Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 12, 2023

Simeon has cemented its hold on the top spot and Downers Grove North joins the top 10.

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 12, 2023
Simeon players celebrate after they defeat Kenwood in the city championship game.

Simeon players celebrate after they defeat Kenwood in the city championship game.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Forget all that worry about the top-ranked team. Simeon cemented itself as No. 1 by winning the city title. It took five overtimes to dispatch Curie and Kenwood, but the Wolverines got it done.

There were a lot of losses in the second tier of teams. Hillcrest, Brother Rice, Rolling Meadows, Bolingbrook and Mount Carmel all lost to unranked or lower-ranked teams. That’s a group that has a very established track record, so none of them fell too far but it is concerning to see teams with very high playoff aspirations losing games they should be winning this late in the season.

Downers Grove North jumped all the way into the top ten. The Trojans picked up solid wins this week against Waubonsie Valley and Glenbard West, but the major factor in the rise was so many teams losing winnable games while Downers Grove North appears to be improving. The Trojans haven’t lost since a two-point defeat to Hinsdale Central on Jan. 7.

Time to bring the state finals to Chicago?

The Public League’s championship week was an overwhelming success. Fans and coaches raved about the overall setup and the crowds turned out. Chicago Public Schools say that more than 5,000 fans attended the games at UIC on Saturday.

“[CPS] did a great job,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “Everything was top notch, even the little things for the teams that everyone doesn’t see.”

Smith has been so impressed with the new CPS administration that he’s taking things another step.

“This experience was better than last year at state,” Smith said. “If I was Chicago I would be trying to get the state championship here. Here at UIC or Wintrust you have everything you need. You have the hotels and stuff to do for people comoing to town. Champaign is cool but there is no better place for basketball than Chicago.”

Injury woes

Glenbrook North guard Josh Fridman is out injured and will likely miss the playoffs. Fridman helped the Spartans knock off Rolling Meadows earlier this week but without him they were trounced by New Trier.

Fridman is one of the area’s best point guards and it will be extremely difficult for Glenbrook North to replace him. It’s a devastating injury for the Spartans as they head into the playoffs.

Jeremy Fears Jr. alarmed fans at Joliet West by walking out to accept his McDonald’s All-American jersey on Saturday with his shoulder iced up.

Fears didn’t play in the game against Joliet Central on Friday. His father, Jeremy Fears Sr., said Fears will likely sit out this week but should be good to go for the state playoffs.

The Tigers are the top seed at the Bolingbrook sectional, which has probably been underrated. Joliet West, the host Raiders, Lincoln-Way East and Oswego East are not only ranked but have been some of the area’s most consistent teams this season. There are two major darkhorses as well. Romeoville, the No. 6 seed, has won 20 games and Neuqua Valley, the No. 5 seed, knocked off Bolingbrook last week.

Super 25 for Feb. 12, 2023
With record and last week’s ranking

1. Simeon (26-3) 1
City champions

2. Benet (27-1) 2
Handled Marist

3. Kenwood (23-6) 3
Jaden Smith is a factor

4. Joliet West (24-5) 4
The top seed at Bolingbrook

5. Curie (19-10) 7
Nearly took down Simeon again

6. Young (21-6) 5
Still a major threat

7. Hillcrest (25-3) 6
Stumbled vs. TF North

8. Hinsdale Central (27-3) 10
Hottest team in the area

9. Brother Rice (26-4) 8
Lost to Lemont

10. Downers Grove North (25-3) 16
Has improved steadily

11. Oswego East (24-5) 13
Dominating the Southwest Prairie

12. New Trier (26-4) 14
Beat Glenbrook North

13. Rolling Meadows (25-5) 9
Lost to Glenbrook North

14. Bolingbrook (22-7) 11
Lost to Neuqua Valley

15. Mount Carmel (23-6) 15
Still unpredictable

16. St. Rita (19-10) 20
Promising signs lately

17. Proviso East (21-6) 17
At Leyden Tuesday

18. Lincoln-Way East (23-4) 18
Beat Homewood-Flossmoor

19. Marist (23-6) 19
So many talented underclassmen

20. Lyons (22-5) 22
Fell short vs. Hinsdale Central

21. Hyde Park (22-6) 12
Dark horse in Class 3A

22. Marian Catholic (22-7) 23
Big test vs. De La Salle Thursday

23. Yorkville (24-5) 25
At Lincoln-Way East Tuesday

24. Lemont (24-6) NR
Castillo twins back, doing damage

25. Glenbrook North (24-4) 21
Must overcome a key injury

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