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Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Analysis, scores and highlights from the best games of Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.

Joliet West’s Trent Howland gets focused as he shoots and makes a key free throw throw late against Hillcrest.
Joliet West’s Trent Howland gets focused as he shoots and makes a key free throw throw late against Hillcrest.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Joliet West and Hillcrest played a wild, messy one today. The Tigers have an excuse, they were playing a lot of inexperienced players. But they still managed to pick up the win.

The future is very bright at Joliet West, but they will need Jamere Hill to make a deep run in the state tournament. Sounds like it might be another two weeks before he’s back from his injury.

The Hawks never seem to play their best when I’m in the gym and that trend continued today. However, junior guard Mar’Keise Irving seems to have his basketball legs under him now. That will make a big difference for Hillcrest from here on out.

Saturday’s top games

Simeon 54, Collinsville 45: Things tightened up late after Simeon led by double digits for most of the second half. Jeremiah Williams led the way with 15 and Ahamad Bynum added 12 points. The Wolverines did a nice job on Ray’sean Taylor and he was held to 12 points. This is a good sign for the local teams in the Lockport Sectional, which could face the Kahoks in ISU super.

Evanston 70, Hamilton, Wis. 68 3 OT: The Wildkits win in triple-overtime at Welsh-Ryan. Jaylin Gibson scored 15 and Hamilton star Patrick Baldwin Jr. finished with 25.

Young 77, Marion, Ark. 74: DJ Steward scored 26 and Tyler Beard had 20. I watched this one online. The Dolphins had a big lead and the starters on the bench when Marion raged back. Detrick Reeves scored 25 for the Arkansas team.

Stevenson 35, Loyola 31: RJ Holmes led the way with nine points. Things have been a bit quiet around the Patriots lately but they have a big game on Friday at Mundelein

Willowbrook 70, Romeoville 55: Everett Stubblefield poured in 32 and Sam Tumilty added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Thornton 70, St. Louis Cardinal Ritter 63: The Wildcats knock of the Missouri power. Brandon Hall scored 18 and DJ Williams added 16 points.

Aurora Christian 77, Lindblom 57: Quite a margin in this one for the Eagles. Taaj Davis had 22 points and Danny New added 14. Aurora Christian is 17-5.

Curie 58, Mehlville 54: Ok, I admit I have no idea where Mehlville is and I don’t care at all. The Condors just keep rolling Armond Williams scored and Ramean Hinton each scored 12 points.

York 40, Oswego East 38: Great finish in this one as Jeff Grace grabbed a steal and found Nate Shockey for the game-wining layup. Shockey scored 28.

Marian Catholic 62, Madison East, Wis. 50: Joe Green scored 21 and Ahron Ulis added 16 points and all these out of state teams are making the notebook rather dull.

Mundelein 56, Lake Forest 48 OT: The Scouts have been playing well lately but Mundelein pulled it out in the end. Conor Enright scored 24 for the Mustangs.

Clark 58, Rich East 54 OT: The White Division power survives in overtime. The Rockets lose to yet another good team. Coby Weekly led Clark with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Darrius Perryman scored 16 and freshman Cordy Johnson added 13.

Orr 65, St. Rita 47: Another sign that the Spartans are turning the corner. Big margin against a good team. Reggie Strong scored 16 and Norvell Meadows added 11. Demarius Splunge finished with nine points and nine boards.