. Bolingbrook 7-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Thornton, 43-7
This Week: @ Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Raiders will look to derail the "Big Cobalt Blue Machine" this Friday in Frankfort. 

17. Montini 8-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Providence Catholic, 27-3
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Broncos will host Brother Rice on Friday in the biggest game of the year in the Chicago Catholic League.

18. Oak Park-River Forest 6-2 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Glenbard West, 10-7
This Week: vs Lyons Township
EDGY's Take: The Huskies have a top-notch defense and found a way to beat Glenbard West at Duchon Field. It was OPRF's first win there since 1998.

19. Warren Township 7-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Stevenson, 21-0
This Week: @ Mundelein
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils defense came to play. An impressive 21-0 shutout over Stevenson 21-0 last Friday.

20. Glenbard West 6-2 (12)
Last Week: Lost to Oak Park-River Forest, 10-7
This Week: @ Proviso West
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers defense is still salty as ever. But can the offense find a few more options besides standout RB Tyquan Cox?

21. Hillcrest 8-0 (22)
Last Week: Beat TF North, 50-6
This Week: vs Bremen
EDGY's Take: The Hawks have made it look easy this regular season. They'll go for a 9-0 sweep later this week in an effort to claim a high seed in 5A.

22. Notre Dame 7-1 (23)
Last Week: Beat Carmel, 21-7
This Week: vs Joliet Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Dons now host JCA and will try to knock out the Hilltoppers from the state playoff field.

23. Hinsdale Central 8-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Lyons Township, 57-0
This Week: vs Hinsdale South
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils will get challenged this Friday against crosstown rival Hinsdale South (The "Doings Cup" game).

24. Rolling Meadows 8-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Hersey, 38-35
This Week: @ Buffalo Grove
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs get a huge win over Hersey. Why do I get the feeling we could see an RM-Hersey rematch in the postseason?
25. St. Charles North 6-2 (21)
Last Week: Lost to Batavia, 27-24
This Week: vs Wheaton South
EDGY's Take: The North Stars drop a last-second loss to Batavia last Friday; they will look to get back on track this week against another tough opponent in Wheaton South.