Michael O’Brien’s notebook: March 12, 2019

Curie's DaJuan Gordon (3) gives the coach a big hug after winning the ISHA super sectional against Simeon, Tuesday 03-12-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Curie's DaJuan Gordon (3) gives the coach a big hug after winning the ISHA super sectional against Simeon, Tuesday 03-12-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

The new Welsh-Ryan is really nice. I’d heard some high praise but didn’t figure it would feel so entirely different from the old one. I’m ready to bring the state finals to Evanston!

Senior-led Evanston survives Stevenson in OT: For five months, as his Wildkits rolled through the regular season, then the Regionals, then the Sectionals, Ryan Bost’s mind has been focused on a town 170 miles southwest of Evanston.
Tuesday night, Bost booked his trip back. Read the story.

Trevon Hamilton’s clutch three beats Simeon, sends Curie to Peoria: Curie guard Trevon Hamilton took the game’s crucial shot with 20 seconds left and the Condors trailing Simeon by two points. It was a three and he was wide open. The ball hit the rim and then just rested on the flat part that connects to the backboard. The ball waited, the crowd and both teams held their breath. And then it went in, a full three seconds after Hamilton let it fly. Read the story.

Tuesday’s games

Rockford East 70, Geneva 62: Wins against Benet and York during the regular season certainly proved that Rockford East could handle a disciplined team. Geneva has more firepower than those teams, but it still wasn’t enough. Sincere Parker scored 27. Mitch Mascari led the Vikings with 21.

Belleville West 72, Bolingbrook 60: EJ Liddell scored 17 and the Maroons take care of business. Half of the Class 4A field in Peoria is the same as last year. Kam Leonard led Bolingbrook with 13 points. Curie is up next for Belleville West. What a showdown that will be in the semis.

Peoria Manual 69, Glenbard South 52: Anyone that saw the Rams at Pontiac would not have expected them to advance to the state semifinals. But Class 3A is wild! Rolando Brown dropped 33 points and eight rebounds. Tommy Powers led Glenbard South with 15 points.

East St. Louis 56, Springfield Southeast: The Flyers gave Curie all it could handle back in November, so no surprise they will be in Peoria this weekend. Terrence Hargrove scored 22 points. I’ve been waiting three years to watch him play, it might be the thing I’m most looking forward to this weekend.

Bogan 68, Normal U-High 53: The Bengals finally get to state. Jordan Booker scored 23.



  • 50 year alum

    Mike watched your last minute of Curie / Simeon game. Saw pretty much an empty arena then talked to two people who attended they said the same.And you want to bring the state tourney there ha. No accessibility to Evanston terrible traffic where are people gonna stay. Arena nice but I don’t see many people willing to fight their way to get there. And if fans think the prices in Peoria are high if you had to stay a.nywhere in the city it would make Peoria look cheap! If that game would have been at UIC or even Chicago State attendance would have been much better. See that’s what happens when 2 teams from the south side play up north. Nobody really cares. State tournament should be rotated with different arenas being used. Buy never in Chicago too expensive too much traffic too much crime. Plus don’t forget about 10% sales tax on everything. We have venues all over the state to host tournament. Plus I’ve said super sectionals should be held In high school gyms. Proviso West, East Aurora Hinsdale Central were always packed when they had the supers. The IHSA has to take a look at making games more fan friendly instead of money.

    • Michael O'Brien

      No one expected two south side schools to draw a crowd at 7 pm in Evanston on a weeknight. You aren’t making any sense. I was shocked there were that many people there.

      • 50 year alum

        Exactly Mike why the IHSA would set those two sectionals to meet in Evanston all south side teams in one regional and almost for sure Public League winner from PW Sectional. When will the IHSA realize these arenas are not the best idea. Your paper has a lot of clout and should make a point about locations of Supers Enjoyed watching sectional at PW but myself like many other folks had no interest driving to Evanston especially on a Tuesday night. I remember going to UIC and Chicago State for supers so much easier to get to. Please speak up in your writing maybe the IHSA will take notice.For many years Hinsdale Central and East Aurora had great crowds even when Public League teams were there. My main point was making SS more accessible to everyone and please don’t suggest bringing the state finals to Northwestern. If you think crowds are small in Peoria this would be much worse

  • cps

    Go back to two class basketball. I really liked the one class best. Hebron that was something else.

    Alden-Hebron High School is the smallest school to win the Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship. In 1952, with an enrollment of 98 students, the boys team won the state title with an overtime victory over Quincy. … The town’s water tower is painted to look like a basketball in commemoration of the event.

    • Norm

      I agree but it’s never happening. It will probably go to 8 classes like football one day

      • cps

        I went to a small school at the time I was in HS, it was great to just win the District crown, even though was where demolished by a larger school. Also to go to a game a good small school against a larger school was a better game to watch then what they have now. If you want fans in the stands then give them those type of games. People are always looking for a total underdog against a year in year out winner then two teams that win are playing each other. It is like going out and watching your grass grow.

  • Lo

    Will the semi’s be televised? If so, what channel?

  • Lo

    Will the semi’s be televised? If so what channel?

  • Coach Mike

    Peoria Manual 4th place, unless Bogan don’t show Saturday. Bogan should win Friday. 3A is awful. I witnessed NIU Super Sectional. Awful!

    • Steve

      Manual had a couple players. 3 and 14. 10 is a good defender. Decent team defense. The team they played was not a good supersectional team.

      Rockford east looks like they will bring a crowd to peoria, they were the difference in getting them back in the game. If they play like they did in the second half they can beat anyone.

      Genevas shooter is really good, looked like a d1 prospect but then deferred way too much after the first 12 minutes. The pg struggled with rockfords length, speed and physicality. Have a feeling it was his worst game of the season as he was also obviously talented.

      • Coach Mike

        It was a physical game, but the McDonald kid played through it the best he could. Officials let them play. If they called the hold Defensively, that could have been a different outcome. East success is a good thing for the community. Evanston will be tough, but East says they are going to show up and give it a go.

        • Steve

          I agree the officials “let them play”. There was never a time during the game that rockford didnt have a straight arm somewhere on the hip, jersey, or backof the geneva player impeding his progress. Fouls even in the nba today. The coach of geneva needed to be more vocal. Especially considering they did not seem to be “letting them play” at any time east drove to the basket. Im not sure genevas best player touched a guy on any of his first three fouls. That said the better team won. East has several college players. Geneva has two. East is a more exciting team to watch because of that. But i agree geneva was in position to win that game if the refs werent “letting them play”. Both teams had great fans. Surprisingly rockfords were better.

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