The holiday tournament week began with a thrilling morning at York. There were big-time performances from top prospects, sleeper seniors scoring 30 points, buzzer beaters and upsets. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the week.
After York I made a brief stop at Proviso West to check out the scene there and get a look at Kenwood. The crowd was dismal, but freshman Bryce Heard impressed for the Broncos. More on that below.
Then I drove down to Pekin to catch Mount Carmel vs. Limestone. This was my first trip to Pekin in a long, long time. I think the last time I was here it was to see Westinghouse when Jamarcus Ellis was playing. I kind of watched Ellis whenever possible. I didn’t see every game at Pontiac back then, just most.
Junior DeAndre Craig scored 37 points in the Caravan’s 94-85 win against the Rockets. There was a nice crowd at the game, plenty of neutrals on hand just to watch basketball. That’s the special ingredient for any holiday tournament.
The game was a shootout. Mount Carmel was 11 of 22 from three-point range and Limestone was 14-for-25. I wouldn’t be surprised if 25 combined threes was close to a tournament record.
Craig is really starting to come into his own. He’s one of the most difficult guards in the state to stop. He excels at getting to whatever spot on the floor he wants.
Angelo Ciaravino scored 14 and his brother Anthony had 19. De’Kwon Brown, a highly-regarded sophomore guard, led the Rockets with 23 points and Cooper Waibel added 21.
Mount Carmel will face the winner of Normal West-Pattonville, Missouri in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Here’s a look at the rest of the results from the major tournaments. I’m going to head to my hotel now and then do one final update to close things out. But there is a lot to check out already...
Lake Forest 72, Hinsdale South 52: Asa Thomas led the Scouts with 24 points and Alex Forowycz scored 19. Garrett Bolte did everything for the Hornets, had 30 points and 10 rebounds. He played one of the better all-around games I’ve seen this season.
Lyons 67, Wheaton North 34: Really nice game for Tavari Johnson with 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Aidan Sullivan and Niklas Polonowski each added 11 points. No one on the Falcons reached double digits. Wheaton North shot 10 of 42 from three-point range.
Tinley Park 51, Palatine 47: Nick Harrell had 15 and Tony Webb was really big in the clutch with 14 points and the win sealing FT’s. Grant Dersnah led Palatine with 13 points and six rebounds.
Lemont 75, Timothy Christian 50: I watched the first half of this one. Sophomore Nojus Indrusaitis had a huge performance. He finished with 32 points and nine rebounds, shot 9 of 14 from the field and 4-for-7 from three-point range. Rokas Castillo added 20. Furman recruit Ben VanderWal led Timothy with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Rolling Meadows 68, St. Laurence 54: Senior Orlando Thomas scored 22 points. He drained 4 of 8 three-pointers to lead the Mustangs in the first-round win. Cameron Christie scored 21 and freshman Ian Miletic added 10 points and five rebounds. Brandon McCoy scored 21 for the Vikings.
Conant 48, St. Ignatius 45: What a finish. Watch it below. Cougars senior Colin Francia with the buzzer beater in the upset. Francia and Camden Lathos each scored 12 points and Yusuf Cisse added 11 points. Kolby Gilles led the Wolfpack with 14 points. St. Ignatius lost despite a 17-7 rebounding advantage. Seven rebounds is a bit suspect. I didn’t keep stats for this game, it is possible the York Tournament folks are still working out the kinks.
Conant senior Colin Francia drains a jumper at the buzzer and the Cougars upset St. Ignatius!— Michael O'Brien (@michaelsobrien) December 27, 2021
Conant advances to the second round at York. The Wolfpack’s rough start to the season continues. pic.twitter.com/19AeQxQDuC
Nazareth 51, Highland Park 43 OT: Football star Quentrell Harris led the Roadrunners with 13 points. They pulled away in the overtime, outscoring the Giants 11-3. Dominic Trelenberg added 12 points and six rebounds for Nazareth. Sam Rohn and Rocky Segal each scored 11 for Highland Park.
Leo 50, Naperville North 37: The Lions held Naperville North scoreless in the first quarter. Jarrod Gee Jr. scored 12 and Austin Ford added six points and seven rebounds. Leo has been ranked the past couple of weeks but still has a lot to prove.
Bolingbrook 76, Providence 51: The Raiders are the heavy favorites down on their end of the bracket. No sweat in the first round. Daniel Walker scored 11 and grabbed seven rebounds and Jaydin Dunlap added 10 points. Owen Moran led the Celtics with 16.
