Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Analysis, highlights and scores from the best games of Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

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Bloom’s Keshawn Williams (0) goes to the basket against Thornton.

Bloom’s Keshawn Williams (0) goes to the basket against Thornton.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

It was tremendous to see Thornton’s gym full and loud tonight. The game lived up to the hype, with the tough Wildcats knocking off top-ranked Bloom.

Thornton isn’t as talented as Bloom and the team and coach Tai Streets acknowledge that. But they outplayed the Blazing Trojans.

“Our guys showed some poise throughout the entire game because [Bloom] is talented as heck,” Street said. “Our guys compete. I love this time. All of them compete.”

So, what does this upset mean? Was Bloom overrated? Is undefeated Thornton a possibility as the new No. 1?

Bloom is not overrated. The Blazing Trojans are still the best team I’ve seen this season (I haven’t seen Bogan yet but will this weekend). The version of Bloom that lost tonight to Thornton was missing a lot. Donovan Newby was out with an injury, Martice Mitchell was in constant foul trouble and Keshawn Williams just wasn’t himself due to a face guard. Coach Dante Maddox Sr. played several sophomores for long stretches of the game.

Those are definitely excuses, but they should be noted. This wasn’t a Bloom team firing on all cylinders. That takes nothing away from what the Wildcats accomplished tonight. Thornton proved that it is capable of playing with and beating the best in the area.

At this point though, it is hard to see the Wildcats as a contender for No. 1. But who knows where the season will take us.

Forget about expectations and rankings. Tonight was beautiful for high school basketball. Dante Maddox Sr., a Bloom graduate, and Tai Streets, a Thornton graduate, have helped restore their schools to statewide prominence and brought south suburban basketball back to life.

It was a joy to watch.

Tuesday’s top games

No. 11 Notre Dame 48, No. 7 Marian Catholic 36: A tremendous win for the Dons, especially considering guard Anthony Sayles was out with an injury. Troy D’Amico led the way with 21 and Louis Lesmond scored 16.

No. 2 Bogan 76, No. 9 Simeon 54: That’s quite a margin of victory considering the game was at Simeon. On today’s episode of No Shot Clock one of my takes was a bit of concern about the Wolverines. They clearly aren’t quite fully-formed yet and the December schedule is rough. Antoine Bloxton scored 20 and Darrion Jones added 15. The Bengals have beaten Morgan Park and Simeon and are clearly a contender for No. 1...but there is a ton of basketball to be played before Sunday night. Ahamad Bynum led the Wolverines with 18 points.

Oswego East 57, Oswego 49: Interesting result. Oswego nearly grabbed the 25th spot in the rankings this week. The Wolves have now one six in a row and the Panthers are 7-1.

Joliet West 86, Joliet Central 59: Dominant win for the Tigers. This game was played in the newish field house. I still haven’t seen a game there. Jamere Hill scored 24, he’s an absolute load and should be attracting attention from college coaches. Kee Hargrow led the Steelmen with 19 points.

Schaumburg 69, Rolling Meadows 65: The Saxons comeback to win the Mid-Suburban League showdown. Chris Hodges finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, I saw some raves about him on Twitter. Max Christie scored 31. Both teams were unbeaten heading into this one. Despite the loss, this seems like a positive sign for the Mustangs. They are clearly better than they were Christie’s first two seasons.

Dunbar 56, Solorio 43: This is a great win for Dunbar, a team we should be taking more seriously. La’Ron Owens led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds and Zack Lipscomb added 11 points and nine rebounds. Two sophomores also had big games, Isaiah Robinson and Jerrell Edwards.

Oak Forest 64, Eisenhower 41: A bit of an eye-opening score for the Bengals. Jayson Kent scored 20 and sophomore Robbie Avila added 14.

Oak Lawn 62, Bremen 26: Trey Ward scored 15 and Sami Osmani added 14.

Tinley Park 80, Reavis 54: AJ Casey nearly posted a triple-double, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Yitonis Nash added 14 points. The Titans are 4-2.

Kankakee 39, Rich East 32: Oddly low scoring. The Kays trailed at halftime. Lavell McIntosh led had 11 points and seven rebounds. Rashard Harris added nine points and eight rebounds.

No. 17 Bolingbrook 70, Andrew 57: This is one of those scores that gives me some faith in both teams. The Raiders take care of business but clearly this T-Bolts team has something. Darius Burford led Bolingbrook with 23 points.

Willowbrook 71, Metea Valley 59: Everett Stubblefield does it again with 17 points, six steals and five rebounds. His quarterback Sam Tumilty added 17 points and six rebounds.

No. 19 DePaul Prep 49 , Mt Carmel 45: Ty Johnson scored 20, Brian Mathews added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Waubonsie Valley 86, East Aurora 69: We need to talk about Marcus Skeete more. He really impressed me last season and is killing it so far this year. The 6-5 senior had 33 points and 17 rebounds.

Hyde Park 73, Brooks 59: Keep an eye on the Thunderbirds. They are young and dangerous. Junior Jalen Houston had 30 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Soph Julian Price added 16 points and eight rebounds and soph Vernon Henry scored 15.

St. Charles East 74, Streamwood 62: Chase Monkemeyernine in the fourth to lead the Saints to the win. He finished with 20.

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