The winningest high school basketball programs of the decade: No. 47 St. Patrick (tie)

The Sun-Times is counting down the 50 high school basketball programs with the most wins during the decade.

SHARE The winningest high school basketball programs of the decade: No. 47 St. Patrick (tie)
St. Patrick’s Elijah Watson (23) attempts to pass St. Joseph’s Paul Turner (20) in 2012.

St. Patrick’s Elijah Watson (23) attempts to pass St. Joseph’s Paul Turner (20) in 2012.

Sun-Times file photo

When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.

The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.

The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.

Now, with the calendar inching closer to wrapping up an unforgettable 2020, the end of this month closes out another decade. And it’s another high school basketball time period to look back on.

Earlier this year we broke down the decade’s best teams and best players. Now, with every season of the past decade complete, it’s time to look at the Chicago area programs who won the most.

This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.

We present No. 47, a tie between St. Patrick and St. Charles East, today and will add one program a day going forward.

47. ST. PATRICK: 182-109

Decade’s biggest storyline: The Shamrocks won their third sectional championship in school history in 2015 before falling 39-38 to St. Joseph in the super-sectional.

St. Patrick’s Laurence Merritt (24) gets a steal and drives straight to the basket against Loyola in 2017.

St. Patrick’s Laurence Merritt (24) gets a steal and drives straight to the basket against Loyola in 2017.

Sun-Times file photo

Underrated decade highlight: The longevity of the head coaching position at St. Patrick is pretty remarkable and continues beyond this past decade. St. Pat’s has had just two head coaches in 63 years. Max Kurland coached from 1959 to 1994 while current head coach Mike Bailey took over the program in 1994. Also impressive is that between two coaches and over six-plus decades, the Shamrocks have had just five losing seasons.

Player of the Decade:Nick Coleman (2015)

All-Decade Team:Kortney Darby (2011), Elijah Watson (2013), Nick Coleman (2015), Laurence Merritt (2017) and Dom Galati (2020)

Other decade news and highlights: Winning five regional titles in the past seven seasons while averaging 19 wins a year over the past six years can’t be overlooked.

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