High School Lites has plenty of great highlights from across the area this week. We have some ranked teams in the Public League, South suburbs and North suburbs, as well as highlights of some other enticing matchups as well. This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Brother Rice's Marquise Kennedy, as we'll have more on the Loyola commit's hot start. High School Lites airs at 11 p.m. on Friday night on NBC Sports Chicago. Follow us on Twitter on @NBCSPreps for the latest IHSA Basketball updates.
No. 12 Simeon at No. 2 Curie, 5:00 p.m. -- The Public League Red-South/Central features another major early-season clash in this one. The Wolverines (1-4, 1-1) have struggled out of the gate after a recent double-overtime loss to Bogan as a young team tries to figure out playing a difficult national schedule. Curie (9-0, 2-0) has come out of the gate red-hot as they earned a blowout win over Morgan Park earlier in the week. Condors senior DaJuan Gordon is looking like a Player of the Year candidate with his strong start.
Taft at Payton, 5:00 p.m. -- The two unbeatens in the Public League White-North battle in this one. Taft (4-5, 3-0) has three straight wins, including a thrilling two-point win over Mather on Wednesday. Payton (5-2, 3-0) is also on a three-game winning streak as they have an impressive early win over De La Salle.
Dundee-Crown at Crystal Lake South, 7:00 p.m. [GIRLS] -- A Fox Valley Friday night conference game should be intriguing. Dundee-Crown (8-3, 4-0) is one of the league's best teams as they've only fallen to opponents with undefeated records. The Chargers knocked off Riverside-Brookfield to begin Oak Lawn Holiday Tournament play on Wednesday. Crystal Lake South (3-6) took down Marian Central in a non-conference game earlier this week as the Gators try to earn a conference win.
Niles North at No. 4 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- The Central Suburban South is never an easy league as this one will be fun. Niles North (4-2, 1-1) fell to ranked Glenbrook South last Friday night as they're one the road against a ranked opponent for the second straight week. Evanston (6-1, 1-1) has a talented group of guards led by Southern Illinois commit Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost.
No. 20 Uplift at Marshall, 6:30 p.m. -- Two teams off to good starts in the Public League Red North/West face here. Uplift (5-2, 2-1) took down Crane earlier this week in league play as senior Markese Jacobs is a Player of the Year candidate. Marshall (5-1, 2-1) has only lost to No. 1 Whitney Young this season as they've been one of the Public League's more underrated teams.
Lincoln Park at No. 1 Whitney Young, 7:00 p.m. -- Staying in the Public League Red North/West, this should be a good test for No. 1 Whitney Young. The Dolphins (6-1, 2-0) remain unbeaten in Illinois as junior guards D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard are a force to reckon with. Whitney Young, however, needed everything to avoid upset against Prosser on Wednesday. Lincoln Park (4-4, 1-2) has a busy week as they lost to Orr on Wednesday. The Lions have an intriguing junior in big man Romelle Howard as they'll try to take advantage inside.
Plainfield South at No. 23 Romeoville, 6:30 p.m. -- We head to the Southwest Prairie for this one. Plainfield South (2-5, 0-1) has played a bit better than their record indicates as four of their five losses have come by four points or less. Romeoville (6-1, 1-0) lost its first game of the season to Bolingbrook this week as the Spartans find themselves back in the top 25. Junior Destin Whitaker is a player to watch for Romeoville while senior guard Mike Salter is a veteran presence.
Shepard at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. -- An intriguing South Suburban crossover in this one. Shepard (6-2, 2-1) is in the mix in the Red with a number of teams as they've already earned two straight road wins entering this one. Lemont (4-5, 1-1) has two straight losses by three or less as they've been close to breaking through during a sluggish start. Senior Nate Ferguson is committed to Drake as he's one of the area's better forwards.
No. 3 Bloom at No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m. -- This non-conference battle is a rematch of an overtime thriller we saw earlier this season when Bloom beat Homewood-Flossmoor for the title of the Chicago Heights Classic. The Blazing Trojans (9-0, 2-0) are playing at an elite level to start the season as they've already earned some quality wins over teams like the Vikings and Morgan Park. Homewood-Flossmoor (5-1, 1-0) hopes to avenge their only loss of the season so far as they prepare for the loaded Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic later this month.
No. 21 Downers Grove North at Glenbard West, 7:30pm -- This one has a chance to be really good in the West Suburban Silver. Downers North (7-0, 2-0) comes in unbeaten thanks in large part to the dynamic senior backcourt of Semaj Henderson and Trey Boston. Glenbard West (6-2, 0-1) counters with Southern Illinois commit Evan Taylor as they try to make a move in conference play following an early loss to York.
Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week
Guerin at Elmwood Park, 7 p.m. -- We head to the Metro Suburban Red for our Viewers' Choice matchup this week. Guerin (0-6, 0-2) is trying to get in the win column this season while Elmwood Park (5-4, 1-0) lost earlier this week to Westmont to snap a three-game winning streak. This game won a tight race that featured over 1,600 votes as we had a strong turnout for our Metro Suburban week.