Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 2, 2020

A slew of Super 25 teams losing leads to plenty of changes this week.

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 2, 2020
Evanston’s Blake Peters (15) shoots from three as the Wildkits play Bloom.

Evanston’s Blake Peters (15) shoots from three as the Wildkits play Bloom.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

It was a good week to lose.

The teams ranked in the Super 25 last week combined for 12 losses. All but one managed to hang on in the rankings because of their overall rèsumè, but there were plenty of changes.

Evanston’s week was notable. The Wildkits lost to two good teams (Glenbrook South and Loyola) and beat a solid team (Oak Park). It was definitely a dip in form for Evanston. Just a week ago, some were speculating the Wildkits — who start five juniors — could win back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 2020 and 2021.

Evanston doesn’t have overwhelming talent, and its tallest starter is 6-4. Sharing the ball and shooting had been the keys offensively. The Wildkits had more turnovers than assists against Glenbrook South and Loyola.

‘‘We’re not sharing the basketball well enough,’’ Evanston coach Mike Ellis said. ‘‘We just don’t attack a team united. Everyone is trying to do something individually.’’

Capping the week with a victory against talented Oak Park proved the Wildkits are still one of the elite teams in the area. It’s hard to stay perfect against a rugged schedule.

Strength of schedule

Oak Forest and Loyola have impressive records, but they haven’t been challenged enough to crack the top 10.

The Bengals have faced only two ranked teams (Oak Lawn and Lincoln-Way East) and have beaten them both.

The Ramblers have played three ranked teams, beating Notre Dame and Evanston and losing to Homewood-Flossmoor.

Contrast that with Simeon, which has played 12 ranked teams, and Homewood-Flossmoor and Notre Dame, which have faced nine ranked teams.

Short-handed losses

Joliet West went 1-1 this week, beating Romeoville and losing to Bolingbrook. The Tigers were without multiple players, including junior Jaiden Lee and Toledo recruit Jamere Hill.

Young coach Tyrone Slaughter sat out DJ Steward, Tyler Beard and Grant Newell in the Dolphins’ loss at Orr.

New to the Super 25

Hillcrest (15-7): The Hawks were ranked in the preseason and are loaded with talented, athletic juniors. It was only a matter of time until coach Don Houston got his team on track. That appears to be happening now. Hillcrest beat Homewood-Flossmoor during the weekend and gave Evanston a real battle Jan. 18.

Hinsdale South (22-2): Another one of those teams with a weak strength of schedule and an excellent record. But the Hornets picked up two huge victories recently, beating rival Hinsdale Central and feisty Morton.

Dropping out

Lincoln Park (19-3): It feels wrong to deal the Lions another blow after Chicago Public Schools suspended their season, but it doesn’t really work to have a team currently not playing ranked in the Super 25. Lincoln Park will return if its season resumes.

Fenwick (19-5): The Friars lost to Riverside-Brookfield on Friday and continue to yo-yo in and out of the rankings.

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Curie (20-1) 1
Still unbeaten in Illinois

2. Bloom (21-5) 5
Beat Thornton, Marian Catholic

3. Thornton (22-1) 2
Lost at Bloom

4. Notre Dame (22-3) 4
Hosts St. Patrick Friday

5. Evanston (21-3) 3
Up and down week

6. Bogan (20-2) 6
Major contender for city title

7. Young (15-8) 7
Two big wins in California

8. Homewood-Flossmoor (18-3) 8
Lost to Hillcrest

9. Simeon (16-8) 13
Questions are becoming depth

10. Marian Catholic (17-7) 11
Lost at Bloom

11. DePaul Prep (19-3) 9
Lost to Brother Rice

12. Loyola (22-2) 17
Took down Evanston

13. Oak Forest (21-1) 18
Solid win vs. Lincoln-Way East

14. Joliet West (20-4) 12
1-1 while shorthanded

15. Morgan Park (15-8) 14
City tournament is a major opportunity

16. Bolingbrook (19-4) 20
The Raiders can score

17. Glenbrook South (20-3) 22
Cooper Noard is one to watch

18. Kankakee (18-2) 19
Survived Rich East

19. Mundelein (19-3) 23
Beat Warren, Waukegan

20. Stevenson (17-4) 15
Lost to Lake Forest

21. York (22-3) 25
Nice win vs. Lyons

22. Hillcrest (15-7) NR
Becoming very dangerous

23. Waubonsie Valley (21-3) 16
Lost to Naperville North

24. Cary-Grove (21-3) 21
Lost to Huntley

25. Hinsdale South (22-2) NR
Dominated Morton

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