Preps Talk

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 6 St. Viator

NBC Sports Chicago

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 6 St. Viator

St. Viator

2017-18 record: 24-6, 9-0 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference

Postseason results: Lost to Niles North in Class 4A regional finals.

Players to watch: The Division I backcourt of point guard Trey Calvin (Wright State) and guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Kent State) will be one of the best in the state this season as both players can take over a game with their scoring. Junior Connor Kochera also impressed with his shot-making ability this summer while junior Michael Huene provides size on the interior.

Why they're in the power rankings: Unbeaten in a very tough conference a year ago, St. Viator has one of the state's best backcourts and emerging juniors in Kochera and Huene. The Lions have a lot of offensive firepower with this team, as they'll be the favorite once again in the ESCC.

Did you know? St. Viator returns to Class 3A this season after spending last season in Class 4A. When the Lions were a 3A team during the 2016-17 season, they won a sectional title. 

High School Lites Roundup: Week 13

High School Lites Roundup: Week 13

High School Lites has shifted into postseason mode as the boys and girls basketball state playoffs are in full swing. With the Class 1A and 2A girls basketball state semifinals, the girls Class 3A and 4A sectional finals and the boys basketball Class 1A and 2A regional finals, it was a very busy week of basketball. The regular seson also closed for boys basketball in Class 3A and 4A as those teams gear up for the playoffs beginning next week.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Glenbard West's Maddie Diab

Team of the Week presented by Saint XavierMaine South boys basketball

Mid-Week Mixtape: Curie claims Public League Playoff title over Morgan Park


BOYS: Orr cruises past Clark for regional title

BOYS: Dunbar takes down Phoenix

BOYS: Timothy Christian holds off St. Edward

BOYS: St. Joseph races by Payton

BOYS: Shepard stays hot with win over Eisenhower

BOYS: Belleville West topples Granite City

BOYS: Fremd holds off Prospect for MSL title

GIRLS: Mother McAuley rallies to beat Homewood-Flossmoor

GIRLS: Maine West holds off Evanston in OT

GIRLS: Eastland, Schlarman advanced to 1A title game with semifinal wins

GIRLS: Marshall advances to 2A title game past Hillsboro

High School Lites Preview: Week 13


High School Lites Preview: Week 13

High School Lites has a lot of playoff action and the final week of the boys basketball regular season on this week's show. The girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals will be aired on NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago + during Friday as we'll have highlights on the show.

The girls basketball Class 4A sectional finals will be represented as well, and we'll also have plenty of boys basketball coverage. We'll feature multiple Class 2A regional finals while also hitting some regular season games to close out the season.

Girls Basketball Class 1A and 2A State Semifinals

1A: Eastland vs. Shiloh Coop, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- A pair of strong teams matchup here in the opening semifinal. Eastland (30-4) has won 16 straight as junior guard Erin Henze is their playmaker. Shiloh Coop (29-4) has a sophomore to watch in Tayler Berry as they've won 12 straight in this one. 

1A: Lewistown vs. Danville Schlarman, 12:45 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Defending Class 1A champion Schlarman takes the floor against another 30-win opponent in the second semifinal. Schlarman (31-2) is led by Notre Dame commit and senior Anaya Peoples as she's averaging 20.1 points per game. Lewistown (31-1) is making its second appearance at state as junior Anna Heffren leads the charge.   

2A: Marshall vs. Hillsboro, 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago + -- Defending Class 2A champion Marshall defends its title in the first Class 2A semifinal. The Commandos (25-8) are making their third straight trip to state under legendary head coach Dorothy Gaters as senior Brandi Hudson is having a strong season. Hillsboro (29-5) is making a second state appearance (2006) as senior and prolific scorer Sammi Matoush was the leading vote-getter for the Class 2A all-state team.  

