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No. 1

At this point, it’s probably a disservice to call Stevenson’s Connor Cashaw a sidekick.

While all the attention, headlines and high-major college attention is directed towards Patriots point guard Jalen Brunson — and deservedly so —Cashaw, a 6-4 rising junior, has morphed into more than just the trusty sidekick to the superstar.

Cashaw has emerged as a player who impacts games in a variety of ways with consistent productivity. On the season, he is averaging 18 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals a game. He scored 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists in a Class 4A regional title victory over Warren has on Friday. In 10 games against ranked opponents ranked in the Sun-Times Super 25 this year, he’s averaging 22 points a game.

“His overall game understanding has taken the biggest leap,” Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. “He really gets it when it comes to how and why we, or other teams, are doing certain things. So often as a coach you see this in a really bright senior at the end of their high school career. For Connor and Jalen, I saw it very early this year.”

Cashaw, now one of the top dozen prospects in the Class of 2015 in Illinois, is a coveted, must-have mid-major recruit who coaches at that level just hope stays a mid-major recruit, because his rise continues.

No. 2

No conference made a bigger statement in the opening week of state tournament play than the East Suburban Catholic Conference.

Fueled by top-seeded sectional seeds Marian Catholic and Benet advancing, along with St. Viator’s impressive win over North Suburban Lake power Zion-Benton, the ESCC emerged with six regional champions.

St. Patrick and Carmel both won Class 3A regional titles. Joliet Catholic, which finished 0-8 in the ESCC, claimed its first regional plaque in 26 years.

Now the question is whether the ESSC can get a team to the state finals for the first time since St. Joseph won a state championship in 1999? Notre Dame was the last of the existing conference schools to be playing on the final weekend of the season — and that was 17 years ago.

If St. Viator can find a way to upset mighty StevensonTuesdaynight, there is a realistic chance the Class 4A state semifinals in Peoria in two weeks could include three East Suburban Catholic teams: St. Viator, Marian Catholic and Benet.

No. 3

St. Viator’s victory over Zion-Benton in a regional final at Rolling Meadows on Friday ended one of the state’s greatest scorer’s career.

The Zee-Bees’ Milik Yarbrough, the all-time leading scorer in Lake County history, finished his career with a whopping 2,621 points. That total puts Yarbrough 17thon the all-time scoring list in Illinois state history. It’s the most points a player has scored since Jon Scheyer’s 3,034 career points for Glenbrook North from 2002-2006.

Along with Morgan Park’s Josh Cunningham, the 6-5 Yarbrough is currently the top uncommitted senior prospect in the state.

Cincinnati has just recently jumped into the fray for Yarbrough, with Auburn, Saint Louis and Bradley rounding out the most active suitors for the high-scoring forward.

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