Batavia 74, Stagg 66 OT: The Bulldogs dominated the overtime 12-4 to win. Ethan Ivan scored 34 and grabbed nine rebounds. Trent Tousana had 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Danny Elsworth led Stagg with 16.
St. Francis 66, Schaumburg 33: Sebastian Miller scored 18 and Jack Brennan added 14 as St. Francis wins this one with ease.
Andrew 51, Montini 39: Andrew has played well enough this season to earn a spot in the book of 100 or so teams that I regularly track. Austin Kulig led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Michael Morawski also scored 18. The Thunderbolts assisted on 13 of their 19 field goals. I love having that stat available in box scores. It’s not something I’m able to track on my own and I think it’s a really valuable indication of how good a high school basketball team is.
St. Patrick 60, Minooka 49: Timaris Brown is back for the Shamrocks. He scored 20 and grabbed 11 rebounds. That actually makes this loss even more impressive for Minooka. They are competitive against good teams this season, which is a real step in the right direction. Trevor Hudak scored 17 for Minooka and Darren Anderson added 11.
Lake Forest vs. Tinley Park, 3
Lemont vs. Rolling Meadows, 4:30
Batavia vs. Leo, 6
St. Patrick vs. Glenbard West, 7:30
Lyons vs. Conant, 3:30
Highland Park vs. Sandburg, 5
St. Francis vs. Bolingbrook, 6:30
Andrew vs. York, 8
Ag. Science 56, Dunbar 48: Justin Sadder dropped 30 points for the Cyclones. Sterling Chears scored eight and grabbed 12 rebounds and Javion Johnson added eight points and 10 rebounds. Ag. Science advances to the second round and improves to 8-1.
Perspectives-Leadership 74, Phillips 58: Perspectives dominated the second quarter with a 17-2 run to earn the win. Jahqwan Payton scored 20 points and Dontrell Cooke added 17. Jaheim Savage led the Wildcats with 16.
Hyde Park 87, Thornridge 52: The Thunderbirds won with a balanced effort. Malik Jenkins scored 20, Byron Hobbs had 19 points and eight rebounds and Davontae Hall scored 16.
Thornwood 66, Marshall 26: I haven’t seen either of these teams play this season but this was a surprise to me. I know Commandos coach Henry Cotton expected his group to be competitive this season. Senior Adrian Mosley led the Thunderbirds with 19 points and Jamin Brown scored 14.
Fenger 56, Rich 55 OT: This looks like one of the closest games of the day. Fenger knocks off the hosts. Lonnel Strickland scored 16, Justin Graham had 12 and Jordan Rowls added 11 points.
Thornton 70, Vocational 61: It was a pretty fun day at the Dipper. A lot of close first round games. The Cavaliers actually outscored Thornton 21-18 in the fourth quarter. Illinois recruit Ty Rodgers had 13 points and five rebounds and Vincent Rainey scored 14 for the the Wildcats, who are going to have to play better than this to win the tournament. Lashawn Pollard scored 26 points for Vocational. He’s been on my list to see for awhile.
Hillcrest 62, Bowen 22: The Hawks dominate. Bryce Tillery scored 12 and Aa’Reyon Munir Jones added 11.
Hillcrest vs. Ag. Science, 7
Thornwood vs. Perspectives-Leadership, 1:30
Thornton vs. TF South, 5:30
Hyde Park vs. Fenger, 4
Proviso West 65, Lincoln Park 48: The host school pulls off the first round upset. Junior Calvin Lucas was 10-for-15 shooting and finished with 29 points. Kevin McGhee added 10 points and seven assists. Myan Whitfield led the Lions with 20 points.
Clark 70, Morgan Park 68: Senior Mikell Jones won it with two free throws with 0.3 seconds left. Jones finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists. His brother Mikqwon Jones added 14 points and big man Suliman Agistie scored 12 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Fontain Thomas led the Mustangs with 18 points and Michael Brown scored 17. The Eagles will face Proviso West in the second round tomorrow.
Kenwood 90, TF North 51: Freshman Bryce Heard started hot and stayed that way. He and senior Trey Pettigrew each scored 22 points to lead the Broncos. Heard has a much larger scoring role for Kenwood now that star guard Darrin Ames is out with an injury this week. Davius Loury added 12 points and Darius Robinson scored 14. Jevon Warren had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Meteors.
Proviso East 82, Bogan 69: The Johnson brothers combined for 41 points and the Pirates are 8-0. Read all about this game.
Morton 87, Zion-Benton 62: Morton cruises behind 17 points from Armoni Flowers and 13 points and 11 rebounds from Victor Garrett.