2A: St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Teutopolis, 7:15 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago + -- Two more strong teams play in this one. Teutopolis (32-4) is back at state for the second straight year after falling to Marshall in double overtime last season. The Lady Shoes are a balanced team led in scoring by sophomore guard Lexie Niebrugge. St. Joseph-Ogden (28-4) counters with senior guard Bree Trimble as they've won 15 in a row.

Girls Basketball Class 3A and 4A Sectional Finals

4A Sectional: Maine West at Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- Unbeaten Maine West tries to advance past a tough No. 3 seed. The Warriors (31-0) have been one of the state's best teams this season as junior Angela Dugalic just passed the 1,000-point mark. Evanston (24-7) knocked off No. 2 seed Loyola earlier in the week as they've won six straight games. These two teams met during Thanksgiving time with Maine West winning 58-34. 

4A Sectional: Mother McAuley vs. Homewood-Flossmoor (Thurs) -- Can upset-minded Homewood-Flossmoor keep its great run alive against top-seeded Mother McAuley? The Vikings (21-8) were the No. 6 seed as they've upset No. 3 seed Marist and No. 2 seed Thornwood along the way. Mother McAuley (32-2) has a 14-game winning streak, as they dismantled No. 5 seed Lincoln-Way West in the previous round.

Boys Basketball Regular Season

Eisenhower at Shepard, 7:00 p.m. -- Two South Suburban Red teams face in this game. Eisenhower (17-10, 6-6) has played back-to-back overtime games against Oak Lawn and Schurz -- splitting a loss and a win, respectively. Shepard (20-7, 7-5) has won 10 of their last 11 as they've been one of the hotter teams in the area recently. 

Payton at St. Joseph, 7:00 p.m. -- A non-conference clash as both teams prepare for the playoffs. Payton (16-10) tied for the best mark in the White-North as the Grizzlies have played a tough schedule. St. Joseph (12-18) has been playing well down the stretch with wins over Boylan, Fenwick and De La Salle in the last few weeks.

Granite City at Belleville West, 7:30 p.m. -- We get a glimpse of a St. Louis-metro area power and the defending Class 4A champions in this one. Belleville West (26-4) is coming off of a close loss to Alton as senior E.J. Liddell is an Ohio State commit and the reigning Mr. Basketball in Illinois. Granite City (14-14) has dropped two straight entering this one as they try to hang with one of the state's best.

Boys Basketball Class 2A Regional Finals

Chicago Christian Regional: Harlan vs. Corliss -- A matchup of Public League Red-South/Central foes for a regional title in this one. Harlan (8-20) went 0-9 in league play before knocking off Julian and stunning 20-win Chicago Christian in the regional semifinals. Corliss (16-8) knocked off Harlan during conference play with a double-digit win on Jan. 10 as the Trojans are a sleeper to make a run.  

Orr Regional: Orr vs. Clark -- The back-to-back defending Class 2A champion Spartans host a regional title. Clark (16-10) was one of the Public League White-West's best teams this season as they lost to Orr in the Public League Playoffs. Orr (20-11) appears to be peaking at the right time as they're led by Greg Outlaw and Sharif Kenney. 

Timothy Christian Regional: Timothy Christian vs. St. Edward -- A pair of familiar Metro Suburban Red teams battle here. St. Edward (14-17) split the season series against Timothy Christian as they knocked off IC Catholic earlier this week. Timothy Christian (19-10) has won five of their last six games, including a blowout win over St. Edward on February 12. 

Northridge Prep Regional: Aurora Christian vs. Northridge Prep -- A pair of 20-win teams battle in this one. Aurora Christian (24-7) is led by junior Will Wolfe as he's a Division I prospect who can take over a game. Northridge Prep (21-9) has won six of their last seven as they're entering this game on a bit of a hot streak.

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Dunbar Regional: Dunbar vs. Phoenix -- Two Public League teams face here. Dunbar (19-5) had a strong season in the White-Central as they're coming off a Public League Playoff loss to Bogan recently. Phoenix (18-6) tied for the league's best mark in the Blue-West as they scored a tight win over No. 4 seed Wells in the regional semifinals.