Most star high school basketball players are on the varsity by their sophomore year. It’s increasingly rare to see a Division I prospect emerge that actually played at the sophomore level his sophomore year, but that is happening at St. Viator.
Junior guard Trey Calvin was a complete unknown a year ago. Saturday in Arlington Heights he continued his breakout season by scoring 26 points to lead the Lions to a 54-49 win against No. 9 Marist.
“[Calvin] could have played varsity last year but I don’t think he’s as good as he is now unless he spends that year on the sophomore level being the man and the focal point of the offense,” St. Viator coach Quin Hayes said. “He was able to realize how good he actually is. Now he’s translated that to the varsity level.”
Calvin scored 13 points in the third quarter. St. Viator (20-5, 7-0 East Suburban Catholic) opened the second half with a 14-2 run to lead 32-20. Marist (22-4, 5-2) never got closer than three points after that.
“I worked hard all summer, worked on my game,” Calvin said. “No one really knows about me yet but I’m trying to wake them up.”
Jeremiah Hernandez added 13 points for St. Viator and Peter Lambesis scored eight.
“None of it happens without Jeremiah,” Hayes said .”He is like our Draymond Green. He does everything. He rebounds, passes, takes charges and he scores when we need him to.”
The Lions held Morgan Taylor, one of the area’s leading scorers, to just 13 points.
“That is all [Lambesis],” Hernandez said. “He has guarded the toughest players on every team all year and done a great job locking them down. He gets most of the credit.”
Taylor had a shot to tie the game with five seconds left but couldn’t get an off balance three-point attempt to fall.
“Our half court defense was fantastic,” Hayes said. “The boys took charges and they understood how to stop as best you can Morgan Taylor, which is not an easy task. Lambesis did a heck of a job guarding him.”
Senior Jack Ellison led the RedHawks with 19 points and 12 rebounds and David Daniels added 11 points.
St. Viator, which has also knocked off Benet and Marian Catholic, is in first place in the conference. The Lions have proven they can beat some of the area’s best teams.
“The five losses, we probably shouldn’t have four of those,” Hernandez said. “We have to stop playing to the level of our competition.”
Hernandez has some exciting plans this summer. He’s going to play in the Under-17 World Championships with the Puerto Rico national team. His mother was born in Puerto Rico.
“Growing up my parents would talk about it but I never expected the opportunity, especially at such a young age,” Hernandez said. “It is surreal to me now. I probably won’t believe it is happening until I get off the plane.
“Right now that isn’t what I’m thinking about though, my focus is on a playoff run.”