Michael O’Brien’s holiday tournament notebook: Dec. 28, 2016

Oak Park's Jared Scott (15) looks for an open teammate against St. Charles North at Pontiac. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

First round
Oak Park 55, St. Charles North 48: Read about it here.

Simeon 73, Plainfield North 24: The Wolverines started slow and Plainfield North took advantage. The Tigers played with confidence and trailed just 27-20 at the half. It was a different story from there. Plainfield North managed just four points in the final sixteen minutes.  Kezo Brown and Messiah Jones each scored 12 for Simeon. Justin Wilson led Plainfield North with 9.

Bloom 61, Peoria Manual 58: The Rams are beset with injuries. Manual is without its top three players. Even still, they are a load. Adam Miller is considered the state’s best freshman and he looked the part. These close games at Pontiac are usually one by Manual, but the Blazing Trojans pulled it out. Tramail McCray stepped up and scored 11 in the fourth quarter. He finished with 15 points. Austin Richie had 14 and six rebounds, he’s the team’s key player. Yes, this is just a first round holiday tournament win, but it is a major feather in Dante Maddox’ cap. He’s trying to rebuild a program, and beating a state powerhouse in the state’s spotlight tournament is a huge step in the right direction.

Joliet West 77, Niles West 53: The first day at Pontiac often feels like an audition. One side of the gym is full of local fans. They don’t have favorite teams or a rooting interest, they just want to watch great basketball. The first team to wow those judges on Wednesday was Joliet West. Elijah Ward and Eddie Creal each threw down tremendous dunks in the first 90 seconds of the game. Then senior Teyvion Kirk delivered a Player of the Year caliber performance. The 6-4 point guard finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals. He had 20 points at halftime, the Wolves had scored just 18. Joliet West clearly has the pieces to win the tournament, but so do several teams. Kirk, who signed with Drake, was released from his letter of intent this week. A recruiting frenzy is building. SIU and Kent State offered him after the game. Northwestern was in the gym watching. Nebraska and several other schools are expected on Thursday.

Bloomington 80, Warren 69: I missed most of this one. Needed a break. Impressive that the Blue Devils made a game of it. Or was it a sign that the Purple Raiders are a weak four seed in a loaded field?
Dazon Farris had 25 for Bloomington. Juwan Perry led Warren with 18 points.

Benet 69, Lockport 41: At this point everyone expects Benet to win every game, which is both a compliment to the program and sorta weird. The Porters, through sheer effort and toughness, kept things close for a half. Redwings guard Jack Nolan was really impressive. He scored 24, shot 9-for-15 and was just a dominant force in the game. He’s a crafty player and obviously the spear of Benet’s attack. Liam Lyman scored 12 and freshman big Colin Crothers had 10 points. Chase Travis and Matt Smietanksi each scored 11 for Lockport.

Curie 81, Pontiac 39: Demarco Graham led the Condors w/18, Allante Pickens had 17, Elijah Joiner 11. Zac Dittmer scored 12 for Pontiac

Danville 62, West Aurora 61: Wild and wacky game, but I’m too tired to get into it all. The Blackhawks really should have won, multiple let downs by them. But nothing should be taken away from Danville. What an effort and what a shot by Caleb Griffin to win it. He drained a three from the corner.

First round
Marist 51, Jacksonville 29:
Morgan Taylor led the way with 18 points and David Daniels scored 12. This tournament is going to serve as an early proving ground for the Redhawks. They should be able to make a nice run.

Alton 62, Addison Trail 44: Kevin Caldwell had 18 for Alton.

TF North 47, Arlington 28: The Meteors have been flying under the radar this season. They cruised in the first round. Jadacus Dixon had 16 points and Terrell Porter added 15 points and nine rebounds.

Germantown, Tenn. vs. Hyde Park, 9:15

Marian Catholic 51, Lincoln Park 49: The Lions couldn’t quite pull off another upset, but the score seems to show they are legit. Plenty of drama around the Spartans. Three-year starter Brandon Hurt did not play, apparently he is leaving for a prep school. Warren Allen had 14 points, Sean Taylor 13 for Marian Catholic. Terrence Shannon led Lincoln Park with 12 points.

Bolingbrook 53, Westinghouse 46: The Raiders get their first really notable win. The House gets another hard-fought loss. Nana Akenten had 18 points for Bolingbrook and Malik Binns added eight points and 14 rebounds. Coreyoun Rushin had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

Homewood-Flossmoor 41, Rockford Auburn 26: Looks like it was a fairly easy one for the Vikings. Jarrett Tribble scored 17, Jeffrey Boyd had 13.

DePaul Prep 64, Hinsdale Central 62: The Rams win in 6 overtimes against Hinsdale Central as Matt Tonkel tips in his own miss.

Uplift 90, Larkin 74: People like to talk. One of the big subjects lately is Demarius Jacobs. I’ve heard more than one coach wonder just how big of a steal he is for SIU. He scored 33 today. It is time to put him in the Player of the Year conversation. Markese Jacobs scored 14 and Toraze Dobbs had 16. Larkin is a very good team and the Titans put 90 on them. Looks like Jalen Shaw (28 points) and Anthony Lynch (18 points) played well again.

