Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 27, 2018

Benet's Kendrick Tchoua (25) attempts a dunk in the first half, Thursday 12-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times
Benet's Kendrick Tchoua (25) attempts a dunk in the first half, Thursday 12-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

Click on the holiday tournament name to see the full bracket.

First round
Simeon 48, Lockport 46 OT:
Terrific game. Wolverines senior Kejuan Clements won it with a drive to the basket with :03 left in the overtime.

“Kejuan’s big basket was huge,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “He should have made the one in regulation. We are just fighting through it. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Simeon freshman AJ Casey had his best game of the season with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Clements scored eight. Antonio Reeves, the Wolverines most consistent player this season, had four points and five rebounds.

“[Lockport’s] matchup zone hurt us a little bit,” Smith said. “It’s the first time we’ve seen it all year and we are a young team.” 

The Porters (7-3) closed regulation with a 9-0 run to send it to overtime. Lockport led at the half but Simeon dominated the third quarter, holding the Porters to just one basket.

“That third quarter killed us,” Lockport coach Brett Hespell said.  We missed open shots and forgot about the big kid inside.”

The big kid, 6-8 senior Tommy Halatek, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. He was 6 of 8 shooting. Senior Jake Karli led the Porters with 17 points and Matt Hatzopoulos scored 10.

“We told them at halftime we are toe to toe with Simeon, what is there to blink about?” Hespell said. “They didn’t. They stuck with the game plan and the kid made a tough shot at the end. What are you going to do?”

Smith said it is unlikely star soph Ahamad Bynum plays again this week. He was in very briefly today. He injured his ankle a couple weeks ago against Curie.

“We need to look at his long-term health and not just worry about winning a game here,” Smith said.

St. Charles North 62, Danville 48: A shocking upset. Danville entered the game 11-0, seeded third in the tournament. The North Stars were 4-6. Before the game St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said his team had “played well in spurts” this season.

The game was never close. The North Stars jumped out to 12-3 lead and the Vikings never got closer than six.

“When we put it together we aren’t a bad basketball team,” Poulin said. “We’ve been good defensively all season.”

Connor Linke, a 6-9 junior, was a revelation. He finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds and was 8 for 10 from the field.

“He can play, we are trying to get him to be more assertive,” Poulin said. “He’s just looking for consistency and he is figuring it out. He’s smart, he’s athletic. He can finish with either hand. His best basketball is ahead of him. He’s going to be very good. He’s as coachable as they come so it will happen.”

Luke Scheffers and Lucas Helfen each scored 11 for the North Stars, which held Danville to just five points in the second quarters.

Sean Houpt scored 14 for the Vikings. Tevin Smith and Nathanael Hoskins nine points.

Curie 62, Joliet West 28: This one was never in doubt. DaJuan Gordon had 21 points, Justin Harmon 15 for the Condors.
New Trier 59, Plainfield North 55 OT: Sweat was pouring off Ciaran Brayboy and Spencer Boehm. New Trier’s talented bigs were clearly exhausted. There was one more possession to defend. Somehow, Plainfield North’s Colin O’Rourke managed to drain a high-pressure shot from a horrible angle behind the backboard. That sent the game to overtime…READ THE FULL STORY
Bloomington 68, Warren 55: The Blue Devils made them work for it, this was close for a long while. Chris Payton led the Purple Raiders with 19.
Benet 57, Manual 46: Colin Crothers had 19 and Kendrick Tchoua added 18 points.
Bloom 57, Pontiac 48
Oak Park 60, West Aurora 56

Kenwood 68, Thornwood 54: Lamond Johnson scored 17, but it isn’t really about the points with him.

Harlem 78, Normal U-High 76: Treye Tucker (30 points) and David Williams (28 points) post big totals.
Normal 52, Joliet Central 42: A lousy day for Joliet, both teams take it on the chin in Central IL.
Rock Island 39, Wheaton-Warrenville South 36

First round
Champaign Central 44, TF North 39: Cornelius Gilbert scored 18 for the Meteors, who head into the consolation bracket.
Arlington (TN) 59, Mt. Vernon 45
Belleville West 69, Cahokia 47: Lawrence Brazil III had 16 points, EJ Liddell added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Centralia 53, Marist 52: The RedHawks gave the host Orphans a real challenge.
Evanston vs. Germantown (TN), 9:15

Marian Catholic 58, Willowbrook 54: I was impressed with the Warriors in yesterday’s win against Richards and they delivered today but fell just short of pulling off the upset. Ahron Ulis scored 19 and Chris White had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Everett Stubblefield led Willowbrook with 17.
DePaul Prep 56, St. Charles East 44: Lance Mosley scored 21 for the Rams. This sets up just an excellent semifinal game against Marian Catholic.
Oswego East 66, St. Rita 55: RayJ Dennis scored 26 and grabbed eight boards. Ten players scored for the Mustangs, who were out-rebounded 32-18
Homewood-Flossmoor 34, Lincoln Park 33: Well, this might have been a painful watch. Issac Stanback scored 13 and RJ Ogom had 10.

