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Michael O’Brien’s notebook: March 6, 2018

Morgan Park's Cam Burrell (3) gets a big dunk late in the third quarter against St, Laurence, Tuesday 03-06-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

The Sun-Times All-Area team has been selected. It won’t be released until Thursday online and Friday in the paper, but I know the 20 guys that made the cut.

A few of the players that just missed out had really big games tonight. That always makes me a little fidgety. The panel that chooses the team takes the responsibility very seriously. I can’t imagine that anyone sees more games than we do. None of us are giving half-baked opinions on players we haven’t watched play (like that guy on Twitter tonight that says THT won’t ever start in college). We do the best job we can.

I took in another playoff doubleheader tonight. I’m going to set a personal record for playoff games watched in one season. Morgan Park looked rock solid in front of Illinois coach Brad Underwood, who made a pretty low-key appearance at St. Laurence.

Bogan’s Jordan Booker is a real star in the making. It’s going to be interesting to see just where the young Bengals wind up in next year’s preseason Super 25 rankings. One prominent Public League coach texted me tonight that he believes they might be the best team in the area next season.

Read all about the two St. Laurence sectional semifinal games.

Tonight’s top games

CLASS 4A

Larkin 60, Rockford Auburn 54: Anthony Lynch scored 28 and Jalen Shaw had 19 points and 13 rebounds. They are playing like one of the best guard/big man combos in the state right now.

Benet 47, Bartlett 41: The Hawks won’t be our Cinderella story this season I guess, but they gave Benet a challenge. Junior Will Engels led the Redwings with 15.

Lake Zurich 54, Libertyville 50: Drew Peterson wasn’t able to save the Wildcats in this one. Lake Zurich has really been ignored this season for the most part. That is ending now. JR Cison led the way with 16. He was very impressive when I saw him play last year for St. Viator.

Belleville West 66, Quincy 33: Total domination. Belleville West hasn’t lost to an in-state team this season. Neither has Simeon. The two teams may be on a collision course.

Evanston 61, Loyola 51: The Wildkits pull it out. Lance Jones played well, especially in the first half.

Bolingbrook 94, Joliet Central 91 2 OT: The locals are calling this one a classic, clearly the game of the night. It’s easy to see this being a real springboard win for the Raiders. It was last year.

Barrington 55, Fremd 45: Anthony Spann scored 13 for the Broncos, who beat the Vikings for the second time this season.

Simeon 70, Brother Rice 55: The Crusaders kept it close for a half before running out of gas.

Willowbrook 47, Naperville North 43: I was lucky enough to be there for one of sophomore Everett Stubblefield’s big games when he was first elevated to varsity a couple months ago. He’s becoming a force. Stubblefield scored all 16 of his points in the second half to help Willowbrook comeback and win.

Curie 50, Proviso East 30: Who needs superstars when you are as deep and athletic as the Condors?

Moline 55, Rock Island 43: The Maroons, who knocked off Danville on Friday in a shocker, keep the run going.

CLASS 3A

Burlington Central 77, Johnsburg 56: Zach Toussaint goes down. The high-scoring junior scored 23 but it wasn’t enough. Burlington Central is another team that has flown under my radar this season.

Marian Catholic 66, Pontiac 40: The Indians were at home, but it didn’t matter. The Spartans are heavy favorites to advance to the super sectional.

Farragut 67, De La Salle 58: The young Admirals are getting exactly the deep playoff run you can bet coach Wolf Nelson was hoping for.

DePaul Prep 51, Antioch 28: Pretty much as expected.

CLASS 2A

Winnebago 58, Corliss 55: The Trojans fall a bit short. Great season for Corliss though. Harvey Jones has really injected some life into the program.

Orr 74, Hope Academy 64: This one was a laugher in the first half but clearly the Eagles stepped up and made it a game in the second half. The Spartans are heading back to Peoria.

CLASS 1A

Newman Central Catholic 61, Providence-St. Mel 60: Heartbreak for the tiny Catholic school on the West Side. The area won’t have a local team heading to Peoria for the Class 1A finals.