High School Lites

High School Lites Preview: Week 7 features plenty of star power

High School Lites Preview: Week 7 features plenty of star power

High School Lites has a fun lineup with games from all over the Chicagoland area this week. We'll see highlights from the Red, White and Blue Divisions of the Public League.

The suburbs also have plenty of intriguing matchups, including our main game in the MSL East featuring Buffalo Grove and Rolling Meadows. High School Lites airs on Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago.

Clark at Crane, 5:00 p.m. -- We head to the Public League White-West for a matchup of two strong teams. Clark (13-5, 5-1) is battle-tested after losses to top-ten teams like Bogan and Thornton during the season. But they'll need to bounce back following a conference loss to Perspectives-MSA. Crane (16-2, 7-0) has also opened eyes this season by knocking off Orr and also making the title game of the Maine East Holiday Tournament. Both of the Cougars' losses this season have come to ranked teams (St. Charles North, Oak Forest).

North Shore at Northridge Prep, 6:00 p.m. -- The Independent School League's top team tries to stay unbeaten in this one. Northridge Prep (14-3, 5-0) earned a blowout conference win over Morgan Park Academy on Wednesday night to stay undefeated. North Shore (5-7, 2-4) won by a point in its Wednesday matchup against Ida Crown as they try to finish the week 2-0.

Sandburg at Stagg, 6:15 p.m. -- We catch up with the SouthWest Suburban with this crossover. Sandburg (8-8, 0-0) won four straight before a 10-point loss to a top-25 team in Oak Forest on Tuesday. Stagg (4-11, 0-0) has struggled following a 3-1 start. The Chargers dropped an up-and-down game against Evergreen Park earlier this week.

North Lawndale at No. 4 Whitney Young, 6:30 p.m. -- The Dolphins try to hold on to the Red North/West lead in this game. North Lawndale (12-5, 6-1) recently lost an overtime thriller to Lincoln Park but bounced back with a win over Orr. Daequon Davis and Larry Johnson lead a balanced Phoenix roster. Whitney Young (10-6, 6-0) is getting strong play from senior D.J. Steward (Duke). If the Dolphins get strong play from senior guard Tyler Beard then they are tough to stop.

Rich Central at (18) Kankakee, 6:30 p.m. -- High School Lites gets a look at Kankakee in this Southland battle. The Kays (14-1, 5-1) have only dropped a game to Bloom this season as they're one of the most underrated programs in the area. Rich Central (6-12, 3-4) completes a difficult week in conference play after losing to Bloom earlier this week.

Lincoln-Way East at Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the best teams in the Southwest Suburban Blue kick off conference play in this game. Lincoln-Way East (12-2, 0-0) has flown a bit under the radar as they haven't lost since Dec. 6. Winners of the Effingham Holiday Tournament, the Griffins have some notable recent wins over Oak Lawn and Corliss. Bolingbrook (14-4, 0-0) is coming off of a monster win over Marian Catholic after falling to Neuqua Valley last week. Point guard Darius Burford is coming off of a blistering 38-point effort against the Spartans.

Sycamore at Kaneland, 7:00 p.m. -- The Interstate Eight has a solid game featuring two of the three conference leaders. Sycamore (11-5, 4-1) has won four of five as they try to stay tied atop the league. Kaneland (8-6, 4-1) is led by two double-figure scorers in Brett David and Jamari Meeks. These two teams also play on Feb. 21 with a return game at Sycamore.

Buffalo Grove at Rolling Meadows, 7:30 p.m. -- This should be a fun Mid-Suburban East showdown. Buffalo Grove (14-4, 4-0) lost to a tough Cary-Grove team on Monday as they were riding a six-game winning streak. The Bison have a strong group of perimeter shooters. Rolling Meadows (11-4, 4-0) is led by junior Max Christie, a five-star prospect and Player of the Year candidate. The Mustangs have started to emerge around Christie with solid recent wins over Fremd and Hersey.

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week  

Senn at Amundsen, 5:00 p.m. -- Our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week goes to the Blue-North Division of the Public League. Senn (8-4, 7-0) is the undefeated leader in the conference with recent blowout wins in conference play. Amundsen (6-6, 6-1) is riding a recent three-game winning streak where they won each game by at least 19 points.

Edgy Tim’s Team of the Decade: Defensive End

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim’s Team of the Decade: Defensive End

Who gets the call to be on the list of IHSA Defensive Ends of the Decade (2010-2019)? If there’s one thing we learned about the past ten years, it’s that the Big Ten Conference is very keen on local talent at this position.

Same rules apply to this list as with previous positions in regards to the top five: Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let the debate begin:

Dean Lowry, Rockford Boylan’s Class of 2012 (Northwestern): Lowry was a starter on back-to-back undefeated IHSA state championship teams for Boylan (2010 Class 6A title and 2011 Class 7A state title). He was also was a multi-sport athlete for head coach Dan Appino and company. He was a back-to-back All-State player in his junior and senior seasons. Lowry signed with Northwestern coming out of high school after drawing several other Big Ten-level scholarship offers. Lowry was a fourth round selection of the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 NFL Draft and Lowry has played in every game this season.

