Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Feb. 8, 2019

New Trier's Sam Silverstein (20) gets big dunk in the first half, Thursday 12-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times
New Trier's Sam Silverstein (20) gets big dunk in the first half, Thursday 12-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

So Notre Dame at St. Patrick was more fun than the Battle of Vincennes or Young vs. Orr this season. Also beat out the Battle of Pulaski. Who would have thought that? There was just a fantastic atmosphere at St. Patrick. It had been a few years since I’d seen this game but it is time to get it back on the calendar.

Austin Freeman is having an excellent senior season for the Shamrocks and has made himself a serious contender for the All-City team.

It was a busy night so best to get to all the action. I’ll be back in Crystal Lake on Saturday for a Fox Valley matinee. The Gators host Dundee-Crown. Then I’ll head down to Aurora to see Oswego East at Waubonsie Valley.

St. Patrick beats Notre Dame, Austin Freeman is the hero: A sold-out gym on Belmont. Two loud, surging student sections hurling chants back and forth. And it isn’t just general sports chanting, it’s the kind of biting stuff that only kids that grow up together know about. These are not ideal conditions in which to step to the free throw line with the game on the line. St. Patrick guard Austin Freeman was not fazed. The senior had been pulling the strings throughout the game. He calmly drained two free throws with 3.4 seconds left to give the Shamrocks a 40-38 win against visiting Notre Dame on Friday. Read the story.

Nikko Landon, Bennett Kwiecinski lead Loyola past St. Ignatius to win Jesuit Cup: Loyola senior Nikko Landon got off the team bus at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Friday night with a new mindset. The Ramblers, minus injured leader Connor Barrett, had lost three in a row. Landon decided Friday’s 43rd annual Jesuit Cup matchup against St. Ignatius — a game charged with emotion and meaning for both programs — was the moment things needed to change. The senior guard scored 16 points and eight rebounds, set up 6-8 big man Bennett Kwiecinski on many of his game-high eight baskets and helped Loyola scrape out a 56-46 win. Read the story.

Friday’s top games

Bolingbrook 71, Stagg 49: Tyler Cochran scores 20 and grabs 12 rebounds. Appears he is rounding into shape after his injury. He was on a pretty impressive run before he was hurt I believe.

Oak Forest 58, Lemont 33: Dominant win. Oak Forest is 20-4 and I’m looking forward to getting out to see them this month. Jayson Kent scored 22 and Robbie Avila added 14.

Rich Central 83, Rich South 61: Big game for Tyrice Rogers with 30 points.

Maine South 47, Glenbrook South 44: The Hawks have won five in a row. This one was in Glenview, so that is even more impressive.  Fillip Bulatovic had 26 points and eight rebounds. Ben Pope will be in Park Ridge tomorrow to see the Hawks take on Crane.

Marian Catholic 77, Benet 68: The Spartans were in control the whole way in this one. Jordan Green scored 26 and Ahron Ulis had 23. Chris White added 17. This was in Lisle but Will Engels didn’t play for the Redwings. Kendrick Tchoua scored 16.

Prospect 63, Buffalo Grove 54: The Knights clinch the MSL East. Jon Kreidler scored 25 points. Prospect will host the MSL title game on Feb. 20. They will get the winner of next Friday’s Fremd-Schaumburg game.

Lyons 78, Hinsdale Central 67: Plenty of great rivalry games tonight. Josh Berry scored a season-high 29 for the Lions and Nolan Niego added 16.

Waukegan 58, Lake Forest 45: Bryant Brown scored 21, three other Bulldogs were in double digits. Waukegan has won nine in a row.

Schaumburg: 55, Hoffman Estates: 42: The Saxons are also on a roll, this is eight in a row.

Oak Park 53, Glenbard West 45: Chase Robinson scored 19 and Anthony Roberts had 15. Congrats to Matt Maloney who picks up his 200th win.

Providence-St. Mel 56, Providence 49: The kings of Class 1A pull it out in New Lenox. Taeyon Neal delivered with 15 points, eight rebounds and four picks. TJ Ervin added 13.

Oswego East 67, Oswego 58: The Wolves win the rivalry game and improve to 19-6.

St. Rita 71, Leo 54: Dominant win for the Mustangs, who might be Super 25 bound if someone in the rankings loses. Javon Cooley and Jeremiah Oden have both been posting some numbers lately. Cooley had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Oden scored 18.

Thornton 63, Lincoln-Way Central: 40: Tai Streets’ Wildcats have been under the radar all season but are on a nice roll now. Jaylin Short had 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Tyrell Middernoff added 13 points.

Romeoville 68, Minooka 53: Had to get this one in, Destin Whitaker scored 37 for the Spartans.

West Aurora 103, Streamwood 93: Look at this score. My goodness. Marquise Walker led the Blackhawks with 27 and Keenan Cole scored 40 for Streamwood.

York 70, Downers Grove North 54: The Dukes have been ranked fairly high for about two months now but maybe they are still underrated. Nate Shockey scored a career-high 27.

Niles North 44, New Trier 40: Ciaran Brayboy did not play in this one. He picked up a concussion last weekend. Sounds like he’s improving and will return sooner or later. The Trevians suffered a devastating injury in this game though. Senior Sam Silverstein, one of the season’s breakout players, is done for the season. Sam’s dad Rich Silverstein says that Sam broke his wrist and got a concussion when he was fouled on a dunk. Rich said that wishes keep pouring in from teammates and rivals, which is great to hear. Rough end to the season for Sam and another tough break for a Trevians team that was playing really well.

St. Charles East 44, St. Charles North 40: Hmm. The run and gun Upstate Eight rivals are in a new conference and seem to be adhering to its’ much lower scoring ways….concerning.

Cary-Grove 46, Crystal Lake Central 30: The first matchup between these two teams was one of the better games I’ve seen this season. The result is flipped this time. A bit surprised by the margin.

Bloom 65, Rich East 58: The Blazing Trojans pull it out. Dante Maddox Jr. scored 19 and Emani Burgess added 12 points.

FRIDAY’S FULL SCOREBOARD

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