Uplift big man Toraze Dobbs(6-4, 190lbs, so, C/F, #5) is all smiles as the two teams wait for a free throw.
Uplifts Blasts Mundelein to start 3-0
If you read the local papers, all the ink is about Morgan Park, Simeon, Whitney Young, Curie, and Kenwood. Not a peep at all about Uplift. It's not like Uplift didn't accomplish anything last year. They advanced to the CPS semi-finals and the WON STATE in class 2A. Maybe it is because they don't have much expectations of Uplift because they graduated all 5 starters from their state championship team.
So, I traveled upto Mundelein to watch Uplift play the hosts of their own Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament to see what was up with this year's version of Uplift. I'll tell you what, I was pleasantly surprised.
Eye Test First of all, during their warm ups it was obvious they looked the part. They looked like ballers. I saw a team filled with athletic looking tall guys most of which were between 6-1 and 6-5. They were lean, fast, and can really move and shoot. About 1/3 of the guys had dreads.
Fast Start When the game started I immediately knew this team was all business. They jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. Their first 8 points were all a product of steals- 2 of them were slam dunks. They start a freshman point guard named Davarion Jacobs(5-11,172lbs, fr, PG) - brother of star Demetrius Jacobs(6-3, 170lbs, jr; G/W). Also starting was Toraze Dobbs(so, 6-4, 190lbs, F/C), Elliot Gongora(6-4, 169lbs, F/W, jr), and #13 Jamal Hanson(6-1,172lbs, sr).
A lof of people know Demetrius Jacobs for his key role off the bench on last year's state championship team and is the teams leading scorer. But I think as time goes by more people will hear of Hanson. He is super quick, athletic and can score. He is only 6-1 but I saw him grab a rebound about 1 foot above the rim, take two dribbles, then made a perfect 3/4 court pass to a teammate that led to a fast break lay up.
Relentless Uplift led 20-4 at the end of the first quarter and 48-15 at the half. I would estimate over 2/3 of their points were either slam dunks, layups, or very short shots. Characteristic of Uplift is their relentless defensive pressure that causes multiple turnovers and easy baskets on the other end. Depite being up by 33 at the half, they still played their starters most of the second half. Coach David Taylor likes to keep the pressure on teams.
I am not ready to crown any titles on Uplift just yet. All I know is they have started 3-0 with wins over Elk Grove, Mundelien, and Fremd. Elk Grove and Fremd are good programs and both finished in the upper half in the Mid Suburban League last year.
The press does not talk a lot about Uplift, but in a way, I think they like it that way. They remind me of Michigan State's football team. The media loves talking about Ohio State and Michigan, but all MSU did this year was beat both of them.
Top returning player is Darnell Latham(Rank) Darnell Latham(6-4, SF, Class of 2016) from Prosser already has 4 D1 offers. Prosser plays in the Red-North. With state champion Uplift graduating 5 senior starters- a school like Prosser has an opportunity to steal some of the spotlight. It will help with talent like Latham. (DL photo).Offers: Loyola, Chicago State, Idaho, DePaul
Two New Guards From The Red West Jakeenan Martin Class Of 2017 5'8 And His Brother Jaquan Martin Class Of 2017 5'11 Are Both Bringing Their Red West Talent To Prosser To Help Darnell Out To Win City And State This Year... Martin Bros Has Great Defense Players And And Good Scorers
Top Teams In The Red North Is Von Steuben, Uplift, Prosser.
Keep a look on these three guards from Prosser: darnell lathem, jaquan martin, jakeenan martin.
Ibrahim Dosunmu(sr, 6-6, C/F, #5) of Lincoln Park battles for a rebound versus Loyola
Lincoln Park 49 Loyola 40
Lincoln Park opened with a 49-40 win over Loyola in the opening game of the Loyola/New Trier boys basketball Thanksgiving Tournament.
Lincoln's Park defense held Loyola to only 6 points in the first quarter as Lincoln Park led 12-6 after the first quarter. Loyola managed to take a brief 1 point lead in the 3rd quarter then their 3 point shooting kept them in the game for most of the 2nd half. But this was a game that Lincoln Park had the lead for most of the game.
Lincoln's Park's cause was aided by the three point shooting of 6-6 junior guard Hamza Gocobiya(G, 6-6, jr) who was 3 of 6 shooting from the 3 point range and he made a key reverse layup in the closing minutes to help Lincoln Park pull away. Ibrahim Dosunmu(sr, 6-6, C/F, #5) made some big plays rebounding and scoring inside to help Lincoln Park in the key 4th quarter.
