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Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Scores, highlights and analysis of Friday’s best games.

Barrington’s Will Grudzinski (32) dunks in the second half against Palatine.
Barrington’s Will Grudzinski (32) dunks in the second half against Palatine.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

I was up in Barrington tonight and saw a pretty good game. Palatine led throughout the first half and then Will Grudzinski heated up and the Broncos defense really clamped down.

I returned home in time to turn on ESPN2 and see the last few minutes of La Lumiere vs. Oak Hill. Apparently, Jeremy Fears Jr. was “spectacular” and helped lead his team to the big win. Fears, who committed to Michigan State on Thursday, had 13 points and seven assists.

The game was played in front of a big crowd in La Porte, Ind. and was clearly a big-time event. How many players will the area lose to La Lumiere over the next few years? It’s a troubling thought.

For those unaware, La Lumiere joined a newly-formed conference this season. It’s IMG, Montverde, Oak Hill, Sunrise Christian and a few of the other top prep schools in the country. ESPN is televising all 38 conference games. How is local high school basketball going to compete with that?

Sorry for the depressing start. There were 145 games around the area tonight so let's dive in.

Friday’s top games

Lyons 74, Oak Park 60: Tavari Johnson had a massive game with 25 points and eight assists. The Lions have been taking care of business for the last month against everyone other than Glenbard West.

Hyde Park 58, Riverside-Brookfield 56: Great job by Jamere Dismukes and Mike Reingruber to get this game scheduled quickly. Looks like it was a good one. I heard Davontae Hall didn’t play, but the Thunderbirds have been getting it done with several different players scoring points this season. Lashun Dantzler scored 16 and Malik Jenkins added 11. Will Gonzalez led the Bulldogs with 20 points.

Austin 64, Payton 58 OT: A clutch free-throw shooting night from Quovadis Temples earns the Tigers the big win. He finished with 19 points, six assists and five steals and was 10 of 12 from the line down the stretch. Ty Freeman added 27 points and nine rebounds.

Bartlett 69, South Elgin 49: The big 7-3 guy does it again. Conrad Luczynski scored 29. The Hawks are 13-4.

Andrew 68, Bolingbrook 60: Maybe the biggest score of the night? Andrew has clearly been pretty good all season. Mike Morawski scored 23 and Zain Jubeh had 22. Arnas Sakenis added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Homewood-Flossmoor 53, Bradley-Bourbonnais 50 OT: The Boilermakers give the highly-ranked Vikings a real battle. Anthony Kemp had 15 and big man Owen Freeman scored nine and grabbed 10 rebounds for Bradley-Bourbonnais in the loss.

Mount Carmel 83, Montini 65: This won’t convince any of the Caravan’s doubters, but they are now 16-0. DeAndre Craig scored 26, EJ Jointer added 17 points and Angelo Ciravino added 16.

Oak Forest 72, Evergreen Park 41: A nice bounce-back win for the Benglas. Robbie Avila scored 20 and Fred Robinson added 19. Oak Forest is 12-3.

Proviso East 59, Hinsdale South 50: Jaloni Johnson scored 17 and his brother Javon added 11 points, six assists and six rebounds.

Maine South 54, Evanston 37: This might be the most surprising score of the night for some people, but the Wildkits are clearly still a work in progress. And this is one of those years where there is no perceptible difference between a team ranked 15-25 in the Super 25 and the next 20 teams in the area. It could be a larger group than that, possibly the next 40 teams. We have parity, which should make the rest of the season fun.

Brother Rice 38, St. Ignatius 36: This could have been a massive, season-changing, momentum-building win on the road for a talented but frustrated St. Ignatius team. But Ahmad Henderson didn’t let that happen:

Bloom 48, Kankakee 36: Even Bloom’s official scorer didn’t enjoy this one, tweeting that it was an ugly game. It may not have been pretty, but the Kays have been on a roll since their football players (most of the team) returned. So it is a nice win for the Blazing Trojans. Emondrek Ford posted the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. Sophomore Gianni Cobb continues his breakout season with 12 points and six assists.

Glenbrook South 60, Glenbrook North 59: It’s always tough to beat a good team twice in a short span. Bloom found that out at Pontiac. But the Titans survive. Ryan Cohen had 31 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Spartans in the loss. I need to get out and see him.

Joliet West 78, Minooka 73 2 OT: Toby Onyekonwu is eligible. The Plainfield East transfer made his debut for Joliet West....and scored 33 points. The Tigers were a good but very young and inconsistent team this season. Onyekonwu changes everything. Freshman Jeremiah Fears scored 23 and senior Ricky Hill led Minooka with 32. Hill is having a breakout season.

Beecher 58, Gardner 35: I haven’t forgotten about the Bobcats. They are now 13-3. Remember, the school record for wins is 22.

Joliet Central 47, Yorkville 43: Hopefully the Steelmen are turning things around. This is just their second win of the season, but the Foxes are solid.