Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 11, 2019

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 11, 2019

Evanston’s gym is packed for the game against New Trier, Friday 01-11-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Evanston took care of business tonight at home and beat New Trier. The Wildkits picked up some key minutes from a player I wasn’t aware of, Ethan Francis.

“Ethan Francis gave us a ton of energy off the bench,” Evanston coach Mike Ellis said. “He doesn’t play a ton of minutes but his effort in the low post on defense was part of the reason we held [Ciaran Brayboy] to 10 points.”

That may seem like a small thing, but it is exactly what the Wildkits need to accomplish some big goals this season: a bench guy has to step in and just do a job, play some good defense on a key member of the opposition for awhile.

That was just the second time I’ve seen the Wildkits this season and I haven’t fully formed my opinion of them yet. I was clearly super high on them in the preseason (they were No. 2). You have to love all the talented guards and the postseason experience they picked up last season.

Read all about Evanston’s win against New Trier

Friday’s top games

North Lawndale 55, Crane 54 OT: Jamar Wilkins scored 13 and made the game-winning free throw. Both teams really needed a conference win. Demetrius Douglas had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Hillcrest 47, Oak Lawn 45 OT: The Hawks hold on to win at home. Julius Rollins scored 12. Sami Osmani had 21 for the Spartans.

Foreman 53, Von Steuben 52: Fun rivalry here, I’ve seen some excellent Foreman vs. Von Steuben games over the years. Ashaad Stephens made the game-winner and Damari Hendrix scored 21.

No. 4 Marian Catholic 46, St. Patrick 42: Ahron Ulis led the way with 20 points. Interesting how close and low scoring this one was. Both teams have big games at DePaul Prep tomorrow.

Schaumburg 50, No. 18 Fremd 36: Chris Hodges and Heze Trotter each scored 15. Almost headed over to this one, which was at Fremd. The Saxons are 13-5 now and the MSL West is clearly up for grabs.

Fenwick 62, Marmion 54: Sophomore Bryce Hopkins continued his all-out scoring assault with 26 points and Solomon Oraegbu added 12. The Friars will face H-F tomorrow. The Vikings squeaked by Lockport 51-44 tonight.

No. 17 Oswego East 71, Romeoville 58: Huge conference win for the Wolves. These are likely the two best teams in the Southwest Prairie. RayJ Dennis scored 27 and Kam Battle added 16.

No. 3 Bloom 64, Rich South 50: Dante Maddox scored 23 as the Blazing Trojans cruise.

Shepard 51, Bremen 50: Burtron Harper dropped 25 points and Jourdan Jackson scored 11.

No. 22 Providence-St. Mel 60, St. Joseph 51: Tyriel Nelson scored 17 and the big man Taeyon Neal added 16.

Farragut 82, No. 19 Uplift 71: Rough week for Markese Jacobs and the Titans. Aaron Strong poured in 27 for the Admirals, who appear to be on a roll. Donavan Jones added 18. Jacobs finished with 27 for Uplift.

Jones 64, Clemente 53: Stefan Rosich had a monster game with 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

No. 20 Lincoln Park 54, Lane 38: The Lions go into Lane and grab the win.

St. Laurence 81, No. 13 Leo 64: Another upset. The rankings are not going to be fun on Sunday. Junior Trey Davis scored 13 of his 34 points in the second quarter. Fred Cleveland Jr. only scored six points (and this game was at Leo) which is totally shocking. And Jeremiah Williams only scored four for the Vikings.

Mount Carmel 62, St. Ignatius 51: Josh Redic is living up to his new hype. He scored 30. Liam McDonagh had 12 and Arinze Egbuna added 11.

Lake Park 62, No. 8 Geneva 56: The last undefeated team goes down.

Notre Dame 54, No. 10 St. Viator 52: Really bad news for St. Viator and the entire basketball scene. Trey Calvin has a broken hand and is going to be out for a long while. Sophomore Anthony Sayles led the Dons with 20.

Aurora Christian 79, Riverside-Brookfield 70 OT: Will Wolfe scored 27 points, he is a player. Andrew Veon led the Bulldogs with 22.

Oak Park 59, No. 15 York 30: An upset that isn’t really an upset. Perhaps the Huskies are hitting their stride.

Joliet Central 58, Minooka 55: Steelmen win.

Joliet West 85, Plainfield South 80: This might be the first night all season that both Joliet teams won. Junior Jamere Hill scored 37 points and may now be my favorite player.


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