Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 30, 2017

Curie celebrates with Marquise Walker (15) after his game winning shot to defeat Oak Park River Forest. | Pat Gleason/For the Sun-Times

PONTIAC, IL — Quick little notebook tonight because I’m the only guy left in this media room at Pontiac and I’m afraid the janitors might lock me in the school. I like it here, but not that much….

Normal 58, North Lawndale 46: Great run for the Phoenix this week, but they fall short in the title game.

Belleville West 62, Champaign Central 61: EJ Liddell had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

St. Rita 55, Bolingbrook 49: What a turnaround for the Mustangs. From a six-game losing streak to the champions of a major holiday tournament. Joel Watts scored 13 and Alec Millander added 11.

Semifinals and championship
Curie 42, Oak Park 39 (read the full story)
Simeon 73, Danville 48 (read the full story)
Simeon 67, Curie 48 (read the full story)

Orr 77, Young 62: The Spartans are starting to live up to the preseason No. 1 ranking. Dannie Smith and Raekwon Drake each scored 22. Javon Freeman led Young with 23. Orr outscored the Dolphins 26-16 in the 4Q.

Niles North 72, Libertyville 65: The Vikings win the title and appear to have a lock on the No. 3 spot in the rankings (kinda scary declaring that before I look over all the holiday tournament stuff, but seems likely). They are 13-0.

Conant 54, Brother Rice 53, 2 OT: A few weeks ago in the Player of the Year race story I mentioned that Ryan Davis was going to need to win to boost his candidacy. Well, mission accomplished. This holiday tournament title puts Davis firmly on the list of serious contenders.



  • Theo

    No.32 the phenom sophomore from Curie Ramean Hinton got game.

  • Black

    Some of theses teams will have to learn real quick, that you have to defend, if you want to win. You can’t simply try to outscore your opponent without getting stops. Too much selfish basketball as well. Pass the ball to the open man, instead of trying to go through three players by yourself. Coaches, you aren’t helping players by allowing this type of play. Hold your players accountable, your best players as well. You can’t expect to be successful if you allow some to do as they please, while others are given no room for error. Giving some players special treatment, isn’t helping the team.

  • Robert

    Watch out for Maine South. Lavaroto maybe best defensive coach in the State and players are taking it to the hole with confidence. Scored 33 points vs. St. Charles East in one quarter.

  • Jake Perales

    If Curie can’t give Simeon a game. Who can?

  • Juswatchin

    Congrats to St. Rita for pulling out the W…..But the refs turned that game into crap….6 foul calls In a row on Bolingbrook to start the 3rd!! That was in 2min of play…WOW

  • Devo Robinson

    I agree that Lincoln Park is underrated.
    They have played a very tough schedule thus far.
    Beat several Ranked Teams
    Whitney Young
    Marian Catholic
    DePaul College Prep

    Lost to:
    Orr (very bad by 18)
    Bolingbrook by 3 (LP gave the game away)

    They should be ranked in the Top 20

    • Michael O'Brien

      Lincoln Park also lost to Loyola and St. Ignatius. That is why they weren’t in the rankings. I’d guess they will have a place in the new Super 25. But I won’t consider the DePaul Prep game, consolation action is worthless.

      • Be real

        1simeon, the best 2 Niles, haven’t lost 3 Orr, won PW 4 Currie 5 Bolingbrook, St. Rita lose was a joke. 6 Morgan Park, won Dipper 7 Whitney Young, 2nd at PW , but lost to Lincoln Park……Have fun with the rest!

      • Be real

        Forgot about Oak park….7 oak park 8 Whitney Young….now have fun with the rest!

  • James

    You are going to have some fun with the rankings. Crazy things happened. Who can figure out uplift? Down one game up the next. Is larkin that bad? Is orr that good? Batavia beats Naperville north then shoots 24% against brother rice and gets pounded. Romeoville might be overrated. Lincoln park might be underrated. Conant was a surprise.

    • Coach LB

      If Romeoville wants to make it out of sectionals. The bigs are going to have to be better than they are now. If they keep playing soft in big games they will not make it out of sectionals. Salter is going to have to be better Deandre cannot do it by himself. Coach has to do a better job of preparing them. They have all the pieces to make it down state. But it not coming together in big games. There no way they should have lost to leo and thornton. Those 2 teams played with heart and toughness and wanted it more. This is what Romeoville needs to understand and coach has to do a better job of preparing them for the big games. You guys have to want it gentlemen. In 85 and 86 we were very good but did not have as much talent as This team but we played with heart and toughness and put it all together for 4 quarters This Romeoville team has all the talent on paper put you have to go out there and play like you want it. Put it all together for 4 quarters. And not just 2. I know you guys can do it. Go ville.

  • James

    What happened to st rita? They lost to providence – who looked really bad at York and to st Lawrence who just lost to naperville by 30. Then Rita beats some of the top teams in the state. Something had to change??? Great wins but what happened?

    • Bball fan

      Rita’s teamwork and defense improved. Matthews leads their team, but they’re not relying solely on him, they go 10 deep. Rita’s bench outscored its opponents benches 106-15. And their defense held both Maine South and Bolingbrook to 6 points each in the fourth quarter.

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