Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 28, 2017

West Aurora's Damian Virgen (12) drives to the basket in the Blackhawks 72-50 over Warren in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, December 27, 2017. Allen Cunningham / For the Sun-Times.

PONTIAC, IL—It was a long day of not particularly great basketball at Pontiac. No really big time performances and almost no close games. Benet-Manual came down to the wire but it was an ugly slog of a game.

Sometimes you are not rewarded for 14+ hours of dedication, those are just the breaks.

Pontiac Tournament Director Jim Drengwitz said at the end of the night that it is pretty clear there are distinct levels of teams at the tournament and that is a good way to put it. Tomorrow should be much better.

Unfortunate night over at the Dipper. Steve Millar’s twitter had it covered, the link is below. Basically the Morgan Park-Thornton semifinal had to be stopped early because things were too heated between the players and the coaches. That’s just a bad look all around.

PONTIAC
First round
West Aurora 72, Warren 50
Curie 72, Niles West 40: Maurice Commander scored 13 and Marquise Walker added 11. Condors cruise and will face West Aurora in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Oak Park 77, Lockport 56: The Huskies took control after seven minutes. Isaiah Fuller scored 23 and Anthony Roberts added 16 points and seven rebounds. Tommy Halatek scored 14 off the bench for the Porters.
Bloomington 72, Joliet West 44: Chris Payton was impressive. When I arrived at the tournament I had a few people mention to me that he’d been playing very well lately and it is true, you could see a difference even from the beginning of the season. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Benet 47, Manual 44: Jacob Petrovic and David Buh each scored 13. Buh and Jake Ronneberg each made crucial free throws in the final minute. Benet coach Gene Heidkamp was pretty clear after the game that he considers his team to be a work in progress. They are a big underdog to Danville tomorrow.
Danville 77, Plainfield North 44: The Vikings wowed the crowd. Kendle Moore and Daylen Davis Williams each scored 14.
Simeon 89, Pontiac 59: The upset will have to come some other year. Talen Horton-Tucker scored 30 and grabbed 7 rebounds and Zion Young had 14. Messiah Jones left after 2 minutes, not sure if he just tweaked something or if it was serious. Simeon coach Robert Smith said they would know more in the morning.
St. Charles North 64, Bloom 40: Cade Callaghan had 19 points and six rebounds. His older brother is sort of a Pontiac legend (well, maybe just to me). Erik Larson added 13 points. The North Stars have some sparkle to their game. Bloom is just way too young and inexperienced, but you can see the potential they have. Dante Maddox Jr. scored 12 and Keshawn Williams had 11.

BLOOMINGTON
Quarterfinals
Wheaton-Warrenville South 49, Mahomet-Seymour 34: The Tigers just keep rolling along. Chase Stebbins scored 11.
Normal 55, Rock Island 51
North Lawndale 69, Metamora 49: Domination from the Phoenix. Demetrius Douglas just keeps posting big numbers, he has to be one of the state’s leading scorers. He had 30.
Joliet Central 56, Hononegah 43: Steelmen win. Don Joachim scored 14.

PROVISO WEST
Quarterfinals
Young 74, Downers Grove North 48: A big game from Javon Freeman with 22 points and five assists. Sophomore Elliott Sieger has already become a big part of the team, he had 18. The Trojans kept it close for awhile, Trey Boston scored 18
Hillcrest 66, Bogan 62: Robert Harvey (18 points) and Jalen Hughes (17 points) continue their big seasons. The Hawks are going to be a huge threat in the Class 3A in March, clearly. Rashaun Agee had a monster game for the Bengals, 19 points and 18 rebounds.
Uplift 75, Larkin 43: The Titans with a big upset. Toraze Dobbs with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Markese Jacobs scored 15. Uplift starting to live up to that preseason ranking.
Orr 45, Fenwick 42: Chase Adams led the way for the Spartans with 10. Hearing that this wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, but I think it might be the best result of the season for Orr. They probably lose this game the first or second week of the season. Mike O’Laughlin led Fenwick with 13 points.

