SouthtownStar’s three things to know

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Don’t sleep on Marist. Growing pains were expected for the RedHawks, who had to replace five starters from a year ago. That hasn’t been the case, though. Marist has racked up a 15-4 mark and is coming off wins over arch-rival Brother Rice and East Suburban Catholic Conference foe Nazareth.

The RedHawks boast good depth beyond starters Jeremiah Ferguson, Brian Holland, Kevin Lerma, Ryan Tucker and Nic Weisha, who sat out all of last season with a shoulder injury sustained during football season. Coach Gene Nolan can call on Bradley Hill, Jack Collins Chamar Hawkins and Ken Rivard and not suffer much of a drop-off. A big test awaits Friday vs. Marian Catholic.

Don’t nap on Hillcrest. The Hawks clearly don’t possess the depth of years gone by, but the trio of Tyler Adway, Allen Jones and DeAngelo Isby is dangerous. Playing excellent competition at the Chicago Heights Classic and Proviso West Holiday Tournament is now paying dividends. Hillcrest is now 12-6 overall and 7-1 in the South Suburban Blue.

Will the real Stagg please stand up? The Chargers are tough to figure out. They’ve upended Homewood-Flossmoor and Joliet Central, gave Bolingbrook all it could handle, and lost to Sandburg and Lockport. What’s not tough to figure out is that guards Kevin White, Max Strus and Jeff Goral are capable of leading Stagg to wins over elite competition.

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