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Jack Tosh Holiday Classic preview

Breaking down the favorite, top contenders and top storyline at the Jack Tosh Holiday tournament.

Glenbard West’s Braden Huff (34) shoots a three against Hillcrest.
Glenbard West’s Braden Huff (34) shoots a three against Hillcrest.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Jack Tosh Holiday Classic

Where: York High School

The favorite: Glenbard West is the No. 1 ranked team in the state and unbeaten. The Hilltoppers have size, experience, chemistry and one of the biggest difference-makers in the sport right now in 6-11 Braden Huff. What they’ve done defensively with their size and length in their 1-3-1 has made it difficult for opponents. The lack of depth over the course of a five-day tournament should be watched.

Top contenders: There are a handful of legitimate contenders, starting with a Bolingbrook team that is unbeaten and a pair of star-driven teams in Lake Forest and Rolling Meadows. This Bolingbrook team doesn’t have the big names, but the Raiders already have some big wins over Marian Catholic and Thornton. Asa Thomas of Lake Forest and Cameron Christie of Rolling Meadows are the top two junior prospects in the state and have very solid supporting casts.

Sleepers: Despite the slow start out of the gate, don’t forget about St. Ignatius with seniors Kolby Gilles and AJ Redd and junior Richard Barron. With a potent and balanced offense featuring Joevonn McCottry, JP Hanley, Joe Gilhooley, Brady Vaia and Will Gonzalez, Riverside-Brookfield has just one loss –– to highly-ranked Curie by just two points.

Tournament storyline: This is a one-of-a-kind tournament with 32 teams, so it’s a different type of holiday tournament grind playing five games in five days. Plus, for the fans there are two games going together at the same time but in different gyms, so there is always something to watch.

But a team that can knock off Glenbard West while riding a five-game win streak into January is going to feel awfully good and be a major confidence-builder.

Top five players to watch: Braden Huff, Glenbard West; Asa Thomas, Lake Forest; Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows; Nojus Indrusaitis, Lemont; Tavari Johnson, Lyons.

Schedule

First round, Dec. 27

Hinsdale South vs. Lake Forest, 8:30 a.m.

Tinley Park vs. Palatine, 10 a.m.

Timothy Christian vs. Lemont, 11:30 a.m.

St. Laurence vs. Rolling Meadows, 1

Stagg vs. Batavia, 3

Naperville North vs. Leo, 4:30

Minooka vs. St. Patrick, 6

Downers Grove South vs. Glenbard West, 7:30

Wheaton North vs. Lyons, 9 a.m.

Conant vs. St. Ignatius, 10:30 a.m.

Highland Park vs. Nazareth, noon

Sandburg vs. Riverside-Brookfield, 1:30

Schaumburg vs. St. Francis, 3:30

Providence vs. Bolingbrook, 5

Montini vs. Andrew, 6:30

Solorio vs. York, 8

Second round, Dec. 28

Quarterfinals, Dec. 29

Semifinals, Dec. 30

Championship, Dec. 31