Demetrius Cooper, Julian Class of 2013 (Michigan State): Cooper, who was a 6-foot-5, 220 pound rush end, attended his first three years of high school at Morgan Park before transferring to Julian for his senior year. Cooper, who sat out his junior year because of an injury, was one of the most sought-after defensive ends in the nation in the Class of 2013 and decided on Michigan State over Notre Dame along with several other Power Five schools. 

Chris Slayton, Crete-Monee’s Class of 2013 (Syracuse): Slayton was a key part of the Warriors' 2012 undefeated 14-0 Class 6A state title team. He was also named as an All-State player in 2012 and led the Warriors defense with 61 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles. Slayton signed with Syracuse after adding offers from 16 FBS level schools including Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Slayton was a seventh round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft of the New York Giants and was on the Giants practice squad this season and was activated in Week 17 against the Eagles.

A.J. Epenesa, Edwardsville’s Class of 2017 (Iowa): Epenesa, who was a four-year starter and a three-year All-State player for the Tigers and led Edwardsville to the state playoffs in all four seasons. He was also a three sport athlete (football/basketball/track) at the Metro East school. Epenesa signed with Iowa after adding offers from multiple Power Five programs across the country and was ranked as the nation's top defensive end in the Class of 2017. Epenesa just announced this week he is declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Devin O'Rourke, Lincoln-Way East’s Class of 2018 (Northwestern): O'Rourke, who was a two-time All-State player at Lincoln-Way East and head coach Rob Zvonar and was a major contributor to the Griffins’ undefeated 2017 Class 8A state title. O'Rourke signed with Northwestern after considering offers from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

Next in? 

Riley McMinn, Rochester’s Class of 2011 (Iowa)

Dewayne Hendrix, O'Fallon’s Class of 2014 (Tennessee/Pitt)

Josh King, Hinsdale South’s Class of 2016 (Michigan State)

Dylan Thompson, Montini Catholic’s Class of 2014 (Ohio State)

Thomas Schaffer, Lake Forest Academy’s Class of 2016 (Stanford)

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

NBC Sports Chicago

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

Here are the rankings of Illinois high school boys basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Curie (5) 15-1 59 1
2. Evanston Township 16-0 51 2
3. (tie) Collinsville (1) 16-0 51 3
4. (tie) Harvey Thornton 16-0 39 6
5. Homewood-Flossmoor 13-1 37 4
6. Chicago Heights (Bloom Twp.) 16-4 27 5
7. Whitney Young 9-6 20 7
8. Joliet West 15-2 18 10
9.  Lincoln Park 14-3 11 NR
10. Loyola  17-1 7 NR

Others receiving votes: Waubonsie Valley 5. Stevenson 2. Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights) 1. Mundelein 1. Schaumburg 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Niles Notre Dame (7) 17-2 60 1
2. Bogon (1) 16-2 49 2
3. Depaul College Prep 15-2 48 3
4. Morgan Park 9-6 35 T5
5. Kankakee 13-1 28 9
6. Lincoln 15-1 28 7
7. (tie) Peoria Notre Dame 15-1 24 10
8. (tie) Rock Island 14-2 22 T5
9. Oak Forest


9 4

Lisle (Benet Academy) 





Others receiving votes: Galesburg 6. Centralia  6. Fenwick  5. East St. Louis 4. Geneseo 2.

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Orr (9) 9-5 99 2
2. Corliss (1) 10-3 79 4
3. Pickneyville 15-2 57 1
4. Nashville 15-3 53 10
5.  Sterling Newman 17-2 42 7
6. Normal University 11-5 42 9
7. Crane 14-2 42 6
8. Breese Mater Dei 14-4 40 3
9. Marshall 16-1 37 5
10. Tuscola 14-0 13 NR

Others receiving votes: Rockridge 11. Teutopolis 7. Elmhurst Timothy Christian 7. Fairfield 6. Riverton 5. Bismarck-Henning  4. Fieldcrest  2. Fairbury Prairie Central 1. Kewanee 1. Massac County 1. Dunbar 1

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Roanoke-Benson (5) 16-0 75 2
2. Moweaqua Central A&M (3) 11-2 72 3
3.  Goreville 17-0 57 4
4.  Indian Creek 15-0 48 5
5. Payson Seymour 16-0 39 6
6. Winchester-West Central 14-1 37 1
7.  East Dubuque 10-2 31 9
8. Effingham St. Anthony 13-2 30 7
9.  Quest Academy 13-3 20 8
10. Woodlawn 12-2 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Aurora Christian 6. Leo 3. Kewanee (Wethersfield) 3. Altamont  2. Princeville 2. Okawville 1. Christopher 1. Calhoun 1.