Leo 69, Uplift 59: The Lions hold on to win. News that Fred Cleveland Jr. fouled out reached Pontiac quickly. DaChaun Anderson (22 points, 19 rebounds) and Kendale Anderson (19 points, 19 rebounds) picked up the slack. Markese Jacobs scored 24.
Bogan 75, Proviso East 58: Another massive game from Rashaun Agee. Bogan’s big had 29 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. If the Bengals win this thing does he become the Player of the Year leader?
Fenwick 73, Hillcrest 64: The Friars trailed by 11 at the half. Solomon Oraegbu had 25 points and Bryce Hopkins added 23. Lucas Kolovitz finished with 10 points and nine boards. Huge win for Fenwick. And this could set up a game against Young and DJ Steward…
Young 80, Morton 43: Well, Fenwick vs. DJ Steward is certainly an intriguing semifinal. Steward scored 22 in this one and Myles Baker added 17. Latik Murphy had 17 for the Mustangs, he’s been putting up numbers this season.

Fremd 66, Waukegan 60 2OT: The Vikings pull of an upset. Kayman Hopkins led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Tim Carlisle scored 15. Andre White had 20 for the Bulldogs.
Glenbrook South 68, Prospect 39: The magic runs out for the Knights. Wow, Dom Martinelli scored 32 for the Titans.
St. Viator 71, Deerfield 50: Trey Calvin has been overshadowed by his teammate Jeremiah Hernandez this season. Calvin has been super consistent though. He scored 36 in this one, was 8 for 9 from three-point range.
Geneva vs. Niles North, 8:45

Second Round
Conant 54, Providence 39: Devon Ellis and Raj Mittal each scored 17 for the Cougars.
St. Laurence 59, Hinsdale South 45: The Vikings were my pick to win this and that looks to be about the only York prediction going well for me. Jeremiah Williams is the name you type before even looking at the box score. That is how confident I am that he was the guy. Yep. Williams had 20 points and nine rebounds. Finn Walsh added 14.
St. Ignatius 51, Schaumburg 47 OT: The Wolfpack pulls it out. Christian Davis had 23 points and
York 60, Stagg 44: The Dukes cruise. They are one of the few good teams I haven’t seen yet this season. Nate Shockey scored 18 and Erik Cohn added 17.
Lyons 73, Metea Valley 38: Eye-opening score. Nolan Niego scored 20, Tyrese Shines had 14 and Grant Niego added 13.
Riverside-Brookfield 62, Naperville North 57: The Bulldogs put an end to Tom Welch’s run at York. R-B was 13 of 30 from three-point range. Andrew Veon scored 21 and Patrick Hanley had 20. Welch finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Wheaton North 44, Brother Rice 37: Rough day for the Loyola recruits. Deng Reng posted 19 points and 11 rebounds for Wheaton North and Jacob Schauer added 13. Marquise Kennedy scored 12 for the Crusaders.
Downers Grove South 48, Batavia 40: Sharpshooter Justin Eagins was just 1 for 7 from long range but still scored 23.




  • 67 Lion

    Leo did not hang on to win, they were up 4 when Cleveland fouled out. They went on to score 13 unanswered points to win going away

  • Tim

    DaChaun and Kendale Anderson – your table is ready.
    41 points and 38 rebounds combined.

  • Anthony Reeves

    Antonio Reeves had 12 points vs Lockport

  • Wscfantoo

    No mention of the 2 guards who kept Naperville in the game while Welch was ineffective? Lazy ‘reporting’. Wish LT was playing them to get to the final four.

    • Michael O'Brien

      You appear unclear on the concept. I’m just adding scores and highlights. I wasn’t at the game.

      • Leegs1

        Good job today.

      • George

        You mean to tell me that you can’t see what is going on in the gym at York, just because you are 120 miles away in Pontiac? Just for accuracy’s sake, the box score on the Jack Tosh website is slightly off for RB. Andrew Veon had 24 points not 21. The three free throws credited to Sam Grivetti should go to Andrew Veon. Sam played only briefly and never went to the free throw line. Also Patrick Hanley should have 22 points rather than 20. He was not given credit for two free throws at the end of the game. Zach Vaia received credit for two free throws which he did not deserve. The only time he went to the line, he missed the front end of a one and one.

        Summarizing for RB, it was Terry 4; Loury 0, but great defense on Welch; Hanley 22; Vaia 12; Veon 24. Hanley scored all his points in the second half and was six for six on threes.

    • reggie66


      Get a clue.

      • wscfantoo

        A clue abut what? Reporting relevant game facts? Find better minions to get the reports.

        • Basketball fan

          The clue is this… no one really cares what two guards (who aren’t stars of the team) did in a losing effort. The D1 player on NN is gonna get a mention since he’s the best player you got.

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