Looking back at the 2018-19 basketball season

Curie takes 3rd place in 4A state championship at Peoria Civc Center in Peoria IL, Saturday 03-16-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

A high school basketball season is always full of surprises and breakout players. Here is a short list of a few of the biggest from the 2018-2019 season.

Biggest surprises

Curie. Yes, coach Mike Oliver’s program is one of the most successful in Illinois. But no one expected a 35-2 record, third-place finish in Class 4A and city and Pontiac Holiday Tournament titles.

York. The Dukes expected to push towards a 20-win season and challenge in the West Suburban Silver. But coach Vince Doran’s team more than eclipsed that, getting close to 30 wins with a school record 29 victories. The memorable season included a regional and holiday tournament title.

Glenbrook South. The best season in 13 years for the Titans included 24 wins and an early season win over Evanston.

Stevenson. With just one key senior contributor, the Patriots came out of nowhere to finish 27-6 and captured regional and sectional titles.

Schaumburg. Behind the rise of 6-8 sophomore Chris Hodges (16 ppg) and the consistent production from seniors Heze Trotter (12.3 ppg) and Michael Hodges (16.2 ppg), the Saxons won 23 games and a regional championship.

St. Laurence. Jeremiah Williams emerged as a stat-sheet-stuffing star in the junior class and the Vikings put together an impressive 27-6 record.

 

Unsigned seniors who enhanced their stock

Rashaun Agee, Bogan. The 6-7 Agee went from an up-and-down junior season to an all-state season as a senior and a player of the year contender. Agee led Bogan to its first trip to the state finals, averaging 19.3 points and 12.9 rebounds a game.

Tujautae Williams, Orr. The long, wiry, athletic 6-5 guard led Orr to a state title and has a surplus of offers on the table.

Antonio Reeves, Simeon. After transferring back to Chicago from Arizona, the 6-5 guard put up 21 points a game. He will be taking an official visit to Illinois State this weekend as his recruitment begins to pick up.

 

Breakout junior

Dom Martinelli, Glenbrook South

There are bigger names and higher-ranked prospects in the Class of 2020, but the impact of Martinelli was off the charts in leading the Titans to a 24-win season. The 6-4 forward averaged 24.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game while shooting 65 percent from the field and 84 percent from the line.

Breakout sophomore

• Bryce Hopkins, Fenwick

After playing very minimal minutes at the varsity level as a freshman last season, the 6-5 Hopkins exploded on the scene as a sophomore. The versatile wing picked up multiple high-major offers while piling up impressive numbers: 22 points and seven rebounds a game and shot 40 percent from the three-point line. Hopkins had six 30-plus point games.

Breakout freshman

• Kam Craft, Buffalo Grove

The big-names at Simeon — AJ Casey and Jaylen Drane — remain the best prospects in the Class of 2022. However, the numbers speak for themself when it comes to Craft. The 6-4 skilled guard broke out in a big way as he put up a whopping 20.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game while knocking down 65 three-pointers.

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