Lincoln Park was playing without the services of Amari Freeman(6-6, sr) who was on the bench for undisclosed reasons in street clothes. Freeman, an all city Wide Receiver on the Lions football team is expected to contribute to the basketball team.
In defense of Loyola, they were missing a couple players who are still playing on the Loyola football team. The football team is playing this week in the class 8A state football championship.
I was not that impressed with highly touted Loyola freshman Andre White Jr. (fr, PG). White- a star in 8th grade- made his high school debut as the starting point guard for Loyola. While he shows a lot of quickness and good shooting, I felt he still has a lot to develop at the high school level. Lincoln Park point guard Marco Lewis(5-8, PG, jr) played good defense on White. He caused White to some awkward shots and just average field goal shooting.
In a wide open year for the Red North, I feel Lincoln Park is a solid team and could improve on their 4-5 conference record from last year.
Offense QB Quayvon Skanes, Phillips, Sr. RB Chris Baldwin, Curie, Sr. RB Kamari Mosby, Phillips, Jr. WR Amari Freeman, Lincoln Park, Sr. WR Phillip Powell, King, Sr. WR Andre Johnson, North Lawndale, Sr. KR Matthew Cole, Curie, Sr. KR Travis Powell, Raby, Sr. OL Keevin Agee, Simeon, Sr. OL Alfredo Camargo, Curie, Sr. OL Irie Evans, Payton, Sr. OL Daurice Lee, Phillips, Jr. OL Jayvion Brown, Hyde Park, Sr. K Isaac Reyes, Solorio, Sr.
Defense DL Chris Elmore, Phillips, Jr. DL Amir Watts, Phillips, Sr. DL Malik Haynes, Raby, Jr. DL Jalen Dora, Robeson, Jr. LB Kywante Shumake, Harper, Sr. LB Amani Jones, Phillips, Sr. LB Mike Kalanik, Payton, Sr. DB Patrick Carney, King, Sr. DB Octavious Dandridge, Solorio, Jr. DB Donald Gardner, Phillips, Sr. DB Hakeem Adebimpe, Perspectives-Calumet, Sr. P Garvey Gregory, Lindblom, Sr. PR D’Evian West, DuSable, Jr.
2015 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League Honorable Mention Team
Offense QB Wendell Anderson, North Lawndale RB Ke’Vaughn Chappell, Young RB Joshua Land, Lincoln Park TE Raymond Abraham, Hubbard WR Demitri Gray, Lindblom WR Jakini Larry, Urban Prep-West OL Alfred Evans, Washington OL Craig Collins, Michelle Clark OL Tyrone Campbell, Julian OL Jamal Gibson, Urban Prep-Englewood OL Malcolm Beason, Lindblom KR Andrew Jamerson, Douglass KR Milan Netisingha, Westinghouse KR Tyree Austin, Hyde Park K Jonah Abrahms, Lincoln Park
Defense DL Kahari Springfield, DuSable DL Ellis Bobbitt, Young DL Marcus Stallworth, Orr DL Ed Nova, Phoenix LB Emmanual Owusu, Lindblom LB Emmanuel Barber, Orr LB Savion Washington, South Shore DB Devon Myles, Westinghouse DB TJ Steel, Hyde Park DB Ricky Powell, Jr., Douglass DB Kendred Belk, Young P Abdollah Abraham, Taft PR George Franklin, Hope PR Rickey Luckett, Vocational
Chicago Football Coaches Association All Conference 2015
Offense OL Alfredo Camargo, Curie OL Tyrone Campbell, Julian OL Jamal Gibson, Urban Prep-Englewood OL Irie Evans, Payton OL Daurice Lee, Phillips WR Phillip Powell, King WR Andre Johnson, North Lawndale RB Joshua Land, Hubbard RB Chris Baldwin, Curie RB Kamari Mosby, Phillips QB Wendell Anderson, North Lawndale QB Quayvon Skanes, Phillips K Isaac Reyes, Solorio ATH Matthew Cole, Curie ATH Travis Powell, Raby
Defense DL Chris Elmore, Phillips DL Amir Watts, Phillips DL Malik Haynes, Raby DL Jalen Dora, Robeson LB Amani Jones, Phillips LB Anthony Watson, Curie LB Mike Kalanik, Payton LB Raymond Abraham, Hubbard DB Patrick Carney, King DB Octavious Dandridge, Solorio DB Donald Gardner, Phillips DB Hakeem Adebimpe, Perspectives-Calumet P Abdollah Ahmad, Taft ATH Rickey Luckett, Vocational ATH Kywante Shumake, Harper
Offense OL Alfred Evans, Westinghouse OL Craig Collins, Clark OL Emilio Ducker, Washington OL Jayvion Brown, Hyde Park OL Malcolm Beason, Lindblom WR Amari Freeman, Lincoln Park WR Demitri Gary, Lindblom WR Jakini Larry, Urban Prep-West QB Martese Pope, Douglass RB Ke’Vaughn Chappell, Young K Jonah Abrahms, Lincoln Park ATH Andrew Jamerson, Douglass ATH Lonzell Easton, DuSable ATH Tyree Austin, Hyde Park ATH Milan Netisingha, Westinghouse.
