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Uplift’s Tavion Underwood (11) goes up against Lincoln Park’s Kyle Jackson. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Weekend Forecast: Loaded Team Rose Shootout highlights heavy weekend of action

SHARE Weekend Forecast: Loaded Team Rose Shootout highlights heavy weekend of action
SHARE Weekend Forecast: Loaded Team Rose Shootout highlights heavy weekend of action

A busy weekend of basketball is highlighted by a loaded Team Rose Shootout field, which begins Saturday and continues into Sunday. Here is a closer look at the top matchups this weekend.

Team Rose Shootout at Mt. Carmel

Saturday Dec. 8

■ Von Steuben vs. Eduprize Charter at 11 a.m.

■ Farragut vs. Riverside-Brookfield at 12:30 p.m.

■ Lemont vs. Providence St. Mel at 2:00 p.m.

■ St. Viator vs. Oswego East at 3:30 p.m.

■ Brother Rice vs. Uplift at 5:00 p.m.

■ Bloom vs. Morgan Park at 6:30 p.m.

Best Game of the Day: Bloom vs. Morgan Park

This is the game of the weekend and one of those circle-the-date matchups during this 2018-2019 season.

There is a whole lot of talent on display, including five of the top 20 prospects in the Class of 2020 –– Morgan Park’s Adam Miller and Marcus Watson and Bloom’s Martice Mitchell, Keshawn Williams and Dante Maddox, Jr. These are two highly-ranked teams. Morgan Park is fresh off an emotional win over Bogan, while Bloom has their first high-profile, in-state measuring stick outside the south suburbs.

Hoops Report pick: Morgan Park 68, Bloom 64

Matchup of Intrigue: Brother Rice vs. Uplift

Both of these teams lost in big, early-season matchups –– Brother Rice falling to St. Rita and Uplift losing to Evanston. So a win here would be the beginning of building their respective résumé.

But of great intrigue is the matchup in the backcourt. The two best senior guards in Illinois hook up in what should be a fun one. Both DePaul-bound Markese Jacobs of Uplift and Loyola recruit Marquise Kennedy of Brother Rice are dynamic forces with the ball in their hands. Which supporting cast can step up and help the stars?

Hoops Report pick: Uplift 60, Brother Rice 55

Matchup of Significance: St. Viator vs. Oswego East

This is a big opportunity for highly-regarded Oswego East. The Wolves get out of their comfort zone, heading to a marquee event to face a ranked team. RayJ Dennis, the 6-2 guard headed to Boise State, is the headliner for Oswego East, while St. Viator’s 1-2 punch of Jeremiah Hernandez (Kent State) and Trey Calvin (Wright State) is about as good as it gets.

Hoops Report pick: St. Viator 58, Oswego East 54

Sunday, Dec. 9

■ Mount Carmel vs. Romeoville at 10:45 a.m.

■ Oswego vs. Downers Grove North at 12 noon

■ Bloomington vs. Leo at 1:30 p.m.

■ Kenwood vs. Hillcrest at 3 p.m.

■ Oak Park vs. Orr at 4:30 p.m.

■ Curie vs. De La Salle at 6 p.m.

Best Game of the Day: Oak Park vs. Orr

This is arguably the game on the Sunday slate with the most talent on display. After a bit of an up-and-down start, Oak Park needs this one and is in position to get it with four seniors –– Dashon Enoch, Charlie Hoehne, Anthony Roberts and Chase Robinson –– to lean on. Orr’s long, athletic Tujautae Williams is a budding and exciting talent.

Hoops Report pick: Oak Park 60, Orr 57

Matchup of Intrigue: Bloomington vs. Leo

Yes, Bloomington came up to the Chicago area last weekend and impressed with a win over an out-of-state opponent. Now it gets to face a ranked, Chicago area team in Leo that many expect to challenge for a Class 2A title. It’s always intriguing to get two quality teams from completely different geographical areas within the state. Bloomington’s Chris Payton is playing at an all-state level and newcomer Caleb Donaldson, a versatile 6-5 guard who transferred in from Rockton-Hononegah, is underrated.

Hoops Report pick: Bloomington 78, Leo 66

Matchup of Significance: Kenwood vs. Hillcrest

The verdict is still out on Kenwood, a team that lost to both Riverside-Brookfield and Waukegan and needed four overtimes to beat Corliss. Here is a chance for the Broncos to solidify themselves as a bonafide top 25 team with a win over south suburban power Hillcrest. But senior Artese Stapleton and rising junior big man Seryee Lewis will have their hands full.

Hoops Report pick: Hillcrest 63, Kenwood 58

Other top games

Friday, Dec. 7

Providence St. Mel at Brother Rice

While St. Mel fell short in its first big tests in the Catholic League, losing to DePaul Prep by 20 points and to St. Laurence by two, the Class 1A power gets another shot this week when facing once-beaten Brother Rice. The Knights will have to find a way to contain the talents of Brother Rice point guard Marquise Kennedy.

Hoops Report pick: Brother Rice 53, St. Mel 50

St. Rita at St. Laurence

While St. Rita was in everyone’s preseason top 25, St. Laurence was forgotten. But the St. Laurence program continues to build a solid foundation and boasts one of the more unheralded players in the area in Jeremiah Williams. The 6-3 junior fills a stat sheet and is averaging 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals a game. A bit of an upset pick here.

Hoops Report pick: St. Laurence 63, St. Rita 61

Richards at Hillcrest

The favorite in South Suburban Blue (Richards) tackles the favorite in the South Suburban Red (Hillcrest), though Richards’ double-digit loss to Oak Forest earlier this week turned some heads. But this is the measuring stick Richards wants and needs. Can the Bulldogs break into the hierarchy of the south suburbs with a win over a perennial power?

Hoops Report pick: Hillcrest 68, Richards 57

Plainfield East at Oswego East

In a league where you only play each team once, it’s imperative you take advantage of your shot at the favorite. Here’s Plainfield East’s shot. Led by senior shooter Yamani Shareef and athletic junior Christian Shumate, the Bengals are off to a strong start. But this is an unbeaten, ranked team featuring Boise State recruit RayJ Dennis –– and on the road –– the Bengals are facing.

Hoops Report pick: Oswego East 67, Plainfield East 61

Stevenson at Zion-Benton

Zion-Benton is seriously looking for a worst-to-first scenario after last year’s uncharacteristic season. This is where it starts, getting the shorthanded defending champ on its home floor. Stevenson is off to a strong start despite missing standout junior Matthew Ambrose, who is out five to six weeks with an injury after a strong start for himself.

Zion-Benton’s 1-2 punch of junior Damontae Taylor, a jack-of-all-trades 6-5 perimeter threat, and 6-4 sophomore scorer Amar Aguillard need to take advantage.

Hoops Report pick: Zion-Benton 64, Stevenson 55

Uplift at Lane

A sneaky good game in the Chicago Public League’s Red-West/North and one Uplift can’t look past with Brother Rice on the horizon in the Team Rose Shootout. Uplift and its star, Markese Jacobs, need to take care of games like this.

Underrated Lane, a team with all kinds of veteran experience, needs a win like this to state it’s ready to compete in the top half of this loaded conference. The Indians will rely on 6-6 Vuk Djuric, point guard Michael Molloy, shooter Jimmy Mulvaney and 6-3 Johnny Colombo.

Hoops Report pick: Uplift 70, Lane 60

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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