The annual When Sides Collide Shootout, presented by the City/Suburban Hoops Report, has announced its five-game lineup for an event that has become one of the marquee attractions on the high school basketball calendar.
Here is the schedule for the Saturday, Jan. 26 event at Glenbard East.
◼︎ Normal West vs. Evanston at 1:00 p.m.
While former Class of 2019 big man Francis Okoro reclassified and is now at Oregon, Normal West still welcomes back several key players from a team that won 22 games a year ago. Coach Brian Cupples will have the returning senior backcourt of Nate Duckworth and Shea Cupples returning, along with three other regulars, including junior Drew Wollenschalger.
Evanston, led by senior guards Lance Jones, a Southern Illinois recruit, and Jaheim Holden and sophomore Blake Peters, will be one of the state’s top teams. The Wildcats won 27 games a year ago and finished third in the state in Class 4A.
◼︎ Glenbard East vs. Glenbard West at 2:30 p.m.
A couple of district rivals meet as Glenbard West’s Evan Taylor, a versatile 6-5 forward and top 25 prospect in the state in the senior class, is the main attraction. Taylor just recently took an official visit to Southern Illinois and has an upcoming visit to Dartmouth.
The host school will look to the junior backcourt of Alijah Nelson and DaRon Hall to revive the Rams this season.
◼︎ St. Viator vs. Bloom at 4:15 p.m.
A showdown between two teams that will be ranked high whens the season begins. St. Viator ran the table in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and won 24 games last season. Coach Quin Hayes welcomes back the bulk of that team, including the Division I backcourt of Jeremiah Hernandez and Trey Calvin.
Bloom is loaded with talent. The Blazing Trojans have the look of a potential top 10 team with the return of a junior class that features 6-9 Martice Mitchell and guards Keshawn Williams, Dante Maddox, Jr., and Donovan Newby.
◼︎ Simeon vs. Bolingbrook at 6:00 p.m.
Led by a pair of Division I guards, Drake recruit Joseph Yesufu and Northern Illinois commit Tyler Cochran, Bolingbrook boasts one of the top backcourts in the state. Yesufu and Cochran are seasoned veterans who have won and been in a ton of big games over the past three seasons.
State and national power Simeon makes its debut in the When Sides Collide Shootout and welcomes back guard Kejuan Clements. The arrival of super sophomore Ahmad Bynum and transfer Antonio Reeves will bolster coach Rob Smith’s attack.
◼︎ Benet vs. Naperville North at 7:30 p.m.
A couple of neighboring programs who haven’t faced one another since 2014 reunite a rivalry that includes two teams that combined for 53 wins a year ago. Benet, led by junior big man Colin Crothers and emerging senior Will Engels, has the look of another 20-plus win team.
Coach Gene Nolan takes over the Naperville North program which features Loyola recruit Tom Welch, one of the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2019 in Illinois.
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