Preps Talk

High School Lites Week 6 basketball capsules

High School Lites Week 6 basketball capsules

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. 

BOYS BASKETBALL

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. 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

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. 

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves will need to replace their entire starting defensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves. 

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Lincoln-Way West

Head coach: Dave Ernst

Assistant Coaches: Luke Lokanc, Larry Lokanc, Mike Villa, Eric DoornKaat, George Czart, Bob Lombardi, Sean Lucas, Rob Glielmi, Steve Bauer and Al McKellar

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (6-1 Southwest Suburban Conference), Lincoln-Way West made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Knights defeated Jacobs and Alton and then lost to Batavia in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. Racine Case (Wisc.)

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way Central

Sept. 7 vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais

Sept. 14 vs. Thornridge

Sept. 21 @ Homewood-Flossmoor

Sept. 28 @ Sandburg

Oct. 5 vs. Thornton Township

Oct. 12 @ Stagg

Oct. 19 @ Andrew

Biggest storyline: Can the Warriors get back to the 7A playoffs and make a deeper run this season?

Names to watch this season: OL Martin Bender and RB Caleb Marconi

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors welcome back 10 returning starters but just three are back on the defensive side of the football. In particular, they will need to replace their entire starting secondary from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Ernst has guided the Warriors to the IHSA playoffs in each the past six seasons. If West can reload a bit on the defensive side of the football they have a good chance of getting to the postseason again this fall. The good news is that the offense brings back four starting offensive linemen along with bruising RB Marconi. Look for the running game to pace the offense. It should be a big strength this fall.