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  • Writer's pictureBig Tim

Illinois Spot-Lite Fall Classic Review!!!!

The unofficial start to the high school basketball season(in my opinion) is the Illinois Spot-Lite Fall Classic annually held at Plainfield Central High School, Plainfield, IL. Big thanks to Larry Butler, Ivona Pawlowski, the young men and women who ran the clock and book for the classic. Lots of untapped talent to find in this event every year. Known talent and breakout players as usual. Let's get to it:

Title game: Brother Rice (Chicago), the Chicago Catholic League powerhouse took on upstart Metea Valley (Aurora). Metea Valley had the lead early, but Brother Rice took over, or more like Khalil Ross took over. The 6'7" senior unsigned prospect started scoring on power drives, finishes with dunks taking it coast to coast. He rebounded at a high level in this game and set up teammates with baskets. They were missing 4 players for the weekend and still took home the hardware. Will be a threat to win the Chicago Catholic League Title as well as a Class 4A State Title contender with new coach Conte Stamos who was just hired a few weeks ago. Went 6-0 on the weekend.

*denotes only played one day in event.

All Tournament:

Ahmad Henderson II, Brother Rice(Chicago)- 5'10" Class of 2023 point guard and Niagara commit was MVP of the Fall Classic. He was consistently good at being a floor general all weekend. He had 18 points in semifinal win over Aurora(West). Scored, assisted, and hit long range threes as well as finishes at the rim on straight line drives, and Euro step around defenders.

Xavier Suliaman, Oak Lawn- 6'3" Class of 2023 combo guard is one of the top sleeper prospects in America. Had 28 points in loss to Romeoville in a high level game. He can score easily from mid range and athletic finishes at the rim. Nice Euro step around defenders when he gets into the paint. Had steals in passing lanes, and on the ball with quick hands. Rebounds at a high rate.

Quentin Schaffer, Meter Valley(Aurora)- 6'3" Class of 2023 point guard is a definite unknown to college recruiters. This should change and soon. Great size for the position, can run an offense, hit threes, and scored on straight line drives and finishes at the rim. Defends multiple positions on the perimeter. Outstanding weekend for the young man.

Josh Pickett, West Aurora- 6'5" Class of 2024 combo guard did it all this weekend. Scored on all three levels, hit the defensive boards with abandon, set up teammates for threes and layups at the rim. Has multiple division one offers and it's easy to see why. Led team to semifinals.

Zavier Fitch, Brother Rice(Chicago)- 6'7" Class of 2024 forward was productive all weekend. He can score in the paint on post ups, can hit the mid range jumper, take a defensive rebound coast to coast and finish at the rim. Showed a nice Euro step on drives to the basket and finishes with either hand. Rim protects which is what this team will need to go far in the state playoffs.

Meyoh Swansey, Romeoville- 6'3" Class of 2024 combo guard is the mid range king. Had a bunch of nice two dribble mid range pull-up jump shots. Gets high on his jump shot with a smooth stroke. Improving defender who plays the passing lanes well. Hit a few threes over the weekend on catch and shoots as well as off the dribble. Helped Romeoville get to the semifinals.

CJ Savage, West Aurora- 5'9" Class of 2024 point guard showed he can run a team as well as an excellent knockdown three point shooter on the wing. Has a quick first step to the basket with jelly roll finishes at the rim. Gets into defenders on the ball with defensive pressure. Transfer from East Aurora.

Ethan Kizer, Metamora*- 6'7" Class of 2023 South Alabama commit played only one day in the shootout but was productive all weekend. He can hit threes as well as explode to the basket and dunk on defenders with athletic finishes. Hits both backboards with a fierce determination. Team went 2-1 in the event.

James Parker, Metea Valley(Aurora)- 5'11"Class of 2024 combo guard was productive on both ends of the court. Showed his quickness in getting to the basket and either finishing or setting up teammates for scores. Plays ferocious defense on opposing guards. Hit a bunch of threes over the weekend in helping his team to the title game.

Jonathan Calmese, Farragut Career Academy(Chicago)- 6'2" Class of 2024 point guard can do it all at the guard position. Hit threes off the dribble or catch and shoot, finish at the rim with both hands on straight line drives. Plays the passing lanes to get steals on defense. Good passer that sees the entire floor. Underrated player in Chicago Area(never thought I'd say that about a Farragut player).

Honorable mention:

Jeshawn Stevenson, Lindbloom(Chicago) 6'3" guard, Class of 2024

Quinn Krueger, Central(Plainfield) 6'0" combo guard, Class of 2024

Zion Kostyra, Central(Joliet), 6'1" combo guard, Class of 2024

Cale Cosme, Brother Rice(Chicago), 5'8" point guard, Class of 2024

Aaron Brown, Romeoville, 6'4" wing, Class of 2023

Jahki Gray, Metea Valley, 6'1" point guard, Class of 2023*

Justin Pickens, Farragut Career Academy, 6'3" wing, Class of 2023

Khalil Ross, Brother Rice(Chicago), 6'7" wing, Class of 2023

Luke Hopp, Metamora, 6'6" wing, Class of 2024*

Tyson Swanson, Metamora, 6'3" forward, Class of 2023*

Brent Taylor, Lincoln Way East(Frankfort), 6'3" guard, Class of 2025

George Bellevue, Lincoln Way East(Frankfort), 6'7" wing, Class of 2023*

Special mention the incoming freshman(Class of 2026): This group has a lot of potential as there were a few playing in the event that are ones to watch in future.

Amir Danforth, Auburn(Rockford) 6'0" combo guard

Brian Harper, Auburn(Rockford) 5'10" point guard

Champ Parker, Auburn(Rockford), 5'10" combo guard

Latrell Kelley, Farragut Career Academy(Chicago), 5'9" point guard

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