Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Scores and highlights from Friday’s top games.

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Marist’s Mason Ross (1) shoots the ball in the game against St. Patrick.

Marist’s Mason Ross (1) shoots the ball in the game against St. Patrick.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

So I show up at Marist tonight excited to get a look at a bunch of young players...and you probably know where this is going...the seniors steal the show.

That won’t be a surprise to anyone. Senior Andrew Ayeni won it for St. Patrick late and seniors Justin Lang and Mason Ross carried the load throughout the game for the RedHawks.

The Shamrocks varsity roster features eight sophomores. Marist’s roster has three sophomores and three freshmen. RedHawks coach Brian Hynes was very clear that he’s still figuring his team and his rotation out. That’s not something you hear very often from a coach that is 9-1, but it makes sense with all the additions and departures he’s dealing with this season.

Young teams are all over the area, which hopefully bodes well for the future. While the top 12-15 ranked teams in appear better than last year’s group in general, the drop off after that is signifcant based on what I’ve seen in the early going. It is also entirely possible I have the wrong teams ranked in that last group. It’s still the get out and see teams portion of the season.

It will be interesting to see which young teams improve the most over the next few months and if any of them can make significant playoff runs.

Friday’s top games

St. Ignatius 51, Fenwick 43: Jackson Kotecki scored 17. He started amping things up during the Wolfpack’s run to Champaign last season and has kept it going. Reggie Ray scored 13.

Oswego 56, Yorkville 51: Speaking of teams still figuring it out, the Foxes are clearly in that category. A really nice win for the Panthers. Jason Jakstys scored 24 for Yorkville.

Naperville North 65, Naperville Central 35: Luke Williams scored 18. Jacob Nolen and Cole Arl each added 11. Maybe the Huskies are a team that should be in the Super 25?

Wheaton-Warrenville South 48, Wheaton North 46: Anyone that has been paying attention over the last decade knows it is only a matter of time until the Tigers join the rankings. Apparently they went on a 23-0 run in the third quarter of this one.

Lemont 57, TF South 47: Big night for Matas Castillo with 29 points. Lemont is 10-0. But still no nickname.

Romeoville 64, Plainfield East 51: The other night at Brother Rice Marc Howard joked that I’m bad luck for his teams, which do have a pretty lousy record when I’m in the building. That wasn’t a problem in this one. Troy Cicero Jr. scored 18 and Meyoh Swansey added 11. Aaron Brown added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Lincoln-Way East 76, Lincoln-Way West 46: Freshman BJ Powell was 4 of 5 from three and scored 14. George Bellevue added 13 and Griffins are 9-1.

Perspectives-MSA 64, Farragut 63: A very important win for the Wolves’ quest to remain in the Red. They came back from a 12-point deficit. Tomajae Wells had 21 points and six rebounds and Jason Asante added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Simeon 72, Little Rock, AR 54: A win in Arkansas for the Wolverines. Apparently this school is just called Little Rock? That seems odd for a city of that size. Sam Lewis scored 20, Wes Rubin had 14 and Miles Rubin finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

Barrington 53, Schaumburg 39: Still unbeaten, the Broncos are 8-0. Dillon Schmidt scored 17 and Donavan Nichols added 15.

Palatine 33, Conant 16: I almost went to this one. Looks like it may have been a rough watch. Connor May scored 18 and Tyler Swierczek added 13 for the Pirates.

Benet 46, Marian Catholic 37: The Redwings keep rolling. Brayden Fagbemi scored 20.

North Lawndale 73, Lincoln Park 65: Senior guard Ronald Chambers and Jemarje Windfield both had big games. Chambers finished with 21. Windfield is one of the most underrated players in the area. He had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Manley 62, Kelvyn Park 59 OT: Apparently Manley won this in overtime with only three players. That is wild. Freshman Jaali Love had 18 points, 14 rebounds and made the free throws at the end of regulation to send it to OT. Antonio Jackson added 19 points and Quovadis Temples scored 17. The Wildcats are 11-0.

Hinsdale Central 78, Oak Park 75: Big conference win for the Red Devils, who are a serious threat to win their own holiday tournament.

Lyons 58, York 38: Another unbeaten squad. Niklas Polonowski scored 19 for the Lions.

Lindblom 61, U-High 54: Junior Je’Shawn Stevenson scored 29 points in the first game after receiving an offer from NIU. Junior Quentin McCoy added 12 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Evanston 54, Loyola 52 OT: The Wildkits survive. Prince Adams led the way with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Ephraim Chase scored 11.

Harvard Westlake, CA 64, Young 52: The Dolphins lose in Arkansas. Dalen Davis scored 26.

Joliet West 69, La Crosse Central, Wis. 55: A road win for the Tigers. It’s been awhile since a Joliet team left the state to play. I’m struggling to remember the last time. Possibly not since the split.

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