Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Scores, highlights and analysis from the top games of Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

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Lincoln-Way East’s Khalil Ross (23) drives toward the basket as the Griffins play Bolingbrook.

Lincoln-Way East’s Khalil Ross (23) drives toward the basket as the Griffins play Bolingbrook.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Enjoy the basketball while you can. Programs are being shut down right and left due to COVID-19 protocols.

Remember last week when Maine South coach Tony Lavorato said he scheduled 22 games in the hopes of getting to play 16? He knew what he was doing.

The MSL, CSL and Catholic League all have multiple programs shut down. It appears the situation is similar in Central Illinois. It’s encouraging that the schools are shutting things down and being careful. Several Public League coaches I’ve talked to are worried that COVID will run rampant because there won’t be testing and everyone will just play on through.

Enough of that for now. I’m guessing you didn’t come here to read more about COVID-19. It was the biggest basketball night of the year so far. Time to get to the games.

I was in Frankfort tonight and it was the best game I’ve seen so far, really fun basketball. Bolingbrook was quite impressive for awhile and then things turned and Lincoln-Way East showed some real backbone. Both teams have a bright future. I could watch Raiders’ point guard Kyonte Thomas play all season.

Tuesday’s top games

Richards 80, Argo 56: A big season opener for Anthony Taylor with 26 points. Will Adams led the Argonauts with 16. It was the first varsity game for all eight Argo guys that played. That must have been interesting.

Oak Forest 60, Reavis 28: The Bengals lost an awful lot to graduation but they still have Robbie Avila, one of the area’s most exciting prospects. Avila had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Eli Lipsett added 18.

Oak Lawn 68, Tinley Park 38: Senior Rafael Bou posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Junior John McGowan added 14 and Nicco Reyes scored 13. The Spartans drained 12 three-pointers.

Lincoln-Way Central 76, Bradley-Bourbonnais 67: The Knights had four key guys, starters I believe, opt out of the season and are 2-0. It’s kind of fascinating. Frank DeCarlo drained six three-pointers and scored 26. Nick Tingley added 21 and Joe Barrett scored 12.

No. 10 St. Patrick 60, St. Viator 51: Junior Timaris Brown scored 22 and Nick Galati scored 20 for the Shamrocks. This was close throughout from what I saw. Solid debut for new St. Viator coach Michael O’Keefe, who did a nice job at Wheeling.

Marian Catholic 49, Marist 44: Jeremiah Jones led the Spartans with 20 points and Alex Knight scored 21 for Marist.

Shepard 72, Evergreen Park 71: Cole Hermanson dropped 27 points in a close one.

Yorkville 53, West Aurora 50: John Holakovsky, a former assistant at Hinsdale South, wins his first game as a varsity coach. Nate Kraus scored 14 and Ryan Shimp added 10. Don’t hold me to this but I think the game was in Aurora. Solid win.

No. 15 Glenbrook South 76, Niles North 56: Nick Martinelli just keeps pouring in the points and the Titans keep winning. Martinelli scored 26 and Matthew Rosenberger added 16. Yogi Oliff led the Vikings with 16.

No. 14 Rolling Meadows 70, Libertyville 58: Another big night for Max Christie will come as no surprise. The Michigan State recruit finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Cam Christie added 15. The Mustangs scheduled a Saturday game against St. Rita, which should be fun. I’ll be at that one.

Stevenson 62, Glenbard East 41: I don’t know a ton about the Patriots this season but I’m intrigued. Evan Ambrose has been a really fun player to watch and should be able to make a bigger impact now. He led the way with 16 points and Darius Clemons added 11 points and eight rebounds. That’s a big margin of victory against a team coached by Al Biancalana. Ladonus Rogers led the Rams with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Maine South 59, Vernon Hills 45: That’s three wins to start the season for the Hawks. Sean Gallery, who played well against Loyola, had a huge night with 20 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Plainfield South 68, Joliet Central 61: The Steelmen lose the opener. I haven’t seen highlights for the Cougars yet, but sophomore Troy Cicero scored 14 for Joliet.

No. 1 Notre Dame 74, Batavia 56: Louis Lesmond scored 29 and Troy D’Amico added 25. Those are two big numbers.

No. 17 Homewood-Flossmoor 75, Lockport 46: I expected the Porters to be pretty competitive this season, so the margin of victory is kind of a surprise. However, I think season openers should be taken with a huge grain of salt this season and I don’t plan on valuing them much in the rankings. But well done by H-F, which was also playing its opener.

Andrew 62, Lincoln-Way West 45: Huge defensive effort by the Thunderbolts in the fourth quarter, holding L-W West to just five points. Jolo Amoranto scored 21 and Elijah Laws added 10 for Andrew. Connor Jenkins scored 20 for the Warriors.

No. 7 Hillcrest 72, TF North 54: This is always a fun matchup, but tonight was a special one. Hawks coach Don Houston picked up his 300th win. I remember when he was the young guy taking over for a legend. Time flies. Congrats to Don.

Timothy Christian 66, Bishop McNamara 52: We will be keeping a close eye on Timothy Christian this season, they should be interesting. I need to get to a game. Ben VanderWal had a massive night with 26 points and 17 rebounds and Josh Harris added 24 points and seven boards.

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