Preps Talk

Previewing the Beach Ball Classic on CSN, CSN+

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Previewing the Beach Ball Classic on CSN, CSN+

The Beach Ball Classic, one of the premier high school basketball holiday tournaments in the country, returns to CSN and CSN+ this year as some of the top players and teams in the country square off in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31.

Since 1981, the Beach Ball Classic has taken four teams from South Carolina and put them in a tournament with teams from all over the country as the event has grown to a 16-team field loaded with star power.

This year's field includes a couple of juggernaut programs including defending national champion Montverde (FL), and defending state champions from West Virginia (Poca), Georgia (St. Francis). Other notable programs include legendary California program Mater Dei as well as St. John's College Prep in Washington D.C.

10 Players to Watch

Tony Bradley, Bartow (FL) - The senior center is a North Carolina commit and is making a strong push for the McDonald's All-American game with his start to the season.

T.J. Gibbs, Seton Hall (NJ) - The younger brother of UConn guard Sterling Gibbs, T.J. is a senior guard committed to Notre Dame and a consensus top-100 prospect.

M.J. Cage, Mater Dei (CA) - NBA fans will recognize this senior center's name, as the Oregon commit is the son of former 15-year NBA veteran Michael Cage. 

Michael Bibby, Shadow Mountain (AZ) - More NBA bloodlines enter the field as the son of former NBA star Mike Bibby is one of the better unsigned senior guards on the west coast.

Rowan "RJ" Barrett, Montverde (FL) - Just a freshman, this 6-foot-6 lefty is already in the starting lineup for a defending national champion and could be a big-time prospect in the next few years.

Howard Washington, Montverde (FL) -  A senior point guard and Butler commit, Washington is one of the best passers in all of high school basketball.

Jalek Felton, Mullins (SC) - The nephew of Dallas Mavericks guard Ray Felton, Jalek is one of the nation's elite juniors and he's committed to North Carolina just like his uncle.

Kobi Simmons, St. Francis (GA) - One of the best unsigned seniors in the country, this potential McDonald's All-American guard took official visits to Kentucky, Ohio State and UNLV during the fall.

Jakolby Long, Mustang (OK) - A rugged and physical lefty, the Iowa State commit is a high-level perimeter scorer and perhaps the best senior in Oklahoma.

Anthony Cowan, St. John's (DC) - A consensus top-100 senior, Cowan is committed to Maryland and he's one of the best floor generals in the country.

Here is the schedule of games for the Beach Ball Classic that can be found on CSN and CSN PLUS:

For more information on the event, including the tournament bracket, be sure to check out their website.

Sat, Dec. 26

CSN
2:30 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Montverde (FL) vs Socastee (SC)  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  St. Francis (GA) vs Poca (WV)   (LIVE)
6:00 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Seton Hall (NJ) vs St. James (SC)  (LIVE)
7:45 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Moeller (OH) vs Mullins (SC)  (LIVE)

Sun, Dec. 27

CSN+
4:00 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  Teams TBA  (LIVE)

Mon, Dec. 28

CSN+
2:30 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Bartow (FL) vs East Jackson (GA)  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Shadow Mountain (AZ) vs St. Edward (OH)   (LIVE)
6:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Mustang (OK) vs St. John’s (DC)   (LIVE)
7:45 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Mater Dei (CA) vs Myrtle Beach (SC)   (LIVE)

Tue, Dec. 29

CSN+
4:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #14 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
9:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #15 (Delay from 6p)
10:45 p.m.  Beach Ball Classic:  Game #16 (Delay from 7:45p)

Wed, Dec. 30

CSN+
2:30 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #20 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
4:15 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #21 Teams TBA  (LIVE)
9:00 p.m.    Beach Ball Classic:  Game #22 Teams TBA  (Delay from 6 p.m.)
10:45 p.m.  Beach Ball Classic:  Game #23 Teams TBA  (Delay from 7:45 p.m.)

Thu, Dec. 31

CSN
12:30 p.m.   Beach Ball Classic:  Consolation Bracket Championship  (LIVE)
2:30 p.m.     Beach Ball Classic:  5th Place Game  (LIVE)

CSN+
4:30 p.m.       Beach Ball Classic:  3rd Place Game  (LIVE)
6:30 p.m.       Beach Ball Classic:  Championship Game  (LIVE)

Illinois AP football rankings: Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

Illinois AP football rankings: Week 8

The Illlinois high school football AP polls are out. Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Lincoln-Way East (8) 8-0 80 1
2. Loyola 6-2 66 2
3. Warren 8-0 59 3
4. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 54 5
5.  Neuqua Valley 7-1 52 T-6
6. Minooka 8-0 36 8
7.  Niles Notre Dame 7-1 35 4
8. Oswego 8-0 24 9
9. Hinsdale Central 7-1 19 T-6
10. Bolingbrook 6-2 5 10

Others receiving votes: South Elgin 4, Maine South 3, Edwardsville 1, Huntley 1, St. Charles East 1.

