Player Superlatives and other stories from Christmas Holiday Tournaments!!!!!
Updated: Jan 2, 2022
I just wrote a story about the tournaments themselves, now this is about the players and some of the stories of teams too.
Most perplexing team story: Conant(Schaumburg) scores 18 points in a game NONE IN THE SECOND HALF in a game at Jack Tosh.
Biggest upset: Hinsdale Central the host team upsetting perviously undefeated DePaul College Prep(Chicago) 45-44. 6'5" junior wing Benjamin Oosterbaan had 21 points and 10 rebounds a double/double. He had a great tournament and was on the all tournament team. They would end up finishing third.
Pushed his way into Player of The Year discussion: Senior Nevada commit 6'5" Trey Pettigrew of Kenwood Academy(Chicago) has had some high scoring games this season. He had to step it up in the tournament in the absence of junior point guard Darrin "Dai Dai" Ames. He had 41 against Michelle Clark in semifinals of the Proviso West Tournament. Had a 21 in title game to win Most Valuable player. He's stepped up his game over the last year and can play either guard position at this point.
Best high school basketball team in recent history in Illinois: #1 Glenbard West(Glen Ellyn) fits the bill. Yes they have to finish and win the Class 4A title, but they are so fun to watch. It's like watching a basketball clinic. Their starting lineup goes 6'4", 6'6", 6'7", 6'9", and 6'11". They can all pass, shoot, dribble, rebound, and move well for their size in that 1-3-1 zone. It's so hard to shoot over the zone and they make the extra pass. They make a good pass, then make a great pass in their offense, the ball movement is exquisite. Then add the #1 player in the state Gonzaga commit senior Braden Huff who's 6'11" and can shoot, pass, dribble the ball up against the press, rebound, block shots, and the ultimate press breaker. Stats may not be eye popping but will be in the player of the year discussion. Best team in the last 6 years.
Most underrated player on the top team: Senior Paxton Warden 6'4" guard of Glenbard West(Glen Ellyn) is the most indispensable player on that team. He was missed in the tight game vs Hillcrest(Country Club Hills). He was talked about as possible MVP of the Jack Tosh Tournament(before Braden Huff stepped his game up the last two games). He can shoot from three, drive to the basket and finish, and jump out of the gym. Just received an offer from St Xavier(IL) University. Look for more offers to come.
Best player in consolation rounds: Lincoln Park(Chicago) won the consolation bracket at the Proviso West Tournament. Junior 6'0" point guard Myan Whitfield averaged 28 a game through the whole tournament and made second team all-tournament. He stepped it up as they had three starters out due to covid19 protocols. Should give him a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season. College coaches need to check him out.
Underrated player stepping it up for injured star: Junior 6'0" point guard Camron Williford of Hyde Park(Chicago) stepped it up in the title game. MVP of the Big Dipper Tournament Davontae Hall struggled with injury in title game and was in and out. The young man ended up with 28 points against #4 and favored Hillcrest(Country Club Hills) to win the title. Buy stock in this young man now college coaches, where are the mid majors?
Mike Oliver is doing it again: Coach Oliver of Curie(Chicago) came in second in the Pontiac Tournament but he's put together another Chicago Public League Title contender. He doesn't have a bunch of 5 stars(sans Cliff Alexander), but they are always dangerous. Won a Class 4A State title in 2016 without one 5 star on his roster. He has one senior in his rotation(Phoenix Bullock) but will be a team to watch out for as usual.
Evanston Township finishes second at Centralia: Senior guards Ryan Bost and David Gieser were all tournament and played outstanding basketball in getting to the title game. They ran into a buzzsaw losing to Missouri power Vashon of St Louis, but have a big boost going back into conference play.
Chicago Red Division dominates: Simeon Career Academy(Chicago), Kenwood Academy(Chicago), Hyde Park(Chicago), and Lane Tech(Chicago) all won holiday tournaments. Pontiac and Proviso West had both the winner and runners-up. Maine East and Big Dipper(Perspectives Leadership is a white division team but oh well) had first and third place teams. Best high school basketball conference in America.
Nick Martinelli of Glenbrook South continues to be very productive: The Elon commit dominated the Nike Peach Jam in the summer shooting 65% from the floor off the bench. He has continued it into the high school season as he was MVP at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. Just a tough cover with his inside/outside game.
Best players from the holidays:
Braden Huff, Glenbard West
Caden Pierce, Glenbard West
Paxton Warden, Glenbard West
Bobby Durkin, Glenbard West
Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows, junior
Orlando Thomas, Rolling Meadows
Tavari Johnson, Lyons Township
Mekhi Cooper, Bolingbrook, junior
Michael Osei-Bonsu, Bolingbrook
Trey Pettigrew, Kenwood Academy
Darius Robinson, Kenwood Academy
Xavier Amos, Whitney Young
Andre Casey Jr, Whitney Young
Nick Martinelli, Glenbrook South
Cooper Noard, Glenbrook South
Jaloni Johnson, Proviso East, junior
Benjamin Oosterbaan, Hinsdale Central, junior
Evan Porto, Stevenson
Mekhi Lowery, Oswego East, junior
Christian Meeks, Homewood Flossmoor
Nashawn Holmes, Homewood Flossmoor
Adrian Agee, Rockford Auburn
Michael Jones, Rockford Auburn, sophomore
Wesley Rubin, Simeon Career Academy, junior
Ethan Marlowe, St Charles North
Jaylen Drane, Simeon Career Academy
Ryan Cohen, Glenbrook North
Josh Fridman, Glenbrook North
Chase Bonder, Libertyville
Luke Woodson, Deerfield
Adidas Davis, Buffalo Grove
JJ Hernandez, Glenbard North, sophomore
Luke Williams, Naperville North
Asa Thomas, Lake Forest
Andrew Stokes, Montini
Niklas Polonowski, Lyons Township
Nojus Industraitis, Lemont, sophomore
Austin Kulig, Andrew
Drew Kircher, York
Ethan Ivan, Batavia
Ricky Hill Jr, Minooka
Myan Whitfield, Lincoln Park, junior
Camron Williford, Hyde Park, junior
Bryce Tillery, Hillcrest, junior
Cameron Cleveland, Leo
Billy Bach, Lyons Township
Jackson Munro, New Trier
Chikasi Ofoma, Curie, junior
Mikelle Jones, Michele Clark
Suliman Agiste, Michele Clark
Jabari Sanders, Perspectives Leadership
Jaquwan Payton, Perspectives Leadership
Vincent Rainey, Thornton Township
Ty Rodgers, Thornton Township
Malik Jenkins, Hyde Park
Damarion Morris, Hyde Park
Davontae Hall, Hyde Park
Marcus Glover, Hillcrest
Lewitt Rogers, Thornwood
Lionel Strickland, Fenger
Jerrell Edwards, Dunbar
Ray Austin, Rich Township
Xavier Lewis, Thornton Fractional South
Justin Saddler, Chicago Agriculture and Science
Joshua West, Westinghouse
Brett Gomez, Kennedy
Jeremiah Jones, Marian Catholic
Morez Johnson Jr, St Rita
James Brown, St Rita
Robbie Avila, Oak Forest