Wheeling Hardwood Classic Preview!!!!!!
It's been hard for me to get to this tournament because so busy getting to the other ones during this time. It is a tournament with a lot of evenly matched teams but one team to me is just head over heels better than everyone else. Alas you have to play the games and see how they turn out. Here we go:
FAVORITE: Glenbrook North (Northbrook): A heavy, heavy, heavy, (did I say heavy) favorite to win this tournament, They are ranked seventh in the Chicago Area. They come in undefeated and tied for the Central Suburban Conference lead. Spartans are an experienced team who finished second in this tournament last season losing to their rival Glenbrook South (Glenview) who is not in the tournament this year. Junior point guard Josh Fridman (5'9") has been dominant at the position this season. He can score off the drive, three point shot, and is good at setting up his teammates. The sniper is senior guard Washington University St Louis commit Ryan Cohen (6'3") who can get hot from three point range at any time. Junior Northwestern football commit Patrick Schaller (6'6") has been solid on the glass and versatile posting up, hitting mid range shots, and making assists from the high post. Junior guard Sam Lappin has pitched in scoring double figures.
SECOND FAVORITE: Neuqua Valley (Naperville): Looking at the bracket this team is 9-2 and has beaten some quality opponents. Could meet Glenbrook North in the title game. Junior guard Luke Kincade (6'2") has put up some nice numbers this year getting a lot of reounds as well as scoring. Senior point guard Mark Menicke (6'2") is capable of putting up numbers on the scoreboard, as is senior wing Christian Srbinov (6'2"). Junior guard Connor Gerrity (6'2") is another double digit scoring threat. Not a lot of size but great balance in scoring could win them the title.
DARKHORSE: Niles North (Skokie): I would have them as second favorite but bracket order has them possibly running into Glenbrook North in the semifinal. Vikings are 9-1, yes not the greatest schedule in the world. They have the talent but are sophomore laden, so do they have the experience to make a deep run? Sophomore point guard Yaris Irby has been on a scoring tear this season: https://www.bigtimshsbballrevue.com/post/battle-of-skokie-aka-the-niles-goes-to-north-yaris-irby-on-search-and-destroy-mission-1. He also has a 32 and 29 point game. Sophomore guard Reid Olson (6'0") is a sniper from three point range, he already has a game this season he's hit 8 three pointers. Sophomore guard Dylan Lam (6'1") gives them more shooting, Hunter Gawron (6'5" forward) another sophomore scores inside and hits the glass. If they have a hot streak shooting the ball throughout the tournament, could possibly see them in the winners circle?
Libertyville: They have versatile big men in seniors Aidyn Boone (6'5" forward) and Cole Bonder (6'5") as both can hit threes and rebound. Record is 9-3 coming into the tournament. Senior guard Kai Sorenson (5'9") is another sniper from three point range. Another senior guard Jack Huber (6'3") can score from different levels of the floor. Watch out for freshman guard Blaise Lavista (6'2").