Big Tim's Illinois High School Basketball Poll Week 5!!!!!
Lots of result in holiday tournaments had a big effect on this poll. We have a better understanding of the pecking order right now. Here we go:
1) Sacred Heart Griffin (Springfield) (11-0) (3A): Won the State Farm Large School Classic in title game win over Romeoville. Senior forward Zack Hawksinson (6'6") was tournament MVP and senior wing Quincy commit Jake Hamilton (6'2") was all tournament team. Head Coach Tim Allen collected his 100th win in the tournament. They have a huge game on Friday at home vs MacArthur (Decatur) the first of a possible three meetings between the teams.
2) Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) (12-0) (3A): Won Pontiac Holiday Tournament once again. Ran though the tournament till a tough final against Benet Academy (Lisle). Senior point guard Jalen Griffith (5'9") won the AC Williamson Award (as I predicted before the tournament).Play nationally ranked Imhotep (PA) at Highland (IL) Shootout on Saturday.
3) Whitney Young (Chicago) (12-4) (4A): Won Proviso West Holiday Tournament without Head Coach Tyrone Slaughter. Let's hope he's back coaching soon. Avenged a season opening loss to Kenwood Academy (Chicago) in the title game. Senior wing Daniel Johnson (6'6") was MVP of the tournament as he has stepped up his game this year. Idle this week.
4) Rolling Meadows (16-1) (4A): Won Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament winning 5 games in 5 days. Senior point guard Minnesota commit Cameron Christie was MVP. Senior's Mark Niiolitch-Wilson (6'7") and Tsvet Sotirov (6'7") were huge in the run to the title. Showcase game on Saturday against #8 West (Joliet) at the Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago).
5) Kenwood Academy (Chicago) (12-2) (4A): Runners-up at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Senior point guard Kansas State commit Darrin Ames (6'2") scored a tournament single game record 65 points in the first round. Junior forward Calvin Robins Jr (6'5") had a nice tournament as did sophomore wing Aleks Alston (6'9"). Thursday hosts #19 Curie (Chicago).
6) Benet Academy (Lisle) (16-1) (4A): Runners-up at Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Top performances from senior point guard John Hopkins commit Brayden Fagbemi and senior wing Dartmouth commit Niko Aubsara. Abusara had the dunk of the year so far in the semifinals: https://twitter.com/Lebronzafraud/status/1608957021507956736. Friday at St Patrick (Chicago), Saturday hosts Marist (Chicago).
7) North (Downers Grove) (12-1) (4A):Won the Aurora (East) Holiday Tournament. Junior guard Jack Stanton (6'2") won tournament MVP. Senior Jacob Bozeman (6'5") made all tournament team. Big conference game at #15 Lyons Township (LaGrange) on Friday, hosts #21 Hinsdale Central.
8) East St Louis (8-1): Was idle over the Christmas Holidays. Senior wing Kansas State commit Macaleab Rich (6'6") a high flyer has has an outstanding first month of the season. Back at it Tuesday at Edwardsville, hosts O'Fallon on Friday and plays Saturday against Staley (Kansas City, MO) at Highland Shootout.
9) MacArthur (Decatur) (14-0): Won the Prairie Farms Collinsville Holiday Tournament beating Quincy in the final with great free throw shooting down the stretch: https://herald-review.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/undefeated-macarthur-boys-basketball-repeat-as-collinsville-holiday-classic-champions/article_aeeaf546-8920-11ed-9bea-2b3999e478b3.html. They host Southeast (Springfield) then have a huge game at #1 Sacred Heart Griffin (Springfield) on Friday. The first of what could be three meetings with Sacred Heart Griffin.
10) Hillcrest (Country Club Hills) (15-1) (3A): Won Big Dipper Tournament of Stars at Rich Township. Senior wing Quentin Heady won tournament MVP. Senior wing Akron commit Darrion Baker (6'8") and senior point guard Bryce Tillery (5'9") have played consistently good basketball this season. Play East (Belleville) on Saturday at Highland Shootout.
11) West (Joliet) (11-4) (4A): Came in fourth place at Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Fears brothers are the leaders but will have to get it together when playing top level opponents. Need to get more out of their bigs on the interior. Big game Saturday against #3 Rolling Meadows at Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago).
