Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Nov. 25, 2015

Just a fabulous night in Chicago Heights. Marian Catholic’s gym was sold-out, fans were turned away. The atmosphere was incredible. Loud and passionate and respectful. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more.

And I was very impressed with Homewood-Flossmoor. They have a good point guard in Trelan Morrow and a load of other talented juniors. Both Jeffrey Boyd and Cameron Bowles are really promising under-the-radar college prospects.

Bowles had the start of a nice black-eye after the game. You can read about that in the gamer. Morrow was also a post-game quote superstar.

“We are ranked No. 53, people think we are weak,” Morrow said.

Who knew that teams were taking Joe Henricksen’s Top 65 rankings so seriously?

The Vikings are definitely not weak. They were great Wednesday night. The Southwest Suburban Blue is going to be a dogfight. Everyone expected Bolingbrook and Joliet West to be top-notch teams, but add H-F to the mix.

It’s too early to worry much about Marian Catholic. They have a lot of talent and should be fine. TJ Smith’s season is not off to a great start, but he did miss all of last year.


It was pretty clear last season that Hillcrest’s Marcus Garrett was eventually going to be a star. But it is happening quickly. He’s scored 20+ in all three of the Hawks’ wins so far. Most thought Hillcrest was a year away, but with so many young teams already in the rankings, that may not be the case.


It was a rough night for the bottom of the preseason Super 25:

Rockford Auburn 67, No. 23 Larkin 63

Lake Forest 44, No. 20 St. Ignatius 38

Glenbrook North 56, No. 22 Niles West 55, 2 OT

That’s two losses for Iggy already. Not sure what is going on there. Niles West was bound to have some growing pains, but the Wolves have talent. I’m guessing Rockford Auburn is a good team, so probably no big worries for Larkin yet.

UPDATE: Eric Van Dril, who covered the Niles West game, says that Octavius Parker did not play for the Wolves. He’s back Tuesday.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This from Gene Chamberlain “Christian Negron had 22 points, three blocks and 17 rebounds but Larkin couldn’t counter Auburn’s 3-point buckets.”


Joliet Central lost to Romeoville tonight. I don’t know anything about it yet. Just silently fuming.


Two really interesting scores:

Brother Rice 45, Downers Grove North 38

Waukegan 46, Carmel 45

That’s the first nice win for Bobby Frasor at Brother Rice. The Crusaders were hit hard by transfers, wasn’t sure what to expect from them this season. For Waukegan, that seems like sort of a huge win. Carmel has a Division I player, Western Illinois recruit CJ Duff. Ron Ashlaw is playing a ton of freshmen, like three or four. I’m really excited to head to the Dog Pound and see what’s happening.


No games for me tomorrow and then I’m on football coverage duty Friday and Saturday. I’ll try to do a notebook Friday night after the Phillips game. No promises about Saturday though, four football games is probably going to knock me out.


I don’t have any way to look this up, but I think it has probably been a really long time since Joliet Central lost to Romeoville. I’ll bet Jack Gleason knows.

The Latest
The man, 21, was driving a motorcycle when he ran a red light and ran into a Jeep SUV, police said.
His wife doesn’t mind his marijuana use but wishes he’d stop lying about it.
Roughly 60% percent of the state’s 102 counties do not have a full-time public defender. That needs to change for Illinois to meet its legal obligation to provide criminal defendants with legal counsel.
Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.
Expanded weekend services, including road tests and written tests, will be offered June 1 through Aug. 31, historically the busiest season for teens looking to get behind the wheel.