Big Tim's Elite 25 for Chicago Area Week 4!!!
As usual there is some movement this week as teams in the poll lost some games. I will not release another poll till the Holiday Tournaments end. This means no poll next Sunday, it will be in two weeks. Holiday tournaments for most will be 4 games in 4 days. Here we go:
1) Evanston Township(9-0)- They stay at #1 as they took care of business at Maine South. The five guard lineup gave the Hawks fits with their speed, quickness and 10 for 24 three point shooting. Junior point guard Isaiah "Itchy" Holden had 14 points on 4 three point makes. It seems like the Wildkits have a consistent third scorer from different sources. This game it was Holden. The first 5 games it was junior guard Daeshawn Hemphill, then junior guard Elijah Bull. Junior guards Jaylin Gibson and Blake Peters have been consistent scorers all season. They will need to stay consistent at the Centralia Holiday Tournament which they are the top seed.
2) Bloom Township(Chicago Heights)(9-1)- They took care of Thornwood on Friday and now head to the prestigious Pontiac Holiday Tournament at full strength. Senior point guard Donovan Newby is due back for the Blazing Trojans. They are the #1 seed at Pontiac and senior forward Christian Shumate continues to be a match up nightmare for every team. They could face #6 Curie in the title game.
3) Bogan(Chicago)(10-1)- Beat Michelle Clark on Saturday at Quest Multisport. They go into the prestigious Proviso West Holiday Tournament as heavy favorites though they could face a tough test with Fenwick in the title game. Junior point guard Darrion Jones will have to play consistent basketball and control the offense to make a run through Proviso. Senior guard Antoine Bloxton is one of the top scorers in the Chicago Public League and could end up MVP of the tournament.
4) Morgan Park(Chicago)(5-2)- Did not play Michelle Clark but beat Thornwood(South Holland) as senior guards Marcus Watson and Adam Miller had great games. Junior forward Brandon Weston has been bringing it all season long, and will have to keep playing consistent basketball. They will need to rebound well this week as they play at the prestigious Beach Ball Classic(Myrtle Beach,SC) this week.
5) Thornton(Harvey)(8-0)- They blew out Proviso East on Wednesday then Ferndale(MI) at home on Saturday. 6'4" junior point guard Brandon Hall has been housing folks all season and look for it to continue. This is one of the more unknown teams in the area this year. It's time the area gets to know these players and this team. The problem is no roster available anywhere for them. I guess you'l have to go to the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament this week, where they are heavy favorites to take the title. Thornton has won this title more than any other school. They could face Farragut(Chicago) in the title game.
6) Notre Dame College Prep(Niles)(10-2)- They beat Joliet Catholic on Friday and Leo on Saturday. No word on when junior point guard Anthony Sayles(knee) will be back. Senior forward Joe Bergstrom and junior forwards Troy D'Amico and Louis Lesmond atre taking up the slack. Let's see if Sayles is back this week for the Wheeling Hardwood Classic where they are favored as top seed.
7) Curie(Chicago)(7-0)- They came back from an 18 point deficit on the road to beat Simeon(Chicago)on Thursday. They showed their toughness in this game as the defending Chicago Public League Champs. The Condors then beat North Lawndale(Chicago) on Sarturday. Senior forward Ramean Hinton is playing like an All-Area player and contender for Chicago Area Player of the Year. 6'6" senior forward Savion Williams just became eligible and will help them the rest of the season. Curie is the #2 seed at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament and could defend their title. A rematch with Simeon in the semifinals could be in the offing.
8) Fenwick(Oak Park)(9-1)- Friars beat St Rita(Chicago) in overtime on Friday. They go into the Proviso West Tournament on a roll winning 7 straight. Sophomore point guard Trey Pettigrew is playing outstanding basketball, and junior superstar forward Bryce Hopkins has been consistently good. They are the #2 seed in the Proviso West Tournament and could run into #3 Bogan(Chicago) in the title game.
9) Loyola Academy(Wilmette)(10-0)- The Ramblers are scoring more points than they usualy do lately. Junior point guard Vaughn Pemberton has not missed a beat from football season by playing just as well on the basketball court. The Kwiecinski twins are giving consistent performances scoring and rebounding. They will be in Naples(FL) for the Gulfshore Shootout which they've won the past two years. This is a legit threat to win a Class 4A Sectional title.
10) Whitney Young(Chicago)(5-4)- Lost twice at the City of The Palms(FL) to national powerhouse Montverde Academy(FL) and Scottlandville(LA). They move onto the Beach Ball Classic(Myrtle Beach,SC) this week. The Dolphins play a National Schedule every year to prepare them for the Chicago Public League and State Playoffs. They have been very successful with this method. This is another chance for senior guards DJ Steward and Tyler Beard to showcase themselves on a National stage.
11) Marian Catholic(Chicago Heights)(7-2)- Beat Tinley Park on Tuesday and will be one of the favorites to defend their title at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament. Senior guards Ahron Ulis and Joe Green along with senior forward Elijah Jones give them a good three man scoring threat.
12) Stevenson(Lincolnshire)(9-1)- Beat Lake Zurich and Yorkville Christian this week. They are a big threat to win the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament.
13) Glenbrook South(Glenview)(10-0)- Beat their arch rival Glenbrook North by 21 points to win the Battle of Glenbrook which is actually not a city. They will be at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic and a threat to win the title with high scoring senior forward Dom Martinelli.
14) Homewood Flossmoor(7-1)- Beat Simeon on Friday. Their presence in the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament gives the tournament a lot of depth as they can win it. I'll call them a darkhorse. 6'6" senior forward RJ Ogom is a load, I think I've said this already.
15) West(Joliet)(9-1)- This junior laden team is a darkhouse threat at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. They could be a year away though, we will see if their youth shows this week.
16) Lincoln Park(Chicago)(10-2)- One of the top backcourts in Chicago Public League in junior guards Ismail Habib and Julio Montes. They play at the Motor City Classic in Detroit over the holidays.
17) Mundelein(10-0)- Dynamic duo of junior guard Connor Enright and junior forward Scottie Ebube have been housing opponents all season. Big win on Saturday at home over previously undefeated Lake Park(Roselle) after beating Zion Benton on Tuesday. They play at the Collinsville Christmas Tournament.
18) DePaul Prep(Chicago)(9-1)- Another team playing at the deep Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament this week.
19) Niles North(Skokie)(10-1)- On a roll headed into the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. Senior guard Aquan Smart has become a popular player for the high majors since his decommitment from East Tennessee State.
20) St Charles North(9-1)- Another darkhorse team at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
21) Lake Park(Roselle)(9-1)- Moved up two spots despite a tough road loss at #17 Mundelein
22) Bolingbrook(6-3)- Split in Iowa and lost to Lincoln Way Central. They will have a chance to redeem themselves at the Jack Molitor Tournament at York this week.
23) Orr(Chicago)(5-4)- The three time defending Class 2A champs have played a tough schedule but a shocking upset loss to Crane(Chicago) dropped them this far. Red division schools do not usually lose to White division schools. They need to develop chemistry and hope senior guard Reggie Strong gets eligible soon. It does not get any easier as they go to the King Cotton Classic in Pine Bluff,Arkansas.
24) Oak Park River Forest(5-3)- They come back into my poll. Beating Stevenson has helped with this. They have a tough road though at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
25) Simeon(Chicago)(4-4)- It's been a tough two weeks for Simeon with losses to Homewood Flossmoor, Curie where they blew an 18 point lead at home, then barely beat Class 1A Chicago U-High on Saturday. They can turn it around at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.