Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 9, 2017

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Obviously winning is good. Romeoville beating Hillcrest is clearly a positive sign for the Spartans. The way they did it was truly encouraging though.

Romeoville was talented last year, but there were ups and downs and moments where the team obviously didn’t jell and didn’t focus enough on defense. I didn’t see any of that on Saturday.

Guards DeAndre Heckard and Mike Salter are both capable of putting up big scoring numbers. That didn’t happen against Hillcrest, but it didn’t matter. That shows some serious growth from Romeoville. Eddie Creal just adds a ton, that isn’t surprising. The next big test comes on Wednesday when the Spartans host Bolingbrook.

Saturday’s top games

Farragut 55, Joliet West 54: Fun ending. Tigers senior Charles McKinney drained a three, but didn’t get it off before the buzzer. Sophomore D’andre Allen hit the game-winner for the Admirals. Aaron Strong led the way with 17 points. McKinney had 17 for Joliet. Both teams turned the ball over a ton. Reggie Strong had eight points and seven rebounds for the Admirals and sophomore Johnathan Jones played well, finishing with seven points and ten boards.

Farragut is without leaper Edmund Forrest, its top rebounder. That’s a costly injury for the Admirals. Not sure when he will be back. They don’t have a senior on the roster.

Evanston 90, Uplift 68: That was a confidence-inspiring performance from the Wildkits, they played really well. Lance Jones gives them thatsuper solid, dependably good lead guard that so few teams seem to have this season. He scored 20 and had five rebounds.Junior Jalen Christian added 15 points and nine boards.

The Titans were a bit of a mess, just turning the ball over way too much and taking some bad shots. The pieces are there though. Markese Jacobs didn’t start the game or the third quarter but scored 29 points. Toraze Dobbs was his usual self, a monster in the post, with 20 points in 11 rebounds.

Kenwood 49, Brother Rice 46: The Crusaders had a chance to tie at the end but Marquise Kennedy’s turn-around three was short.RJ McGee had 19 points to lead the Broncos. They took care of the ball really well and forced the Crusaders into 15 turnovers, including a crucial one at the end of the game. Josh Boulanger had 12 points and 11 rebs for Rice.

I see something in this Kenwood team. They clearly lack experience, but there is a lot of talent and they aren’t selfish. Will be interesting to see what they can accomplish this season.

Conant 49, Deerfield 42: Ryan Davis scored 29, he’s having a heck of a senior year far. The Cougars have been up and down this season, but this is a nice win and puts them over .500.

Fenwick 61, Peoria Manual 45: DJ Steward scored 25 and Sam Daniels had 10. The Rams have been better than expected this season, despite losing Adam Miller.

West Aurora 73, York 65: The Blackhawks were down 49-36 in the third quarter but came back to win. Camron Donatlan scored 27.

Lindblom 59, Westinghouse 48: A White team beats a Red team. Sophomore forward Marshun Williams led Lindblom with 25 and junior guard Noble Kemp added 11.

Sandburg 65, St. Ignatius 56: Everyone wants to keep ignoring Sandburg for some reason. That clearly has to stop. This one was even on the road. Jake Pygon and Sami Ismail each had 14. We’ve all been wondering who this season’s Fremd or Wheaton-Warrenville South would be…maybe it is the Eagles. They are 7-1 now.

Clemente 65, Mather 55: Another massive game for Teshawn Stokes. He had 37 points and 12 boards,

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