Observations of the last two days of Holiday Tournament Action!!!!!!!!!
Some of the action I saw in person, others I heard about or saw it online. Here we go:
Top 2 seeds at Hinsdale Central lose in semifinals. Top seed Stevenson(Lincolnshire) and Marian Catholic(Chicago Heights) lost to Homewood Flossmoor and DePaul Prep(respectively). Homewood Flossmoor is in the title game for the 4th time in the last five years. DePaul Prep had been in three semifinals in row and lost there, this time they get over the hump into the title game. Can they finish the job tomorrow?
Buzzer beaters that should be on Sportscenter Top 10 tonight.
1)Morton(Cicero) wins on a three quarter court buzzer beater over Hillcrest(Country Club Hills). The ball rolled around and dropped in. Heartbreaker for Hillcrest as Morton advances to Proviso West Tournament Quarterfinals.
2) Willowbrook's Everett Stubblefield III hit two buzzer beaters today. First one was from right across mid court at the first quarter buzzer. Second one was to win the game from three quarters court to beat host Hinsdale Central at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament.
Joliet West beats Simeon(Chicago) at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament Quarterfinals. It is big when a suburban team beats a Red Division Chicago Public League team at anytime during the season. Simeon Coach Robert Smith tried to downplay it, which naturally he would, but it was a huge confidence builder for the Joliet West program. This is a junior laden team and it's the biggest win since those young men hit high school.
Rolling Meadows guard Max Christie is a consensus Class of 2021 top 15 player in the nation and is performing like it at the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament at York. The biggest revelation is the confidence his brother, freshman point guard Cameron Christie is gaining by each game. I saw him play earlier in the year vs Schaumburg and looked like he was still finding his way. I saw him again on Thursday and it's a different Cameron Christie. He's getting more comfortable out there, and gaining more confidence with each game. Look out teams in the Mid Suburban you can't gang up on Max anymore.
Hillcrest junior guard Mar'Keise "Bucky" Irving is getting more and more comfortable on the basketball court. The top running back in the state with multiple Power 5 offers in football, was slowed by an ankle injury from the football field. He has recovered and has posted back to back games of 18 and 17 points while being very efficient. They did lose on a three quarters court shot in the Proviso West Quarterfinals, this is a positive for Hillcrest moving forward.
#1 Evanston now has a rim protector to help their quick five guard lineup. 6'6" junior forward Kyle Wilson played his first game at the Centralia Holiday Tournament today. He gained his eligiblity after transferring from Loyola Academy(Wilmette). I heard he had 7 rebounds in the first half alone. He will have to stay out of foul trouble and rebound at a high rate, but this makes the Wildkits even more dangerous.
#2 Bloom(Chicago Heights) is cruising so far through the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. They may have a tough time with Benet(Lisle) tomorrow and their slow pace. Bloom will have to pressure them and speed up the tempo to their liking to be effective. Senior forward Christian Shumate is the ultimate match up nightmare in the State.
A possible great title game match up? A couple of them, one would be Bloom vs Curie(Chicago) at Pontiac, and Mundelein vs Collinsville at the Collinsville Holiday Tournament.