CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school basketball games across Chicagoland for another basketball edition of High School Lites. Catch the show live at 11 p.m. Friday on CSN and streaming at CSNChicago.com.
This week's show has a lot of games with conference implications as we see plenty of great action across the area. We'll have battles from the Upstate Eight River and Valley, SouthWest Suburban Red, Little Ten and Interstate Eight.
There will also be highlights from a top girls basketball matchup from the Mid-Suburban East as Hersey travels to Rolling Meadows. After a tightly contested battle for the Viewers' Choice I'll be heading to Downers South at Hinsdale South in a battle between the top two teams in the West Suburban Gold. Although the Public League doesn't have conference games this week the Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Simeon's Evan Gilyard after the team's championship at Pontiac. Here's the lineup of games for this week.
U-High at Northridge, 6:00 p.m. -- We start with a battle in the Independent School League as the top two teams do battle. U-High (7-3, 2-0) hasn't played since Dec. 16th when they beat Payton, so it will be interesting to see if they have any rust in this one. Senior Jameel Alausa is one of the area's best interior players as the Yale commit is a double-double threat. Northridge (8-3, 3-0) is coming off a 2-2 showing at the Plano Christmas Classic.
Andrew at No. 18 Thornton, 6:30 p.m. -- One of the more interesting games in the SouthWest Suburban Red as both of these teams are coming off of holiday tournament titles. The Thunderbolts (10-4, 2-0) won the large school division at Kankakee as they have won eight consecutive games. The No. 18 Wildcats (9-3, 2-0) took the title at Big Dipper as senior guard Alonzo Verge won MVP honors by continuing to play at a high level. Thornton will be the favorite in this one but Andrew is playing with a lot of confidence.
St. Charles North at No. 21 Geneva, 7:00 p.m. -- An intriguing battle in the Upstate Eight River in this one as unbeaten No. 21 Geneva hosts St. Charles North. The Vikings (13-0, 3-0) are coming off of the title at DeKalb over the holidays while St. Charles North fell to Oak Park-River Forest in the first round at Pontiac before winning the consolation championship. The North Stars (11-2, 3-0) are experienced in big games and this should be a fun one for conference supremacy.
West Aurora at West Chicago, 7:00 p.m. -- Staying in the Upstate Eight, we move over to the Valley division as West Chicago hosts West Aurora. Tai Bibbs is having a monster senior season for the Wildcats (12-3, 1-1) as the Drake commit is putting up a lot of points lately. West Aurora (8-4, 2-0) is led by junior Camron Donatlan as they went 1-2 at Pontiac. The Blackhawks
Serena at Newark, 7:00 p.m. -- The Little Ten has four unbeaten teams with multiple wins as two of them meet here. Newark (10-2, 2-0) is coming off of a runner-up finish in the Plano Christmas Classic as they lost to Ottawa. Will Clausel, Cameron Myre and Dylan Patrick all made all-tournament for the Norsemen. Serena (11-2, 2-0) just won the Marseilles Holiday Tournament over conference rival Indian Creek as the Huskers have won nine straight games.
Peotone at Sandwich, 7:30 p.m. -- Moving on to the Interstate Eight, these two teams are also unbeaten in a crowded conference race. Peotone (11-4, 5-0) just finished in third place in the small school division of the Kankakee Holiday Tournament as Jack Halverson made the all-tournament team. Sandwich (8-4, 3-0) played in the Plano Christmas Classic where they placed ninth as they try to win this one at home.
VIEWERS' CHOICE GAME OF THE WEEK
Downers South at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m. -- The top two teams in the West Suburban Gold so far face each other as this is an important one for Hinsdale South. The Hornets (7-5, 2-0) finished 2-2 at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York as they fell to some good teams like Conant and Naperville North. Playing in that same holiday event, Downers South finished fourth as they faltered in the semifinals and third-place game to Conant and Wheaton North. The Mustangs (9-4, 3-0) have top-25 talent as senior forward T.J. Clifford is a Western Michigan commit and senior guards Denis Alibegovic and Tyree Spencer are solid as well.
Hersey at Rolling Meadows, 6:00 p.m. -- This should be a fun one in the Mid-Suburban East as these co-leaders are two of the best teams in the area. Rolling Meadows (11-5) is coming off of a semifinal appearance in the Montini Christmas Tournament as they fell short with close losses to Benet and Geneva. Hersey (14-2) came in fifth place in that same event as they also fell victim to Geneva during the proceedings.