Young 69, Crete-Monee 32: Dalen Davis scored 12 and Matt Sommerville scored 11. NIU recruit Xavier Amos had eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Proviso West vs. Clark, 4
Hammond Central vs. Kenwood, 5:30
Farragut vs. Proviso East, 7
Morton vs. Young, 8:30
Notre Dame 63, Mather 36: Bryce Coleman led with 17 points and Sherrod Dent scored 16. The Dons led 33-11 at halftime and cruised to the win.
Glenbrook South 83, Waukegan 29: It’s been a rough year for the Bulldogs so far and a game with Glenbrook South is a rough call for anyone. Nick Martinelli had 26 points and eight boards and Cooper Noard scored 13. Can anyone in the field give the Titans a game? Will be interesting to find out.
Glenbard North 57, Buffalo Grove 54: This is a new name, 6-6 sophomore JJ Hernandez finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds for Glenbard North.
Fremd 52, Maine West 37: Fremd trailed early but outscored Maine West 28-20 in the second half to pull out the win. Caiden Suchey scored 13 and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Libertyville 62, Wheeling 39: Andrew Sorenson scored 21 and Chase Bonder filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
Deerfield vs. Glenbrook North, 3:45
Notre Dame vs. Prospect, 5:30
Glenbard North vs. Glenbrook South, 7:15
Libertyville vs. Fremd, 8:45
Plainfield East 43, Dundee-Crown 38 OT: Strange box score on this one. The Bengals didn’t score in the second quarter but won anyway. Joshua Whitehurst scored 14 and Donovan Byrd added 10. Zach Ryza and Jason Huber each had 11 for Dundee-Crown. Rough early morning basketball is dripping all over this stat sheet.
Geneva 61, Geneseo 37: Max Jensen scored 14 points to lead the way. Twelve players scored for the Vikings, who jumped out to a 23-9 lead in the first quarter.
Yorkville 56, LaSalle-Peru 34: I’ve heard good things about Jason Jakstys this season. He scored 17 and was 7 of 13 shooting. Lucas Fisher added 10 points. The Foxes assisted on 13 of their 23 buckets and had nine steals.
DeKalb 69, West Chicago 36: One of the few host schools to win in the first round of their own tournament. Lane McVicar, one of the better seniors in the area that no one talks about, scored 18 and Darrell Island added 17.
Huntley 83, Ogden 28: This was never close. The Red Raiders opened up a 21-9 lead in the first quarter. John Kramer scored 16. Huntley made 10 three pointers.
DeKalb vs. Yorkville, 7:30
United vs. Huntley, 6
Geneva vs. Guilford, 4:30
Plainfield East vs. Naperville Central, 3
Rock Island 69, Joliet Central 60: And now I kind of wish I had left Proviso West a little early and stopped by for this one. Looks like the Steelmen played a good game. Amarion Nimmers scored 32 for the Rocks. Baker Beal and Mareion Anderson each scored 14. Anthony Nava led Joliet Central with 23 points.
Wheaton Warrenville South 74, Harlem 44: Well you don’t expect to see the Tigers scoring more than 70 points. Tyler Fawcett had 28 and Matt Sommerdyke added 12.
Brother Rice 68, Mahomet-Seymour 39: They aren’t the top seed but I kind of think the Crusaders might be the best team in this tournament. Although with WW South scoring 74 points who knows. Ahmad Henderson led Brother Rice with 15 and Tre Dowdell added 13 points.
Peoria Central 61, Bradley-Bourbonnais 51: A mild surprise here. I haven’t seen the Boilermakers yet this season but I expected them to get out of the first round. Owen Freeman led Bradley with 16. Staishaun Kelley scored 20 for the Lions.
North Lawndale 66, Lincoln-Way West 59: The Phoenix survive and head to the quarterfinals. This one was a 9:30 start and I haven’t seen any stats yet.
Normal vs. North Lawndale, 4
Wheaton Warrenville South vs. Brother Rice, 5:30
Rock Island vs. Metamora
East St. Louis vs. Peoria Central
Larkin 66, Loyola 54: This is a really nice win for Larkin. They’ve been piling up victories but don’t have an eye-opener yet. This comes close. Damari Wheeler-Thomas scored 20. Fernando Perez and Andrew Blakley each had 13. Alex Engro led the Ramblers with 15 points.
Barrington 61, Bartlett 41: The Broncos will play for the title tomorrow night. Will Grudzinski scored 26 and Daniel Hong added 17. Conrad Luczynski, the 7-3 senior, led Bartlett with 13 points.