Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 5, 2017

Waukegan and Zion-Benton get into a shoving match in the second quarter. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

I fell in love with high school basketball in the 90’s, watching the great Joliet vs. Lincoln-Way (there was just one of each back then) rivalry.

Nothing in Joliet seemed as significant or as charged as the basketball battles against neighboring New Lenox.

I got another taste of that great action tonight in Zion. There just isn’t anything like two neighboring basketball loving towns in a big rivalry game. It’s better than two sides of town playing (but I’ll be at St. Charles North vs. St. Charles East on Saturday) or two Public League powers colliding or two neighborhood rival private schools going at it (sorry St. Patrick vs. Notre Dame).

Carson Newsome was incredible tonight for Waukegan. The refs had enough and called the game with three seconds to play. Read all about it.

Thursday’s top games:

No. 5 Bolingbrook 64, Stagg 55: The undefeated Raiders trailed for most of the game. Read on Twitter that Bolingbrook’s full-court press caused the Chargers some trouble late in the game. Kaleb Thornton led the way with 23 points. Malik Binns had 13 and Joseph Yesufu 12. John Contant (the reason Stagg is always dangerous) scored 30.

Grayslake North 51, Grayslake Central 50: The Knights are 9-2. They were undefeated at this point last year. I have to get around to see them at some point this season.

Stevenson 64, Libertyville 50: The Patriots have been on a major roll since losing to Hinsdale Central in the first round over the holidays. This win gives them a nice 11-2 record, the Wildcats fall below .500. Another big game for Justin Smith with 28 points and 10 boards. Willie Herenton scored 16. Drew Peterson led Libertyville with 20.



  • Coach LB

    Good luck to bolingbrook the rest of the way to state

    • Leegs1

      Can see the headlines now: Bolingbrook wins state with the help of three transfers! Love Bolingbrook’s football program. John Ivlow is a class act!

  • Coach LB

    Ok guys you can lay off the transfers comments. Yes there were 3 boys basketball players that transfer to bolingbrook with their parents approval and It was approved through the district. It was a great team win for Bolingbrook. It time to talk about how great a team they are at 11 and 0 and that they could win state.

    • Leegs1

      Girls won state a number of times. Great teams. Transfers. Recruiting? Then there was girls team at Homewood. Parents and districts approval. Three young men sitting out because of these three transfers. One transfer,fine. Two transfers, fishy. Three transfers, a skunk.

      • Coach

        Totally different. You had a coach that left Bolingbrook that went to HF and had 4 star girl basketball players to come with him to an address in homewood where they all was to had lived. There was an investigation and it found that they did not live there and the season was lost. Here you have 3 boys from different school who parents have moved to the area went through the district was confirmed and have been there since school started. Thornton actually lives in Bolingbrook but was at a private school Nazareth but decided to go to his area school which is Bolingbrook.

        • Hoops

          HF investigates. Brook looks other way. There’s a difference. Not every district investigates…

        • Leegs1

          Back up. You had a girls basketball coach at Bolingbrook who had many good basketball players transfer in. One year they had, I believe, eight division 1 players on the team. They went there because of the program and the chance to get a scholarship. I believe one of the transfers on the boys team lives with his “in district” brother. Strange, that all three transfers’ parents decided to move into Bolingbrook the same year. Legal, unless proven otherwise down the road. In my opinion, smells to high heaven! I don’t want a team who had three quality transfers come in during the same year winning any trophy. Just my opinion.

    • Hoops

      Why lay off? The administration is obviously letting things go at the brook. IHSA? No comment as usual…

  • RealityCheck

    This is what real sports writing looks like. It’s more than just about scores and rankings.

  • Kris Kringle

    This sally is still crying. Eventually youre going to have to put on your big girl pants and get into the real world cupcake!

  • Kris Kringle

    Raiders were up 18-6, then they started playing sloppy and Stagg’s #3 started knocking down 3’s like Reggie Miller or Kyle Korver never seen anything like it in HS. But in the 4th Raiders applied pressure and dominated. Nana had only 4 points I think.

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