Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 1, 2017

Benet's David Buh (12) looks to pass late in the fourth quarter as the Redwings play Danville in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, December 30, 2016. Allen Cunningham / Chicago Sun-Times

The Wolverines are the new No. 1 team this week. Simeon coach Robert Smith doesn’t think his team has even reached its full potential yet and he may be right, several key players have only spent 11 games as varsity regulars.

All kinds of changes to the Super 25 this week. Here’s a breakdown.

HOLIDAY GAINERS

Conant: The Cougars proved plenty while winning the York tournament and jumped 11 spots in the rankings. Jimmy Sotos is the star we expected him to be at the start of the season and Ryan Davis has stepped up as a solid scorer. Conant beat Downers Grove South in the semifinals and demolished St. Patrick by 14 points to win the title.

Benet: The Redwings gave Simeon all it could handle in the title game and beat highly-regarded Bloomington and Danville on the way, so they jump 11 places. If not for a loss to St. Viator Benet would place even higher.

Fremd: Unbeaten in January is always impressive. The Vikings won’t wow anyone with athleticism or speed, but they are ferocious on defense and move the ball incredibly well on offense. They needed overtime to beat Notre Dame in the title game at Wheeling, but a win is a win.

Bloom: The Blazing Trojans had an incredible run at Pontiac and jump six spots. In a three-day span they beat Peoria Manual, Joliet West and Danville and lost to Simeon. On the season they’ve beaten Hillcrest and lost to Homewood-Flossmoor twice.

Young: The Dolphins jump four spots in the rankings after winning the Proviso West Tournament. They posted wins against Morgan Park and Fenwick without injured star Justin Boyd. The only thing that kept them out of the No. 2 spot was the early season loss to Kenwood (with Boyd).

HOLIDAY BLUES

Marian Catholic: The Spartans had a decent run at Hinsdale Central, losing to Bolingbrook and beating Urban Prep-Englewood, Lincoln Park and DePaul Prep. The blues come from losing junior guard Brandon Hurt, a three-year starter. He transferred to a prep school after the UP-Englewood game.

North Lawndale: The Phoenix plummet 14 spots after losing to Wheaton-Warrenville South at Bloomington. That was a game they probably should have won. They also haven’t beat a team that is currently ranked, which hurts the resume.

Joliet West: The Tigers were upset by Bloom in the quarterfinals at Pontiac and dropped seven spots in the rankings. That isn’t good enough to hold on to a top five spot in the Super 25. They rebounded with consolation wins over Curie and Oak Park, so that should help with their confidence.

Curie: The Condors were shocked by Danville at Pontiac and then dropped a game to Joliet West in consolation play. Not what they had in mind for the holidays. The Condors have some nice wins over downstate teams, but haven’t beaten a team in the current Super 25.

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7 comments

  • Norm

    Simeon #4 max preps. Evanston on bubble = #28

  • Allen Cooley

    I’m waiting on a story about the East side under dog Joliet central. Joliet west has received all of the attention and central in my eyes are doing just well if not better!

  • Tom Teare

    will you be posting final results from all the states Xmas tourneys, sure do miss the results in the daily papers

  • Joe Barkho

    What are your opinions on Uplift? They are hard to figure out. They should have beaten Morgan Park. The coach seems to let the Jacobs brothers do whatever they want.

    • Ray

      I was at that game also and agree, Uplift has a lot of talent, but seem very out of control. They were down my two or three with about a minute left in the game and seemed to intentionally foul. Not only was it too early, but the guy that fouled had 4 and fouled out of the game.

  • Dorian

    What is lincoln way east ranked?

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