Morgan Park 72, Hillcrest 54: Very disappointing result and score for the Hawks. For Morgan Park it is a statement win that clearly establishes them as the team to beat in the tournament. Ayo Dosunmu had 26 points. Sophomore guard Lamond Johnson, who has sorta been lost in the shuffle a bit this season, had a nice game with 14 points. The Mustangs have looked their best this season when he has an active role. Isaac Stanback led Hillcrest with 16 points. Marcus Garrett was held to just 11, which is kinda astounding.

Young 70, New Trier 43: This was close for awhile. Lucas Williamson scored 19, 13 for Xavier Castaneda. Promising frosh Tyler Beard scored 10.

Fenwick 77, Bogan 46: I thought this would be competitive. Bogan is young and inconsistent though. Billy Bruce led Fenwick with 14, DJ Steward had 12. Tyreon Hardin scored 16 for Bogan.


Michigan City, Ind. 63, Hope Academy 56: The small school powerhouse goes down. Could an Indiana school really win one of our state’s great events?

Thornton 84, Butler 65: Wildcats will face Michigan City, Ind. in the title game at the Dipper. Alonzo Verge scored 33, Orlando Allen Jr 21.

North Lawndale 69, Normal U-High 46: Martrell Barnes had 25 points, 14 rebounds. Stephen Ross had 14 points and 10 boards. Carlos Hines 10 points and 11 assists. Phoenix are rolling.

Wheaton-Warrenville South 39, Zion-Benton 24: The score says it all. This game was played at WW South’s tempo. It’s a really big win for the Tigers, they haven’t played much of a schedule so far. Yes, Z-B has been traveling back and forth from Algonquin (why are they in two holiday tournaments anyway?) but you can’t blame WW South for that. This win sets up what is the most interesting game of the entire holiday tournament season: WW South vs. North Lawndale. They are the two most different teams in the state. Totally contrasting styles, and both teams are extremely effective doing what they do. Can’t wait to see what happens.

Joliet Central 62, Rockton Hononegah 44: Another win for the Steelmen, who may be vastly underrated.

Fremd 54, Deerfield 41: Forget even beating them, when will someone give Fremd a game? This is getting silly. Brian Dompke scored 15, Kyle Sliwa 12.

Libertyville 68, Niles North 57: Damaria Franklin scored 31 for Niles North, he’s a very intriguing prospect. But Drew Peterson and the Wildcats pull out the win. Peterson had 26 and 9 rebounds.

Waukegan 61, Prospect 52: Really solid win for the Bulldogs. Carson Newsome 21 points, Bryant Brown 16, Jordan Brown 10.

Notre Dame 61, Wheeling 28: Haven’t seen any stats on this one. Wheeling is really going according to expectations so far.

Conant 72, Brother Rice 63: Big games from Jimmy Sotos and Ryan Davis. Sotos had 24, Davis 23 points and seven rebounds. The Cougars have won five consecutive games since the Fremd loss. Mike Shepski scored 29 for the Crusaders.

Downers Grove South 46, Providence 32: The Celtic Cinderella streak is over. It was quite a run. Tyree Spencer scored 17. Are the Mustangs starting to live up to the hype?

Wheaton North 62, Highland Park 34: HP was held to just 11 points in the second half

St. Patrick 75, St. Laurence 45: Hearing more raves about the Shamrocks. Even Joe Henricksen has a crush. Laurence Merritt led the way with 12 points.



  • Nolram Nodnol

    If the Demarius Jacobs kid get a solid jumper with his wide range of a abilities the kid will be a pro. He has all the tools he just needs a consistent jumper and thats all she wrote. On another note the Lynch kid from Larkin is a sleeper and St. Joseph has lost it’s way. Hopefully things will change after Christmas for them.

  • Coach LB

    Why is Brandon Hurt leaving Marian Catholic?
    There have been a lot of transfers from there what
    Is going on that players want to leave?

  • RealityCheck

    Bailey’s trying to get to 600 wins as quickly as possible. We’ll see if the softball schedule burns St. Pats in the playoffs like usual.

  • Curtis Strong

    I see there is no coverage of the ICCP/Westmont Christmas Classic.

  • Johnny

    Save your Mike Bailey love! Every single year the same stuff from you. Start playing some good non conference games St Pat’s.

  • mikenike

    West Aurora, make your free throws, both of them, not just one each time you go to the line.

  • Jay

    D.Jacobs from Uplift is the real deal ! Looks more like a high major talent than mid major SIU. Reminds me of a young Dwade. No way he stays committed to SIU playing the way he has been. Totally different player from last year.

  • Lo

    I really enjoyed watching Uplift! Glad I stayed till the last game. Those brothers are impressive. Disappointed with St. Joseph’s performance. Walker had a few good stretches, but I expected to see more. Especially on the defensive end. Didn’t catch Morgan Park, but I hope to see them meet up with Uplift in the Championship. Should be fun to watch.

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