Bloom is clearly a step or two ahead of where most of us expected it to be at this point in the season.
The Blazing Trojans were ranked No. 5 in the preseason. There was the usual talk about upside. It is only December, but it is already clear that the upside is being realized. I’m no recruiting guru, but Martice Mitchell might just be the best prospect in the junior class. Keshawn Williams is a tantalizing player, full of athletic ability. The scary thing is that neither one of those guys even has to play well for Bloom to win huge games.
Junior guards Donovan Newby and Dante Maddox Jr. are consistent, reliable rocks. Both are smart and unselfish and they have started to learn how to win during this first month of the season.
“We are going to get other team’s best,” Maddox Jr. said. “Teams are going to give us everything they have. If we do what we are supposed to do we are going to keep getting wins.”
Bloom might be the new No. 1 team on Sunday. Or it might be Curie. I have some decisions to make.
Friday’s top games
Lincoln Park 59, No. 1 Young 54: This has become a legitimate rivalry. Tahir Thompson scored 22 points and had 11 rebounds. Julio Montes added 18 points and Joe Tamatekou had 10 points and six boards. DJ Steward scored 18 for the Dolphins, who drop a conference game at home. I spent the last two days wondering if I should elevate Curie or Bloom over Young. Looks like that is an easy decision now. Will just come down to which squad gets the No. 1 spot and which is No. 2.
Belleville West 54, East St. Louis 50: Big game in the state. EJ Liddell had 23 points and 11 rebounds. For comparison, Curie beat ESL 88-81 in overtime in November.
Farragut 60, Lane 58 OT: Every game in the Red-North/West seems to be close. Sophomore Derrick Clark led Farragut to the win on the road with 16 points and freshman Mikell Jones had 14 including some huge free throws down the stretch. Michael Molloy had 25 for the Indians.
No. 7 Evanston 67, Niles North 41: The Wildkits cruise behind 19 points from Blake Peters and 17 from Ryan Bost.
Providence-St. Mel 60, Fenwick 58: Very nice win for the Knights, who follow up three consecutive losses with three nice wins. Tyriel Nelson had 15, Deion Jackson 13. Sophomore Bryce Hopkins led the Friars with 28.
Mount Carmel 60, De La Salle 47: The turnaround on Dante Ave. continues. Josh Redic scored 17 and Arinze Egbuna added 11 points.
No. 24 Geneva, St. Charles East 52: The teachers strike is over and the Vikings return with a close win.
St. Rita 47, Loyola 46: Big, big win for the Mustangs. Joel Watts led the way with 16 and Javon Cooley added 15.
Payton 82, Taft 55: The Grizzlies dominate. Ronan Prugh scored 28 and Ryan Trotter had 16.
North Lawndale 63, Prosser 45: Who can figure out the Red-North/West? The Phoenix are on a roll now. Daveon Rogers scored 17 and Demetrius Douglas added 15 points and five assists.
Oak Forest 57, Argo 28: Freshman Robbie Avila continues to impress. He scored 14. The Argonauts were down 31-5 at half.
Orr 69, Crane 60: Another close won in the rugged Red-North/West. Tujautae Williams had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Terry Williams scored 16 and Greg Outlaw added 16 points and five rebounds.
No. 23 Uplift 65, Marshall 43: Time to reevaluate the Titans. The loss to Lane and the overtime win against Lincoln Park sure look a lot better a week later, don’t they? And tonight they dominate the Commandos, who looked headed to the Super 25 just two days ago.
No. 25 Romeoville 76, Plainfield South 70: The Ville rebounds nicely from the loss to Bolingbrook Destin Whitaker led the Spartans with 19 and Diamond Presniakovas scored 29 for the Cougars.
Collins 85, Clemente 81 OT: Big White-West win and a big game from Demarcus Williams with 35. Both of Clemente’s talented sophomores had nice games.
Rolling Meadows 78, Elk Grove 75 OT: Saved a very big one for last. A special performance by sophomore Max Christie, who apparently willed the Mustangs to victory. He finished with 51 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and four steals.Bloom, michael o'brien's notebook