Michael O’Brien’s holiday tournament notebook

Scores, highlights and analysis from the major holiday tournaments.

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New Trier’s Ethan Cummings (10) looks to pass as the Trevians play West Aurora.

New Trier’s Ethan Cummings (10) looks to pass as the Trevians play West Aurora.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

So I have to admit that it hasn’t been the greatest Pontiac Holiday Tournament so far. The Joliet West upset of Bloom was a thrill for Joliet fans, but that’s been the only exciting moment the last two days.

There haven’t even been any big-time performances by individual players. Right now it has been kind of a dud of two days. But the big day is still to come. Hopefully the Pontiac magic comes through on Thursday with the two semifinals, Simeon vs. New Trier and Benet vs. Curie, and then the title game.

I wrote stories on all four Pontiac quarterfinals and Mike Clark covered Homewood-Flossmoor’s win in the title game of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic.

Here’s a look at the other major events from today:


Normal 47, Wheaton Warrenville South 43: The Tigers lose in the semifinals. Normal made 19 of 29 free throws. Tyler Fawcett continued to lead Wheaton Warrenville South. He scored 12. That’s it for local teams at Bloomington. It will be Normal vs. East St. Louis in the final.


Huntley 65, DeKalb 45: I’ve had my eye on the Red Raiders since the preseason and it looks like they are a team to watch. Aidan Wieczorek scored 15 and Ben Ahmer scored 10 in this semifinal win over the hosts.

Geneva 41, Naperville Central 34: The Vikings have had such a strong program for the past decade. This wasn’t expected to be one of their big years. In fact, I expected Naperville Central to be in the final so call this a bit of an upset. Michael Lawrence scored 12 for Geneva and Ryan Huskey grabbed 13 rebounds. Jonah Hinton led the Redhawks with 15 points.


Mount Carmel 62, Morton 56: The Caravan wins the title in Pekin. Mount Carmel is still undefeated and will be an interesting team to rank on Sunday. DeAndre Craig is the real deal. He scored 18 in the win and was named tournament MVP. Mount Carmel has an effective rebounder in Elijah Jointer and two really productive, disruptive players in Anthony and Angelo Ciaravino. They still don’t have a major win against a team from the area though and I think a lot of people are less convinced than I am.


Burlington Central 80, Yorkville Christian 72: The favorites go down. Well, at least the local favorites. Burlington Central was led by Carson Seyller with 19 points and Nick Carpenter with 15 points. Duke recruit Jaden Schutt scored 18 for the Mustangs.

Peoria Notre Dame 33, Northridge Prep 30: Very interesting score here. Peoria Notre Dame is one of the best teams in Central IL and the Knights gave them a real challenge. Cooper Koch scored 12 for the Irish and James Spingola had 12 for Northridge Prep. These games were the semifinals.

Proviso West

Kenwood 86, Clark 66: The Broncos still haven’t been challenged by a local team. Trey Pettigrew scored 41 points and is starting to get his name into the Player of the Year race. He was 17 for 30 shooting. Darius Robinson added 10 points. Cordy Johnson led Clark with 22.

Young 73, Proviso East 70: The most interesting score of the night? Are the Pirates an elite team in the area or is Young not quite as good as everyone expected? Or maybe this is just one game and I should stop making too many judgements. AJ Casey had a night with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Xavier Amos added 14 points and eight rebounds. The Johnson brothers lived up to the hype. Javon scored 24 and Jaloni had 21 for the Pirates.

Big Dipper

Hyde Park 57, Thornton 46: Ty Rodgers missed this with an injury. No word yet on how long the Illinois recruit will be out. Davontae Hall scored 28 for the Thunderbirds and Camron Williford added six points and 10 rebounds.

Hillcrest 63, Perspectives-Leadership 58: Ok, I take it back. This is the most interesting score of the night. Everyone clearly needs to get out and see Perspectives. Bryce Tillery continued his excellent week and led Hillcrest with 17 points. JaQuwan Payton, Matthew Neal and Timothy Handy all played well for Perspectives. The title game is tomorrow, Hyde Park vs. Hillcrest.


Glenbrook North 57, Prospect 48: I can’t wait to return to Northbrook this winter. It has been way too long since I’ve seen a game there. I have so many great memories of all the excellent Glenbrook North teams and the big crowds. Good times are back. Ryan Cohen scored 13 in this semifinal win.

Glenbrook South 60, Libertyville 43: Talked to two people tonight in Pontiac that have seen Glenbrook South and are with me that they just maybe might be one of the very, very best teams in the state. Nick Martinelli scored 20 points and Cooper Noard had 13. They are heavy favorites tomorrow night in what should be a really fun Glenbrook title game.


Rolling Meadows 54, Lake Forest 49: Statement win for the Mustangs. Mark Nikolich-Wilson scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Cam Christie had 20 and Orlando Thomas added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Glenbard West 69, Leo 46: Another big performance in a big game from Paxton Warden. The Hilltoppers’ uncommitted senior scored 19 and Bobby Durkin added 15. Braden Huff had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Cam Cleveland led Leo with 22.

Lyons 64, Sandburg 24: Domination from the Lions. Tavari Johnson scored 13 and Billy Bach added 12. Sandburg was just 7 of 37 from the field.

Bolingbrook 64, Andrew 43: The Tosh isn’t as wacky as it has been most years. St. Ignatius was upset early but other than that is kind of all the favorites winning. Daniel Walker scored 16 for the Raiders. Austin Kulig led Andrew with 16 points.

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