Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 19, 2018

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Wintrust Arena

I couldn’t help but look around Wintrust Arena tonight and picture what the state tournament would look like in the venue.

Wintrust was impressive, a beautiful facility that has a big-time feel. It’s not the United Center but it is a step above the area’s other arenas.

It is anyone’s guess if Wintrust will put in a bid for the state tournament in five years, but a guy can dream. If that miracle does happen I’ll buy my good friends in Peoria the first round across the street at Pizano’s and we can all discuss how the state finals are alive again.

It was a wild, busy Friday night around the area.

Tonight’s top games

Geneva 88, St. Charles East 84 OT: There were an awful lot of overtime games tonight, but this was the only triple-overtime one I saw. The Fighting Saints are having a pretty wild season.

Hinsdale South 60, Proviso East 49: This might be the most interesting result of the night to me. For the past few weeks I’ve been worried I was overlooking the Pirates. They had some very nice wins at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, but they were consolation bracket games so I didn’t put much value on them. They remain an intriguing team, but this game will keep them out of the Super 25 for now (I think. But tonight was wild so who the heck has a clue?). The Hornets have intrigued me all season, this is a huge road win for them.

Niles North 79, Niles West 40: The Vikings roll. Jamal Stephenson had 23, Damaria Franklin was honored pregame for crossing the 1,000 career point plateau and Glenn Olson won his 179th game as head coach at Niles North, a school record.

Farragut 67, Lincoln Park 57: So does anyone else want to do the rankings on Sunday? Chris does them every few hours in the comments, if it wasn’t my job I would just let him take over. Anyway. Huge game for Aaron Strong. I hyped the Farragut junior up a bit in the preseason. He had 27 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and three steals.

Leo 69, McNamara 53: Dachaun Anderson is a rebounding machine, we know that. He had 18 in this one but also scored 28 points. I think he deserves to be on the list of most productive juniors in the area. Fred Cleveland added 11 points, seven assists and four steals.

West Aurora 67, Bartlett 59: It has been an up and down season for Cam Donatlan. He’s flying high now. The senior scored 36 points and appears more than ready for tomorrow’s showcase game against Romeoville.

Fenwick 60, St. Rita 52 OT: The Friars survive. Big man Mike O’Laughlin cut his hand and did not play. DJ Steward had 24 points and Damari Nixon added 12.

Benet 69, Marist 63 OT: More overtime. Another “upset.” Benet’s second really nice win of the season (the Redwings beat Fenwick too).

Palatine 65, Conant 58 OT: Overtime everywhere! And another example of the parity in the area. Lamon Berry led the Pirates with 21 points and Jake Moertl and Johnny O’Shea each scored 15. Ryan Davis had 27 for the Cougars.

Evanston 60, Glenbrook South 58 OT: The Wildkits survive. Overtime/parity thing again.

Young 73, North Lawndale 67 OT: Overtime/parity, etc. Javon Freeman scored 28 and Xavier Castaneda added 18. I know a lot of people have questioned North Lawndale’s spot in the Super 25. Did this week prove they belonged? They nearly beat Orr and Young. But they didn’t actually pull of either win and now are loaded with good losses but only really have a couple of good wins. The Phoenix will be a tough decision on Sunday. Oh, and North Lawndale plays Curie tomorrow.

Marian Catholic 61, Notre Dame 53: A bit closer than I might have thought, but it looks like the Dons are playing really well lately. Ahron Ulis and Malik Tidwell led Marian Catholic with 15 points each. Freshman Troy D’Amico led the Dons with 16 points and Dusan Mahorcic scored 14.

De La Salle 65, Brother Rice 46: What a win for the Meteors. I haven’t seen them yet this season, but this peaks my interest. Clyde Benton scored 23 and David Pinskus had 11. Josh Boulanger led Brother Rice with 18 and junior Marquise Kennedy had 15. The Crusaders continue to be kinda undependable this season, but remember parity etc….

DePaul Prep 43, St. Joseph 40: Big comeback from the Chargers falls short. Raheem Anthony made a desperation three at the buzzer to win it for the Rams.

Shepard 57, Reavis 53: Marquel Porter scored 21 and Chris Harrison added 15. Shepard has been under the radar this season, but are 10-6 now.

Lincoln-Way East 74, Stagg 49: Sam Shafer led the way with 18, JP Barr also had 18. The Griffins are 14-3.

Orr 73, Westinghouse 61: Big night for Chase Adams with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Raekwon Drake had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Emanuel O’Neal is out with the flu and Dannie Smith didn’t play (bruised knee).

Joliet Central 67, Joliet West 54: Of course I didn’t forget about this one. Don Joachim led the Steelmen with 16 points and four rebounds. Ryan Saunders scored 11. Central is 15-3 and unbeaten in conference.

Crane 44, Collins 42: The Cougars win the White-West. That’s impressive, remember they were in the Blue last season. Robert Hobbs hit the game-winner. He had 17 points and seven rebounds. So, the question now is will there be promotion/relegation? Is Crane going to the Red-North/West next season?

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