Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 26, 2023

Prospect and Wheaton-Warrenville South make season debuts.

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 26, 2023
Joliet West’s Matthew Moore (3) blocks a shot against Romeoville.

Joliet West’s Matthew Moore (3) blocks a shot against Romeoville.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

There isn’t any quick way to go back and check, but it feels like it has been awhile since a top five team lost in the regionals.

That was Curie’s fate. The Condors lost to Lyons on Friday, ending an odd and up and down season. Four other ranked teams lost regional finals: Proviso East, Yorkville, Palatine and Marist.

All five teams leave the Super 25 and will probably have a hard time finding their way back this season. The final rankings are strongly based on performance in the state playoffs.

Bloom, Libertyville, Prospect, Glenbrook South and Wheaton-Warrenville South all join the rankings. This is the last week it will be possible to have all the Super 25 teams still playing, so we will go with that while we can. It’s the season debut for Prospect and Wheaton-Warrenville South.

Joliet West has Moore

The Fears brothers, Jeremy and Jeremiah, are clearly the stars of the show for Joliet West. Junior Justus McNair is next up and Jayden Martin and Drew King are solid players.

That core is good enough to get the Tigers to Champaign. But to actually win Class 4A, Joliet West needs 6-9 senior Matthew Moore playing at a high level.

Moore doesn’t have to create much offense or post a double-double every game. He needs to provide rim protection, do some rebounding and patiently wait for those beautiful lobs the Fears brothers will provide.

That’s exactly what Moore did on Friday against Romeoville. He had 13 points, including five dunks. The North Carolina-Wilmington recruit has been in and out of the Tigers’ rotation this season. He’s back in the fold just in time to make a major impact.

“The social and emotional well being of young people is often overlooked,” Joliet West coach Jeremy Kreiger said. “So everybody was speculating on why he was gone, but there’s nothing to hide. Sometimes younger people are facing different challenges that have nothing to do with basketball. Now that he’s here he’s a healthy version of himself as a rim runner and a shot changer. Being able to catch lobs and dunk, it’s special. It’s come to fruition at the right time.”

Joe Piekarz does it again

Indian Creek’s undefeated run and 35-1 season opened all kinds of eyes back in 2020. The young coach of that squad, Joe Piekarz, is now at Marmion.

The Cadets were 31-95 in the five years before Piekarz arrived, they are 36-25 in his first two seasons. Friday in Kaneland, Piekarz led the Knights to their first regional championship since 1976.

Marmion is a serious contender to advance to the Class 3A supersectionals. Collin Wainscott is a high-scoring lead guard and 6-3 Jabe Haith and 6-7 Trevon Roots are game-changing athletes.

Super 25 for Feb. 26, 2023

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Simeon (28-3) 1
3A: Tue. vs. St. Laurence

2. Benet (31-1) 2
4A: Tue. vs. Lake Park

3. Kenwood (26-6) 3
4A: Tue. vs. Bloom

4. Joliet West (27-5) 4
4A: Tue. vs. Lincoln-Way East

5. Young (23-6) 6
4A: Tue. vs. Downers North

6. Hillcrest (27-3) 7
3A: Tue. vs. TF North

7. Hindale Central (30-3) 8
4A: Wed. vs. Lyons

8. Brother Rice (29-4) 9
4A: Wed. at St. Rita

9. Downers Grove North (29-3) 10
4A: Tue. vs. Young

10. Oswego East (27-5) 11
4A: Wed. at Bolingbrook

11. St. Rita (23-10) 15
4A: Wed. vs. Brother Rice

12. New Trier (29-4) 12
4A: Tue. vs. Glenbrook South

13. Bolingbrook (25-7) 13
4A: Wed. vs. Oswego East

14. Mount Carmel (26-6) 14
3A: Wed. vs. Hyde Park

15. Marian Catholic (26-7) 17
3A: Wed. vs. Lemont

16. Rolling Meadows (27-6) 20
4A: Wed. vs. Glenbrook North

17. Lyons (26-5) 22
4A: Wed. at Hindale Central

18. Hyde Park (24-6) 23
3A: Wed. vs. Mount Carmel

19. Lincoln-Way East (25-5) 24
4A: Tue. vs. Joliet West

20. Lemont (27-6) 25
3A: Wed. vs. Marian Catholic

21. Bloom (20-9) NR
4A: Tue. vs Kenwood

22. Prospect (19-12) NR
4A: Wed. vs. Stevenson

23. Glenbrook South (25-8) NR
4A: Tue. at New Trier

24. Libertyville (27-5) NR
4A: Tue. at Barrington

25. Wheaton-Warrenville South (28-5) NR
4A: Wed. vs. Geneva

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