The weekend forecast includes five of the best games to keep an eye on this weekend.
St. Ignatius (3-2) at No. 6 DePaul Prep (1-0). 7:00 p.m.
Favored DePaul squares off with upstart St. Ignatius in a Catholic League crossover matchup.
The star power for DePaul includes Loyola recruit TY Johnson, one of the top seniors in the state. The combination of Johnson, a 6-2 guard who can score in bunches, and defensive menace Rasheed Bello are weapons on the perimeter, while 6-9 senior Brian Mathews and fast-rising 6-8 junior Dylan Arnett will be problematic for Ignatius.
St. Ignatius will lean on Parker Higginbottom, a steady and experienced senior point guard, and the young, versatile trio of 6-3 junior AJ Redd, 6-5 junior Kolby Gilles and 6-5 sophomore Richard Barron.
The pick: DePaul 58, St. Ignatius 50
No. 14 Rolling Meadows (5-0) at Hersey (4-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Max Christie Show is the talk of the Mid-Suburban League. The Michigan State recruit is a top 20 player in the country and just became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
But how about the start Hersey’s Ethan Roberts is off to this season? The 6-4 guard already has games of 34 and 42 points while averaging 30.9 points a game. He’s shooting an absurd 59 percent from the three-point line (25 of 42).
This could come down to the supporting cast, however, and senior guard Dan Sobkowicz, sophomores Cam Christie and Foster Ogbonna, and junior Orlando Thomas have done the job for unbeaten Rolling Meadows.
The pick: Rolling Meadows 67, Hersey 62
Oak Park (1-0) at Downers Grove North (3-0), 7:30 p.m.
Off to a fast start, Downers Grove North has a nice blend of size and ton of experience. It’s a senior group that won a ton at the lower levels.
Physical 6-2 point guard Elijah Carter and 6-6 Jack Mielke, a Division II recruit headed to Southern Indiana, are the key cogs. But 6-6 Kevin Bozeman, 6-3 Kyle Engstler and shooter Nate Demos are three other seniors who help make the Trojans a conference contender.
It’s a new era at Oak Park. Veteran coach Matt Maloney has stepped down and Phil Gary has taken over as head coach at his alma mater. Star Isaiah Barnes also departed, transferring to Simeon.
But it’s still Oak Park, a program that’s always in the thick of things in the West Suburban Gold and blessed with talent. Exciting sophomore Sam Lewis and the junior trio of 6-9 John Vincent, 6-6 Jacob Delaney and 6-5 Justin Mullins are the future. Senior guards Rashaad Trice and Anthony Coleman are holdovers from a year ago.
The pick: Downers Grove North 55, Oak Park 50
No. 11 Glenbard West (4-0) at No. 23 Lyons (4-0), noon
A pair of unbeaten teams meet in the West Suburban Silver opener. Glenbard West is the league favorite. Lyons graduated all five starters from a year ago.
There likely isn’t a team in the state as big or with as much length as Glenbard West. That starts with the tandem of 6-9 Braden Huff and 6-5 Cade Pierce, two Division I prospects who are among the state’s top talents in the junior class. The size continues with Paxton Warden, a seasoned 6-3 junior guard, 6-6 Aidan Murphy, 6-7 senior Troy Glover and 6-7 junior Ryan Renfro.
Glenbard West’s length could impact the three-point shooting prowess of Lyons, which is led by talented junior guard Tavari Johnson. He’s opened eyes in this young season with his versatile scoring as the Lions have climbed into the top 25.
The pick: Glenbard West 64, Lyons 52
No. 5 Notre Dame (6-1) at No. 9 Fenwick (5-0), 6:00 p.m.
A pair of teams ranked among the top 10 with plenty of star power square off.
Notre Dame boasts the Division I trio of point guard Anthony Sayles, the state’s top uncommitted senior prospect, 6-5 Louis Lesmond (Harvard) and 6-7 Troy D’Amico (Southern Illinois)
But Fenwick has the best player and prospect in the game. Bryce Hopkins, the state’s No. 2 ranked prospect in the senior class, is a one-man wrecking crew headed to Kentucky.
The pick: Notre Dame 63, Fenwick 57