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Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019

Highlights, scores and analysis of Wednesday’s top games.

Homewood-Flossmoor’s R.J. Ogom throws down a two-handed dunk in the first half against Marian Catholic.
Homewood-Flossmoor’s R.J. Ogom throws down a two-handed dunk in the first half against Marian Catholic.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

So high school basketball fans definitely like to talk about Corey Maggette. I received a few emails today after mentioning him the Fenwick story. A source says that Maggette’s career high was 36 points.

That doesn’t mean that Bryce Hopkins set a Fenwick record last night. We may never know! And if it is only 36 points than Hopkins beat it last year I believe. I’d like to think some random player no one remembers scored 47 or something.

Tonight was the annual Thanksgiving Even in Chicago Heights. The game had a much better flow than last night’s Fenwick-Westinghouse foul fest. RJ Ogom is a complete monster, he’s underrated by everyone. But it is going to take Marc Condotti awhile to get Homewood-Flossmoor playing at a really high-level. There are a lot of new faces. Good potential there though.

Marian Catholic was a little too casual until the fourth quarter. The Spartans were sloppy with the ball and just not totally dialed in early. Then they turned it on and grabbed the win.

Friday is going to be fun: Marian Catholic vs. Bloom in the Chicago Heights Classic title game. The hostile gym should provide a good test for the top-ranked Blazing Trojans.

Wednesday’s top games

Benet 50, No. 17 Fenwick 42: All the Friars combined didn’t score 44 tonight. I haven’t seen any stats on this one, but Benet is clearly very dangerous and that surprises no one.

No. 1 Bloom 74, Hillcrest 68: Dante Maddox scored 22. The Blazing Trojans had 50 points in the first half. Keshawn Williams added 20. Jakobi Heady led the Hawks with 27. First test passed for Bloom. It gets harder on the road Friday.

De La Salle 73, Payton 63: Tom White picks up his 400th win. DJ Bates led the Meteor swith 19 points and Jabari Chiphe scored 28 for Payton.

No. 21 DePaul Prep 64, Niles North 54: The Rams took a huge early lead and held on. Ty Johnson scored 20, Lance Mosley had 15. Aquan Smart dropped 30 for the Vikings. I’m really looking forward to seeing him this season.

Glenbrook South 57, Grayslake Central 39: Dom Martinelli has raised expectations so high that 24 points seems a little low. The Titans are 3-0. Justin Leszynski added 13.

Joliet West 80, Rich South 40: Dominant win for the Tigers. Jamere Hill led the way with 18 points. Two wins to start the season for new coach Jeremy Krieger. We won’t even mention how many wins Joliet West finished with last season.

Lemont 67, Joliet Central 60: Arg. I’m including this so no one can say I’m a homer when I put every Steelmen win in the notebook.

No. 11 Lincoln Park 67, McGill Toolen, Ala. 45: Ismail Habib led the Lions with 23 points, six rebounds and five steals. He was my hardest cut from the preseason Top 50 players list. He played so well when I covered Lincoln Park last season. Fellow junior Julio Montes added 14 points and sophomore guard Chikere Nwosu added nine points and 13 rebounds.

Lincoln-Way East 54, Crete-Monee 43: Nice start to the season for the Griffins, especially considering they are missing some football players. J’Heir Jones scored 18. Ryan Sucha and Ryan Sierocki each scored 12.

No. 2 Morgan Park 73, Gary West Side, Ind. 54: Must have been quite a second half for the Mustangs. They were losing at halftime according to Twitter. Marcus Watson scored 31 and had seven assists. Adam Miller added 18 and Aneas Davenport posted 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Morton 63, Riverside-Brookfield 55: The Mustangs always seem to take us by surprise. They don’t send preseason information so I’m generally a bit in the dark other than what I know they have coming back from last year. They knocked off Oak Park the other night and took down the Bulldogs on the road tonight. Manny Rodriguez scored 22.

No. 25 Mundelein 56, Deerfield 46: Big win for the Mustangs, who are living up their preseason ranking so far, off to a 3-0 start.

Loyola 46, New Trier 41: Interesting score here. It’s a rivalry game, but I don’t think many expected the Trevians to keep it this close. Looks like New Trier has some fight.

North Lawndale 76, Schurz 72: Jamar Wilkins with a stat line of 31 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. Daequan Davis added 14 points and eight rebounds.

No. 23 Oak Lawn 60, Sandburg 40: Easy win for Sami Osmani and the Spartans. Osmani had 21 points and eight rebounds. Trey Ward added 18.

No. 18 Thornton 62, Dunlap 47: Brandon Hall scores 16 in the Wildcats’ season debut. I’ve covered way too many kids named Brandon Hall. Titans take the WIN! 52-39A.J. Casey: 16 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists.

Tinley Park 52, Johnson 39: Sophomore AJ Casey scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Here’s a recap of all the action at the St. Viator Thanksgiving Classic, provided by St. Viator.

St. Viator 54, Prospect 44: When Saint Viator needed points Wednesday, senior guard Connor Kochera delivered. The William & Mary-bound Kochera finished with a game-high 28 points and added six rebounds and two assists in the Lions’ 54-44 win over Prospect at the Saint Viator Thanksgiving Classic.

In a two-possession game, Kochera’s 3-point play at the 2:28 mark of the fourth quarter gave Saint Viator a 48-39 lead. The Lions (2-0) were able to hold off the Knights (1-2) in the final minutes to earn the rivalry victory.

“We have three guys with extensive varsity experience, so this is a learning experience for a lot of our players,” Saint Viator coach Quin Hayes said. “We are learning about who we are, what we can do and what we need to clean up. In the end, we stayed together and made plays to finish off the game.”

The Lions jumped out to an 11-0 lead before Prospect scored with 1:04 left in the first quarter. Saint Viator led 25-17 at intermission and was up 35-28 after three quarters.

“That start gave us a cushion and allowed us to make some mistakes,” Hayes said. “Give Prospect credit for fighting back and making it a game. Credit our guys for finishing it off.”

Junior guard Aidan Harrington had four points, four assists and two steals for Saint Viator. Senior guard Michael Campagna scored six points to go with two assists.

For Prospect, senior guard Matt Woloch finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Ron Lombardo contributed eight points and five rebounds.

No. 9 Evanston 69, Conant 56: One of the best shooters in the state, Evanston junior guard Blake Peters connected on seven 3-pointers and scored a team-best 23 points to lead the Wildkits to a 69-54 win over Conant.

After making one 3-pointer in Tuesday’s opener, Peters hit three in a row toward the end of the first half to send the Wildkits into locker room ahead 35-29. They trailed 16-14 after the first quarter and by as many as seven in the second.

“Any time Blake is shooting it well it gives the rest of the team confidence,” Evanston coach Mike Ellis said. “We feed off of him, but it isn’t out of amazement or excitement. It’s out of comfort. His teammates are used to seeing the ball go in.”

Evanston (2-0) extended its lead in the second half and went into the fourth quarter up 49-36.

Peters, who finished 7-for-14 from 3-point distance, added four rebounds and six steals. Junior guard Jaylin Gibson contributed 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Daeshawn Hemphill scored 10 points.

Evanston had 15 assists on 26 field goals and turned over the ball five times.

Once again, Conant junior guard Devon Ellis turned in an impressive offensive performance, scoring a game-best 28 points. He had 15 rebounds and two blocked shots. Sophomore guard Daniel Hong added 12 points for the Cougars (0-3).