Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebook

Scores and highlights from Friday’s top games.

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A general view of the shot clock and the three point line at UIC during the Chicago Elite Classic.

A general view of the shot clock and the three point line at UIC during the Chicago Elite Classic.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Benet was the story of the opening night of the Chicago Elite Classic. The crowd peaked during Fenwick’s win against Oak Park but any fans that stuck around saw the Redwings come out firing.

Brady Kunka scored 20, Nikola Abusara added 15 and Brayden Fagbemi made it all go. Benet played fast and together and looked impressive on the college court draining college three pointers.

There isn’t a high school three-point line on the court at UIC, as you can see from the picture above. But there was a 35-second shot clock.

“I decided not to say anything to our guys,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “I didn’t want it to get in their heads. But I don’t think we shot any fewer three-point shots. We shot some deep ones but we might have shot those anyway. We were a little unprepared but it was the same for both teams.”

Fagbemi enjoyed the space the larger college court provded.

“There was definitely more space available on offense but more to cover on defense too,” Fagbemi said. “But we play our best when we are in transition so I would say it helped us.”

The Redwings are off to a 6-0 start. They beat Proviso East in the championship game of the St. Charles East Thanksgiving tournament last week.

“I really like this group but we have a lot of work to do,” Heidkamp said. “We have to improve our defense and we aren’t the biggest team around. But we have some really good players that play well together. I like the potential.”

Friday’s top games

Fenwick 64, Oak Park 60: The Friars held off a late comeback from the Oak Park. Sophomore Ty Marcariola led the way with 20 points and junior Darshan Thomas added 18. Sophomore Justin Bowen had 16 for the Huskies.

Lincoln-Way East 62, Lincoln-Way Central 41: Kaiden Ross led the Griffins with 12 and sophomore Brendan Sanders added 10 points.

Bloom 56, Thornton 41: Vincent Rainey continues to put up big numbers for the Wildcats, he had 25 tonight but it wasn’t enough. Jordan Brown and Rae Harris each scored 12 for the Blazing Trojans and Jayden Watson added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Oak Forest 63, Richards 47: The Bengals are 4-1 in the post Robbie Avila era. Johnny Wiggins scored 18 and Chris Sieverin added 13.

Yorkville 64, West Aurora 60: Maybe the score of the night. The Foxes are 5-0 and this is a statement win. Jory Boley scored 18, LeBaron Lee added 14 and Jason Jakstys scored 12.

Father Tolton, Mo. 56, Hyde Park 55: Jurrell Baldwin had a breakout performance in the Thunderbirds’ first loss of the season, finishing wiht 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Bolingbrook 79, Stagg 62: DJ Strong with a big 27 points for the Raiders. Mekhi Cooper scored 17 and Keon Alexander added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Marist 67, Joliet Catholic 58: The young RedHawks win again. Justin Lang scored 19, Marquis Vance had 13 and freshman Stephen Brown added 10.

Farragut 77, Orr 49: Jonathan Calmese led the Admirals with 19 points, seven assists and five blocks and Justin Pickens added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Joliet West 79, Romeoville 71: A sold out high school gym in early December. Joliet is excited about the Tigers. Sophomore Jeremiah Fears scored 21 and Jeremy Fears Jr. had 20. Troy Cicero Jr. led Romeoville with 26 points.

Palatine 58, Hoffman Estates 43: The Pirates win the MSL opener. Connor May scored 21 and Sam Millstone added 13.

Homewood-Flossmoor 67, Andrew 64: The Vikings pull it out behind 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds from junior Carson Brownfield. Senior Vincent Davis added 18 points and six rebounds.

Westinghouse 89, Clark 84: This must have been a fun one in Clark’s tiny gym. Isaiah Giles scored 27 and Terrell Craig had a triple-double with 15 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.

Lemont 66, Eisenhower 46: Still unbeaten. Matas Castillo had 23 and Rokas added nine.

Hillcrest 69, Oak Lawn 53: Wow, the Hawks closed this one with a 30-5 run. Darrion Baker scored 19 and Quinten Heady added 20.

St. Patrick 59, Notre Dame 40: The Shamrocks dominate the rivalry game. I didn’t see any stats for this one, but I saw pictures of the crowd.

Evanston 61, Glenbrook South 59: No stats for this one either, but an important score. Big win for the Wildkits but also a definite sign that Phil Ralston and the Titans are rebuilding very quickly.

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