CENTRALIA
Carmel 50, Mt. Vernon 47: The Corsairs advance. Johnny Roeser scored 16 and freshman Kimahri Wilson added 12. They will face the Alton-Germantown, TN winner in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Alton 61, Germantown (TN) 53
Confluence 72, Cahokia 58
Belleville West 76, Collierville (TN) 40
Champaign Central 59, Lausanne 29
Evanston 68, O’Fallon 59: The Wildkits advance. Lance Jones scored 22 and freshman Blake Peters had 13.
Centralia 63, Salem 30
Marist 56, Arlington (TN) 42: Morgan Taylor scored 18.

HINSDALE CENTRAL
Quarterfinals
DePaul Prep 49, Stevenson 36: Are the Rams maybe the favorites to win this thing? I haven’t seen them yet this year so I don’t really have a handle on them yet. Pavle Pantovic had 14 pts and eight rebounds. Perry Cowan added 12 points and six boards. Jackson Qualley led Stevenson with 15.
St. Rita 48, Maine South 43: Jordan Matthews scored 16, nice comeback win for the Mustangs.
Bolingbrook 60, Rockford Auburn 53: Tyler Cochran scored 22.
Lincoln Park 76, St. Charles East 73: It is pretty clear that the Lions are for real. Terrence Shannon scored 23 and Chris Roberts had 22.

RICH SOUTH
Semifinals
Leo 58, Romeoville 47: Fred Cleveland and Malcolm Bell each scored 15, Dachaun Anderson had 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Lions out-rebounded Romeoville 30-14. Biggest win for Leo in awhile.
Morgan Park 64, Thornton 52: Per @Millar_S Ayo Dosunmu is “wearing street clothes, looks like he will miss his second straight game with a leg injury. However, he’s doing some shooting during warmups and not on crutches like last night.”

Steve Millar continued to have a busy night. The game was called early after things became heated several times between the players and coaches. Morgan Park (Mac Irvin Fire) and Thornton (Meanstreets) are major club basketball rivals.

WHEELING
Quarterfinals
Niles North 70, Buffalo Grove 62: The Bison gave undefeated Niles North a real test. Dravon Clayborn had 17 in the fourth quarter and finished with 22 points.
Prospect 63, Geneva 48: Really nice win for Prospect, I was impressed with Geneva yesterday. Johnny Czeslawski scored 16, the Knights are 10-2.
Waukegan 78, Glenbrook South 76: Kinda shocking just how big of an impact Phil Ralston has had in Glenview. Waukegan was led by Bryant Brown with 26 points and Ja’Dyn Brown with 22. Martinelli with 18, Morse with 17 and Hubbard with 16 to lead the Titans.
Libertyville 48, Fremd 43: Drew Peterson did it all, 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

YORK
Quarterfinals
Wheaton North 52, Hinsdale South 51 OT: The Falcons win a thriller. Josh Sorenson has had a quite a week. He scored 18 and had 13 rebounds. Zion Griffin scored 14.
Conant 54, York 46: It is never easy beating the Dukes at their tournament. Ryan Davis was back in domination mode with 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, he was 10 for 12 from the field.
Brother Rice 70, St. Laurence 58: Just when it looked like the Vikings might be heading into the Super 25 the Crusaders knock them off. Brother Rice has been a bit of an enigma this season. Marquise Kennedy scored 26 and Josh Boulanger had 20.
Batavia 54, Naperville North 49: Looks like the football players have fully transitioned over to hoops. Riley Cooper had 15 points and six assists. The Huskies were undefeated heading into this one. Tom Welch scored 17 for Naperville North.

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4 comments

  • Joseph A Myers

    BIG DIPPER HAS SOME HEADACHES, THE
    LAST FEW YEARS, BEFORE THE PRE
    MEETING OF PLAYING THE GAME,
    THE AD OF THE TOURNAMENT AND REFS,
    NEED TO GET TOGETHER, TO TELL THE
    COACHES, PLAYERS, IF ANYOU ARGUMENT
    BETWEEN COACHES PLAYERS, THEY WILL
    BE THROWN OUT, THIS CANNOT HAPPEN

  • Bill Figel

    Too bad there was a dust up late last night. The Big Dipper at Rich South has been game after game of good basketball, well-officiated contests and great showcasing for the young student athletes’ talents.

  • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

    Zion Griffin had 25 & 14 v WNHS

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