12) Metamora (10-2) (3A): Won Gulfport (MS) Holiday Tournament as junior guard Tyler Mason (6'1") was MVP of the tournament. Senior guard Tyler Swanson (6'2") made all tournament, and senior Drew Tucker made honorable mention. Thursday hosts Urbana, Saturday host Peoria (East).
13) Glenbrook North (Northbrook) (14-1) (4A): Runners-up at Wheeling Hardwood Classic upset by Libertyville in title game. Plays at rival Glenbrook South (Glenview) on Friday then #12 St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago) at Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
14) Mount Carmel (Chicago) (15-1) (3A): Won Pekin Holiday Tournament upsetting state #3 ranked Moline in the title game. All tournament performances by senior point guard Denver commit DeAndre Craig and the Ciaravino brothers (senior Anthony, junior Angelo).
15) Moline (12-2) (4A): Runners-up at the Pekin Holiday Tournament to #14 Mount Carmel. Iowa commit senior forward Owen Freeman (6'11") was MVP of the tournament. Friday hosts East Moline United, Saturday against Vashon (St Louis, MO) at the Highland Shootout.
16) Lincoln Way East (Frankfort) (14-1) (4A): Won Effingham Holiday tournament. Have won 12 in a row as senior guard Ty Toliver (6'0"), senior forwards Kyle Olagbegi (6'6") and George Bellevue (6'6") made all tournament team.
17) St ignatius College Prep (Chicago) (13-3) (3A): Fourth place at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament as senior wing George Mason commit Richard Barron III made all tournament. Plays #9 Glenbrook North (Northbrook) at Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago) on Saturday.
18) St Rita (Chicago) (8-5) (4A): Fourth place at Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Talented junior laden lineup has not quite put it together outside of Chicago Catholic League play. Big time schedule continues with Chaminade (St Louis, MO) at Highland Shootout on Saturday.
19) Brother Rice (Chicago) (14-2) (4A): Lost to Mesa (AZ) at State Farm Holiday Classic in Bloomington/Normal. Senior point guard Niagara commit Ahmad Henderson II (5'10") ended the tournament with 38 points and a three point buzzer beater against Peoria. Plays #18 Bolingbrook at Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago) on Saturday.
20) Lyons Township (LaGrange) (11-1) (4A): Runners-up at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament. Play good team basketball the entire tournament. Senior point guard Jackson Niego (6'0") and senior wing Penn commit Niklas Polonowksi (6'6") making all tournament along with senior wing Graham Smith (6'5"). Big game on Friday hosting #6 North (Downers Grove).
21) Hyde Park Academy (Chicago) (14-2) (3A): Third place at Big Dipper Tournament of Stars at Rich Township. Senior guard Camron Williford (6'0") made all tournament team.
22) Bloom Township (Chicago Heights) (9-3) (4A): Fifth place at Pontiac Holiday Tournament beating #20 New Trier (Winnetka). Senior guards Raeshom Harris and Jordan Brown performed at a high level in the tournament.
23) Quincy (12-2) (4A): Runners-up in Prairie Farms Collinsville Holiday tournament to #9 MacArthur (Decatur) in a close one. Sophomore Bradley Loncor III made all tournament. Friday hosts Rock Island, Saturday hosts Springfield.
24) Bolingbrook (10-4) (4A): Third place in Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament. They finally have all their pieces back for the first time all year. Great rotation of big men inside of seniors Aries Hull (6'9"), Donovan Younger (6'10"), and Keon Alexander (6'8"). Senior point guard Miami (OH) commit Mekhi Cooper (6'0") has the pieces to move forward. Wednesday at rival Romeoville, Saturday plays #14 Brother Rice (Chicago) at Steve Pappas Shootout at DePaul College Prep (Chicago).
25) Curie (Chicago) (11-4) (4A): Back in poll after third place finish at Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Starting to put it together as a team with junior point guard Carlos Harris (6'2") along with senior forwards Chikasi Ofoma (6'7") and Jeremy Harrington Jr (6'5"). Thursday at #4 Kenwood Academy (Chicago).