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The winningest high school basketball programs of the decade: No. 29 Marist

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

Marist’s LJ McIntosh shoots a three over Notre Dame’s Duante Stephens.
Marist’s LJ McIntosh shoots a three over Notre Dame’s Duante Stephens.
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.

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. 29 Marist today and will add one program a day going forward.

29. MARIST: 206-95

Decade’s biggest storyline: How about the eight-day period in March of 2012?

Marist, the seventh seed in the sectional, beat bitter rival Brother Rice in the regional semifinals and then knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 sectional seeds –– Curie at the buzzer to win the regional title and then Bogan in overtime to win a sectional semifinal game.

Simeon ended Marist’s season in the sectional championship game.

The overlooked part of that 2012 run was how the Redhawks won in dramatic fashion.

Marist trailed Curie by five points with 50 seconds remaining in the regional final. But Lexus Williams’ three-pointer with two seconds to play stunned Curie in a 63-62 thriller.

In the sectional semifinal, Marist trailed Bogan by 10 points with just a minute to play. The Redhawks stormed back and won 67-63 in overtime.

Underrated highlight: In back-to-back seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18 the Redhawks won a school record 27 games and regional championships each season. Marist lost to Simeon in the sectional semifinals in 2017 and then fell to Simeon again in 2018 in the sectional title game.

Player of the Decade: LJ McIntosh (2013)

All-Decade Team: LJ McIntosh (2013), Lexus Williams (2013), Nic Weishar (2014), Justin Brown (2017) and Morgan Taylor (2018)

Other decade highlights:

-The program’s all-time winningest coach, Gene Nolan, left Marist in 2018 to take over at Naperville North. The Marist grad won 303 games over 16 seasons.

-Tim Trendel, who spent the previous eight years at Providence, took over the program in 2018.

-LJ McIntosh wrapped up his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,727 career points.

-Marist won the East Suburban Catholic Conference title in 2016-17.