Preps Talk

Recruiting notes: Palatine All-State QB Zach Oles commits to Butler

Recruiting notes: Palatine All-State QB Zach Oles commits to Butler

Palatine (Ill.) two-time All-State senior quarterback recruit Zach Oles (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) decided to end his recruiting process and gave Butler his verbal commitment. 

"Butler is just a great fit for me," according to Oles. "I have family who I'm very close to down in Indianapolis. I also love the campus and Butler also offers a great education. I just feel like Butler is the best overall fit for me and it feels great to make my decision. From the football side I know they graduated one senior quarterback so I'm ready to go in and compete for a spot."

Montini Catholic senior two-star ranked wide receiver/defensive back recruit Mitch West (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) is planning on taking at least two official visits in January. West, who was verbally committed to Purdue since mid June decided to decommit after the Boilermakers fired former  head coach Darryl Hazel and staff.

"I've set two official visits so far: both Navy and Yale," West said. "I'm set to visit Yale on Jan. 13th and the Navy official visit I believe on Jan. 20th."

West has also remained in steady contact with both North Dakota State and Illinois State.

Loyola Academy junior offensive tackle recruit Charlie Gross added his first offer recently from Ball State.

"It's pretty exciting to get my first offer from Ball State," per Gross. "I actually have family that went to Ball State including my grandma and my aunt. My grandparents live pretty close to Ball State so I've been in that part of Indiana for a long time now. I haven't been able to visit Ball State just yet but the coaches want me to make a trip down to see them soon."

Gross, the lone underclassmen starter on the Ramblers Class 8A state runner up offensive line in 2016 has also drawn recruiting interest this winter from Syracuse, Illinois, Indiana and Penn State.

Marist and head coach Pat Dunne once again look to have multiple BCS level underclassmen talent. The Redhawks already have a handful of Class of 2018 names drawing strong recruiting interest and offers and keep an eye on junior three star ranked defensive tackle Elijah Teague (6-foot-3, 292 pounds) along with junior three-star ranked tight end TJ Ivy (6-foot-5, 217 pounds) and junior defensive tackle Gavin McCabe (6-foot-4, 255 pounds).

Teague already holds verbal scholarship offers so far from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Ivy added his fourth overall offer late last week from Ball State, joining NIU, Bowling Green and Iowa State while McCabe also holds offers now from Ball State, Central Michigan, Illinois State, Iowa State and NIU.

Peoria senior three-star ranked offensive/defensive linemen Kendrick Green (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) told me that he's expecting to make his final college choice "very soon." Green has made official visits already to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Central Florida. Green also added a late offer from Missouri yet Green hasn't indicated whether he will make a fifth and final official visit. Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota was Green's last Top 3 favorite schools listing.

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 11

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 11

Check out our high school hoops highlights from some of the best games around the state, and be sure to follow @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest scores, highlights, and analysis

Athlete of the Week: Niles North's Aquan Smart

Team of the Week: Lincoln-Way East cheerleading

Highlights: No. 9 Simeon 79, No. 1 Curie 69

Highlights: No. 12 Morgan Park 74, No. 2 Bogan 60

Highlights: No. 19 Fenwick 51, No. 10 DePaul Prep 48

Highlights: DePaul Prep 61, Orr 27 (girls)

Highlights: Maine West 50, Evanston 45 (girls)

Highlights: Chicago Christian 70, Aurora Christian 60

Highlights: Oswego East 67, Oswego 49

Highlights: Waubonise Valley 61, DeKalb 44

Midweek Mixtape: No. 12 Morgan Park 78, No. 21 Orr 75 (OT)

Windy City Legends: Ronnie Fields

High School Lites prepares for the postseason this week

High School Lites prepares for the postseason this week

It's beginning to feel like the postseason on an all-new High School Lites. We check in with highlights of all four Public League Playoff quarterfinals while also getting an update on the semifinals on Friday night.

And girls basketball begins the IHSA state playoffs at the Class 2A level with our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week. We'll also feature some good conference matchups in the Catholic League Blue, Metro Suburban Blue and DuPage Valley. 

High School Lites airs on Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago with replays on Saturday morning at 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.

No. 12 Morgan Park vs. No. 2 Bogan, 5:00 p.m. -- Conference rivals play in the first Public League Playoff semifinal. These two teams played on Nov. 3 with the Bengals taking a 71-68 decision over the Mustangs. Morgan Park (18-8, 6-2) is coming off of a massive road win in the quarterfinals over Whitney Young as Adam Miller stepped up with his play. Junior Brandon Weston and senior guard Marcus Watson (Wake Forest) are two more key players to watch for the Mustangs. Bogan (23-2, 8-1) counters with red-hot senior guard Antoine Bloxton as he had 41 in the quarterfinals. Guard Kyndall Davis is another major threat on the wing as the Bengals have options all over the floor.

No. 1 Curie vs. No. 9 Simeon, 7:00 p.m. -- The second matchup in the Public League Playoff semifinals is another conference rematch. The Condors (24-1, 8-0) escaped with a 67-66 in on Dec. 19. Senior Ramean Hinton is the most talented offensive player on a balanced group. But can Curie overcome the rematch without head coach Mike Oliver on the sidelines? The defending city champions have been strong so far. Simeon (20-8, 7-2) has an eight-game winning streak as they've turned things around after a sluggish start. Senior Jeremiah Williams is taking over games and junior Ahmad Bynum is a major scoring threat. The Wolverines also have numerous role players who have stepped up lately. 

Oswego at Oswego East, 6:30 p.m. -- A rivalry showdown in the SouthWest Prairie West. Oswego East (17-9, 10-3) is led by senior Sam Schultz and guard Will Wolfe as they dropped a tough one to York last week. Oswego (18-6, 8-4) is trying to stop a two-game losing streak while also avenging a loss at home to Oswego East on Dec. 10. 

DeKalb at Waubonsie Valley, 7:00 p.m. --  Two of the DuPage Valley's best teams battle in this one. DeKalb (21-6, 7-0) has quietly put together an unbeaten start in a tough league as they won the first matchup at home on Dec. 20. Waubonsie Valley (22-4, 4-3) recently fell out of the Power Rankings by losing two out of three, including a buzzer-beating loss to Neuqua Valley. Marcus Skeete and Ben Schwieger are a strong duo for the Warriors. 

No. 19 Fenwick at No. 10 DePaul Prep, 7:00 p.m. -- The Catholic League Blue is a tight race as we see two of the league's three best teams here. Fenwick (20-6, 10-2) is powered by junior forward Bryce Hopkins. The Louisville commit is a high-level scorer who can take over a game. DePaul Prep (21-3, 11-1) counters with junior guard TY Johnson as they try to stay tied with Loyola atop the conference standings. 

Chicago Christian at Aurora Christian, 7:30 p.m. -- Metro Suburban Blue action gives us one to watch here. Chicago Christian (19-7, 7-3) has won five straight games to stay in the conference race. Aurora Christian (18-5, 7-2) has won three straight games by double digits as senior guard Taaj Davis is putting up some big numbers. The last time these two teams played on Jan. 11, Davis had 54 points in a double OT win for Aurora Christian. 

 VIEWERS' CHOICE GAME OF THE WEEK

DePaul Prep vs. Orr, 7:00 p.m. -- We take in some IHSA girls basketball state playoff action here. DePaul Prep is the No. 2 seed in the Orr Sectional with a blowout win over Josephinum in the regional semifinals. Orr won by double digits over Disney as the No. 3 seed Spartans hope to return home in sectional play with a win.