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Michael O’Brien’s notebook: March 1, 2019

Brother Rice's Marquise Kennedy (24) hauls in a rebound against Simeon, Friday 03-01-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

There is no time for any blathering. It is 10:45 as I sit down to write this and there are tons of games to recap. Regional final night was fun. Here we go…

Simeon’s freshman phenom: AJ Casey’s bucket in OT beats Brother Rice No one knows exactly what the future holds for Casey. A high-major college scholarship seems nearly guaranteed and even the NBA is possible. One thing that is now certain is his story will begin with an instantly-legendary rebound and put back at the buzzer in overtime to give Simeon a 75-73 win against Brother Rice in a Class 4A regional final. Read the story.

Young rallies from second-half deficit, survives Lane Inserted into the game in the fourth quarter, Warren drained two massive three-pointers and ultimately kept his senior season alive for another day, as Young rallied to beat Lane 58-49 in the Class 4A Regional finals. Read the story.

Friday’s top games

North Lawndale 59, St. Joseph 54: The Phoenix faithful thought senior Demetrius Douglas deserved more than honorable mention on the Sun-Times All-City team. Looks like he took his frustration out on the Chargers. Douglas had 31 points and seven rebounds. Javantae Brackens added 10 points and eight rebounds and Daquan Tucker hit the game-winning free throws.

Riverside-Brookfield 69, Lincoln Park 60: The first upset of the night. The Lions had a tendency to play up or down to their competition all season (that often happens when a team relies on sophomores heavily). R-B was down by 12 at the half and roared back to win. Zach Vaia scored 25. Remember when we talked to him way back on the first day of the season? Andrew Veon added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Bulldogs are 28-4 and have to be enjoying this regional title. Next up is Curie, which will be quite a challenge. This was the first 20-win season for Lincoln Park in more than a decade. The future is bright on Armitage.

Homewood-Flossmoor 55, St. Rita 45: The Vikings pull out the win without Issac Stanback.

De La Salle 62, Payton 56: Nice win for the Meteors against a fiesty Payton squad. They were down 13 entering the fourth quarter on the road. Josh Holmes scored 17.

Bolingbrook 78, Joliet Central 57: This is the first time I haven’t seen the Steelmen play a single game since I started watching high school basketball in the very early 1990s. Circumstances just kept conspiring against me. It has made the season feel strange. I could have gone to Bolingbrook for this one, but I’ve already seen too many lousy Joliet Central-Bolingbrook games in that gym. Bad mojo. The Raiders cruised behind Jordan Myrick and Darius Burford. Bolingbrook has been kinda forgotten a bit the last few weeks. That’s a mistake.

Providence-St. Mel 73, Collins 56: The Class 1A Knights advance to the supersectional. I haven’t checked to see who they will play on Tuesday yet. Deion Jackson led the way with 20 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and four steals. What a game. Tyriel Nelson and Eric Jordan each scored 14.

Lake Park 58, Benet 55 OT: Another upset, although Lake Park is obviously darn good. They are still the only team that has beaten Geneva this season. Montreal Perry led the way with 16 points and Trevor Montiel scored 15.

Downers Grove North 65, Downers Grove South 42: This is definitely an upset. The Trojans were ranked in the preseason, sure, but Downers Grove South has had a much more consistent season. Either way I never would have expected this margin. Huge win for Downers North.

York 74, Oak Park 56: These teams really need to play some other people. The Huskies won both regular season matchups but the Dukes take the one that matters.

Schaumburg 61, New Trier 45: The Saxons take care of business. New Trier had a great season, things just didn’t fall its way injury-wise at the end.

West Aurora 66, Plainfield Central 65: The Blackhawks led by 17 with four minutes to play. Guess that got really interesting. This is West Aurora’s 44th regional title according to my favorite WA fan.

Loyola 37, Maine South 34: I believe this game was 12-12 at halftime. We would have expected nothing less. Quinn Pemberton led the way with 12 points. The Hawks’ winning streak comes to an end.

Normal U-High 42, Kankakee 37: Regular readers know I’ve been tantalized by the Kays’ potential this season. And I really enjoyed the trip to Kankakee this season. This is definitely a premature end to the playoff run, even though I don’t know a darned thing about Normal U-High.

Evanston 80, Notre Dame 68: Actually wound up being a little closer than I expected. Lance Jones scored 25, Jaheim Holden had 21 and Blake Peters scored 17 for the Wildcats.