Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Feb. 9, 2019

Carmel coach Zack Ryan watches his team play summer ball against Antoch High School Friday afternoon at CLC's campus in Grayslake. Sun-Times file photo.
Carmel coach Zack Ryan watches his team play summer ball against Antoch High School Friday afternoon at CLC's campus in Grayslake. Sun-Times file photo.

Instead of my usual intro ramblings I’d like to point everyone to Joe Aguilar’s story in the Daily Herald about Carmel coach Zack Ryan. It’s heartbreaking stuff. I think it is safe to say we will all be rooting for the Corsairs down the stretch run. So sorry for your loss Zack.

Carmel’s Zack Ryan carries on after mother’s mysterious death: She never showed up.Which had to be more worrisome than strange, because why would Kathleen Ryan miss an opportunity to watch her son Zack coach his Carmel Catholic varsity boys basketball team and then visit her three small grandchildren? No phone call. No text message. Nothing. But just a couple of days after Lake County authorities confirmed that the body found inside a burning car near Gurnee was, in fact, Kathleen Ryan, Zack Ryan returned to the basketball court in Mundelein. Read the story.

I was very impressed with Waubonsie Valley tonight. Jason Mead’s team has backbone.

Eric Cannon, Waubonsie Valley grab signature win against Oswego East: It’s easy to imagine the pride and satisfaction that Waubonsie Valley senior Eric Cannon must have felt on Saturday when the fans rushed the court to celebrate the Warriors’ 67-61 win against Oswego East. Cannon, a varsity player since his freshman year, has worked hard for that moment and at times it must have felt extremely unlikely. Read the story.

Unheralded Crystal Lake South beats Dundee-Crown, holds on to first in Fox Valley: No one expected Crystal Lake South to be leading the Fox Valley conference in February. The Gators weren’t a preseason favorite and were totally overlooked in the preseason. Turns out their terrific season isn’t a result of an unknown senior turning into a monster scorer or a young player stepping up and leading the varsity. According to senior Matt Reall, who made the game-winning free throws in Crystal Lake South’s 49-47 win against visiting Dundee-Crown on Saturday, it is primarily down to a mindset. Read the story.

Fillip Bulatovic, Essam Hamwi powering Maine South’s surge at the perfect time: Fascinating storylines abound on a Maine South team rapidly surging towards contender status. First-generation players from Serbia, Ukraine, Syria and Thailand all on the same roster. A star guard putting up massive numbers at center. Two wins in a week’s span against Red-West/North teams, in a winter noted for its exceptional Chicago Public League domination. All told, Hawks coach Tony Lavorato has his team red-hot at the perfect time. On Saturday, they extended their winning streak to six straight with a pull-away 60-40 victory over Crane. Read the story.

Saturday’s top games

Stevenson 47, Highland Park 17: The Patriots only allowed four points in the second half. That’s something. They are 21-3 now.

Downers Grove South 72, Willowbrook 68: Two teams that have impressed me this season. the Mustangs have been more consistent, but both should be tough outs in the playoffs.

Fremd 56, Prospect 47: Bryce Hopkins scored 16. This one could happen again in the MSL title game I believe.

Oak Park 54, York 52: The Huskies win the conference. Josh Smith scored 15 and Anthony Roberts 14. This is one of several results this weekend that will scramble the rankings. Tomorrow is going to be a head-scratcher.

Glenbrook South 82, Hinsdale Central 74 3 OT: 12 minutes of overtime, oh my. Dom Martinelli scored 39.

New Trier 57, Racine Case 55: The shorthanded Trevians win in Wisconsin. Spencer Boehm scored 22 and Peter Burnside added 15.

St. Viator 51, Lake Zurich 41: Trey Calvin is back and the Lions win their 20th of the season.

Mundelein 56, Schurz 55: Sophomore Conor Enright led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Schaumburg 57, Von Steuben 38: That is nine in a row for the Saxons. They host Fremd on Friday, winner clinches the MSL West.

Lincoln Park 58, Lake Forest Academy 40: Big news. Romelle Howard is back. The 6-8 junior is the Lions’ top college prospect. He’s eligible for the first time this season and made an instant impact with 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Ismail Habib led Lincoln Park with 20 points and six assists.

Waupun, WI 85, Providence-St. Mel 73: The Knights lose in Racine Deion Jackson scored 23.

West Aurora 59, Plainfield East 55: Hezekiah Salter dropped 22 points and nine rebonds. The Blackhawks are 23-4.

Homewood-Flossmoor 102, Westinghouse 75: There were some crazy high scoring games this weekend. Not sure what to make of that.

SATURDAY’S FULL SCOREBOARD

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