Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Mar. 7, 2017

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Mar. 7, 2017

Waukegan’s great old gym.

Fun night in Waukegan. Evanston asserted itself in the second half and handled Loyola with ease. The Wildkits aren’t loaded with superstars, but they also don’t have a weakness. It’s the time of year when seniors step up and Evanston’s group of Nojel Eastern, Malcolm Townsel, Elyjah Williams and Chris Hamil are clearly on a mission to get a state title.

A really big night for the locals in Class 1A/2A action. Orr, Bishop McNamara, Newark and Hope Academy area heading to Peoria. I’ll be there all weekend, no sectional final for me on Friday night. That’s a deviation from my normal schedule, but having four teams to cover makes it a big more palatable.

I’ll be at Joliet Central-Joliet West tomorrow at Lincoln-Way East. Oh boy.

Tonight’s top games

Fremd 53, Grant 24: Domination by the Vikings. Grant is a solid squad with a big man (John Kerr) that dominated most competition this year. Theoretically that should have given Fremd some problems.

Naperville North 40, Wheaton-Warrenville South 35: The third time was the charm for the Huskies. WW South beat them twice this year, but lost the one that really mattered. Massive congrats to Naperville North, but its sad to see one of the season’s really special stories end.

Oak Park 46, Curie 43 OT: The champs go down. The first thing that stands out about this game is the score. Why in the world was it in the forties? That’s normal for the teams above, but not these two. It’s a pretty shocking upset. The Huskies are a talented team, but the program has just not pulled off many major wins over the last couple of decades. Jared Scott and Cam Gross are players, they proved it tonight.

Simeon 56, Marist 36: The rest of the state should be quite afraid. The Wolverines are dominating very good teams and just rolling right now. It’s hard to imagine Brother Rice or Thornton knocking them off at this point. The future is very bright for Marist, they should be one of the area’s top teams next season. The juniors that played tonight now know just how good they will need to be to win a sectional next season

Bolingbrook 85, West Aurora 66: This one was close for a good while and then it wasn’t. Feels like that describes just about every Bolingbrook game. Things will be much closer on Friday.

Larkin 62, Rockford Boylan 51: This is probably a surprise result to most around the state. The Royals have some very talented pieces though. Jalen Shaw is a really solid big man prospect and Anthony Lynch is an intriguing guard. I’ve wondered why they weren’t better than their record this season. Maybe things are starting to click.

Class 3A: Several blowouts that I just can’t bring myself to chronicle. Rich Central beat Plano in overtime.

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