Bloom’s Dante Maddox Jr. (12) shoot a technical foul against Bloomington, Saturday 12-29-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 29, 2018

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 29, 2018
SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 29, 2018

PONTIAC—Another Pontiac Holiday Tournament is in the books. There were some terrific games on all three days and there will be plenty more to say about it, but not right now. I’m the only guy left in this school and need to drive home to Chicago.

Thanks to Jim Drengwitz and everyone in Pontiac for the hospitality these past three days. Thanks to all the readers and No Shot Clock listeners that introduced themselves at the holiday tournaments this past week. It’s just a really special time of year. On to the games…

Stylish, dominant Curie cruises past Bloom to win Pontiac title: It was the matchup that everyone wanted to see: No. 1 vs. No. 2, the area’s two undefeated teams clashing in the title game of the 88th Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Curie, the far more experienced team, was ready for the big stage. The Condors dominated with style and cruised to a 58-44 win against Bloom on Saturday.

Keshawn Williams’ statement slam propels Bloom past Bloomington: Bloom junior Keshawn Williams blazed down the court in the fourth quarter of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament semifinals, desperate to get a basket and stop the second-half freefall his team was in.

He saw an opening for a dunk and took it, but he got a lot more than he bargained for. Bloomington’s Chris Payton, a strong and talented 6-7 shot blocker, leapt in the air to shut him down.

Soaring DaJuan Gordon leads Curie into Pontiac title game: Curie’s high-flying senior DaJuan Gordon had a shoe fall off twice in the Condors’ 62-55 win against Simeon on Saturday in the semifinals of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

Gordon’s specialty is the tip dunk. The higher a missed shot bounces the better. He had three of those rim rockers against the Wolverines, flying so high that landing gear may be more appropriate on the end of his legs than those loosely attached shoes.


Rock Island 71, Kenwood 67 OT: The Broncos fall just a bit short.Seryee Lewis had 20 points and six boards. Very solid tournament overall for Kenwood. They should have some momentum when conference play starts up again.



Marian Catholic 52, Homewood-Flossmoor 45: The Spartans avenge their only loss of the season and remain unbeaten with Ahron Ulis playing. He had 17 and Joe Green added 13. Marian Catholic will likely get quite a boost in the rankings tomorrow (it is painful to even think about tomorrow’s four-hour ordeal sorting out this week’s 500 or so games).



Lane 76, Oak Forest 51: Nine players scored five or more for the Indians, who are now 11-4. Jimmy Mulvaney led the way with 14.



Crystal Lake Central 75, Hampshire 58:Big man Alex Timmerman and company win a holiday tournament.



Peoria Notre Dame 56, Ottawa 45: The Pirates pick up their first loss of the season and likely drop out of the Super 25. It was a fun week.


Bogan 74, Young 65: I’m sure this is a very big deal for Arthur Goodwin and the Bengals. It isn’t every year you take down one of the state’s premier programs at a major holiday tournament. Rashaun Agee was a monster again with 11 points and 21 rebounds and four assists. I followed along on the live stat feed, the game was very close for about two and a half quarters and then Bogan started to pull away. DJ Steward scored 28 for the Dolphins.


Morgan Park 82, Farragut 60: Big Dipper MVP Adam Miller scored 13 points in the title game win. His 133 points over the four games is a new record. Chris Roberts scored 20 in the title game.



Geneva 45, Fremd 41: There is another unbeaten team besides for Curie. The Vikings were stellar this week. Jack McDonald scored 18 and Mitch Mascari scored 14.



York 62, St. Laurence 38: Surprising score. The Dukes were always going to be tough to take down, they are the most dangerous host team in the state almost every season. Sam Walsh scored 18 and Erik Cohn added 14.

Downers Grove South 59, Lyons 55 OT: The Mustangs are heading to the title game. Justin Eagins scored 21 and Wes Hooker added 19.

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