Class 7A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. (Chicago) Mt. Carmel (7) 8-0 79 1
2. Nazareth (1) 8-0 69 2
3. Glenbard West 8-0 67 3
4.  Hersey 8-0 49 4
5.  Phillips 7-1 47 5
6. Batavia 6-2 37 7
7.  Rolling Meadows 8-0 34 6
8. Willowbrook 7-1 27 9
9. Normal Community 7-1 21 10
10. Benet 6-2 4 8

Others receiving votes: Glenbard East 4, DeKalb 1, Maine West 1.

Class 6A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Chatham Glenwood (7) 8-0 79 1
2.  Crete-Monee (1) 8-0 71 2
3.  Simeon 6-1 62 3
T-4. Prairie Ridge 7-1 54 6
T-4. Richards 7-1 54 5
6. Antioch 7-1 31 7
7. Providence  6-2 30 8
8. Cary-Grove 6-2 19 4
9. Normal West 6-2 17 NR
10.  Peoria Central 7-1 10 NR


Others receiving votes: Lemont 8, Yorkville 3, Kaneland 2.

Class 5A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. East St. Louis (9) 8-0 90 1
2. Sterling 8-0 77 2
3.  Hillcrest 7-1 68 T-3
4.  Boylan Catholic 8-0 60 T-3
5.  Montini 6-2 51 5
6.  Sycamore 7-1 43 6
7. St. Rita 5-3 35 8
8. Kankakee 7-1 24 9
9.  Carbondale 7-1 20 10
10.  Dunlap 7-1 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Cahokia 7, Joliet Catholic 6, Marion 2.

Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Rochester (7) 8-0 88 2
2. Coal City (2) 8-0 82 3
3. Richmond-Burton 8-0 58 4
4. St. Francis 7-1 52 10
5. IC Catholic Prep 7-1 51 1
6.  Mt. Zion 8-0 49 6
7.  Stillman Valley 8-0 48 5
8. Columbia 8-0 30 8
9. Illinois Valley Central 8-0 15 NR
10.  Effingham 7-1 7 7

Others receiving votes: Tolono Unity 6, Murphysboro 4, Bishop McNamara 2, Prairie Central 2, Genoa-Kingston 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Williamsville (7) 8-0 97 2
2. Byron (1) 7-1 87 3
T-3. Wilmington (1) 7-1 69 1
T-3. Beardstown (1) 8-0 69 4
5. Vandalia 8-0 65 5
6. Fairfield 8-0 54 7
7. Princeton 7-1 37 9
8. DuQuoin 8-0 32 NR
9. Breese Mater Dei 7-1 14 NR
10. Pana 7-1 12 8

Others receiving votes: Nashville 9, Mt. Carmel 4, Eureka 1.

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Fieldcrest (6) 8-0 95 1
2. Clifton Central (3) 8-0 92 2
3. Maroa-Forsyth 7-1 78 3
4. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (1) 7-1 73 4
5.  St. Teresa 7-1 62 5
6.  Knoxville 8-0 50 6
7. Newman Central Catholic 7-1 38 7
8. Bismarck-Henning 7-1 32 8
9. Auburn 6-2 20 9
10. Flora 6-2 7 NR

Others receiving votes: Chester 3.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Lena-Winslow (9) 8-0 90 1
2.  Moweaqua Central A&M 8-0 79 2
3. Annawan-Wethersfield 8-0 68 3
4.  Morrison 8-0 55 4
5.  Aquin 8-0 53 7
6. Hope Academy 7-1 45 8
7. Camp Point Central 7-1 31 9
8. Forreston 6-2 20 6
9. Athens 6-2 15 10
10. Carrollton 7-1 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Greenfield-Northwestern 9, Kirkland Hiawatha 5, Tuscola 4, Ottawa Marquette 3, Arcola 2, Argenta-Oreana 2.

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants is more?

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school football followers. 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 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

For the regular season football finale, it's all about "Bubble Week." We're featuring games with teams who are fighting to reach the playoffs. For some, a win means a playoff berth. Which game deserves our coverage Friday night? Sandwich is looking for their first playoff berth since 2013. A win gets them in. Same goes for St. Laurence. Can they win on the road at De La Salle? And how about the Leo-Marian Catholic game? The winner not only clinches a playoff berth but a conference championship.

Sandwich (4-4) at Morris (6-2), 7:00 p.m.

Leo (3-5) at Marian Catholic (4-4), 7:30 p.m.

St. Laurence (4-4) at De La Salle (3-5), 7:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. 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, all season long.