Defense DL Kahari Springfield, DuSable DL Ellis Bobbitt, Young DL Marcus Stallworth, Orr DL Ed Nova, Phoenix LB Miles Baggett, Young LB Emmanual Owusu, Lindblom LB Savion Washington, South Shore LB Emmanuel Barber, Orr DB Devon Myles, Westinghouse DB TJ Steel, Hyde Park DB Ricky Powell, Jr., Douglass DB Kendred Belk, Young P Garvey Gregory, Lindblom ATH George Franklin, Hope ATH D’Evian West, DuSable
Offense OL Zachary Zuniga, Juarez OL Christopher Twyman, Goode OL Josh Vega, Pritzker OL Tyree Bouric, Carver OL Keiyon Walton, Bulls WR Nick Perez, North Grand WR Theo Poole Jr., DRW WR Robert McIntee, Carver QB Elijah Cortez, Pritzker RB Steven Sago, Bulls K Salvador Sandoval, Juarez ATH Thomas Durr, Marine ATH Justin Solomon, Bronzeville ATH Chrishon Mahone, Chicago Academy ATH Jeremiah Harris, Back of the Yards
Defense DL Nick Ruvalcaba, Marine DL Anthony Cruz, North Grand DL Jahquon McFarland, Bronzeville DL Dedrick Wilborn, Chicago Academy LB Kyle Cooper, Gary Comer LB Davin Knox, Hansberry LB Jaylan Cooper, Prosser DB Charles Hines, Goode DB Christian Skerrett, Prosser DB Cabi McNickles, Back of the Yards DB James Boykin, Baker ATH Walter Russell, Comer ATH Keith Jones, Hansberry
1. Morgan Park 2. Simeon 3. Fenwick 4. Riverside-Brookfield 5. Kenwood 6. Bogan 7. Evanston 8. Curie 9. Marian Catholic 10. Bradley-Bourbonnais 11. St. Joseph 12. Lincoln-Way West 13. Notre Dame 14. Young 15. Oak Park-River Forest 16. Joliet West 17. Stevenson 18. Bolingbrook 19. Downers Grove South 20. St. Ignatius 21. Crete-Monee 22. Niles West 23. Larkin 24. Marshall 25. North Chicago
Quayvon Skanes scored a 64 yard touchdown run on the 2nd play of the game for Phillips to set the tone. Minutes later Skanes scored on a 34 yard run. Marengo - fired up with the help of 11 busloads of its fans- brought the score to 14-7 after a 6 yard touchdown run by Jarrin Jackson half way through the quarter. After that it was all Phillips. Phillips was up 47-7 at the half. Convincing win by Phillips over previously undefeated Marengo.
Class 4A State Football Semi-Finals Marengo at Phillips, Gately Stadium 5:00pm
Phillips is #1, Marengo is #2. Both teams are undefeated at 12-0. The Phillips defense has been stellar the entire year and in the playoffs. In three state playoff games they have given up only one score in each game winning games 41-7, 28-6, and 24-7. The latest was a 24-7 win over perennial football power Geneseo in the quarterfinals. Marengo got by previously undefeated Rockford Lutheran 38-28 in the quarterfinals. In that game, Marengo "limited" Rockford Lutheran star running back James Robinson to 116 yards rushing. I say limited because Robinson normally runs for a lot more as he is the state's career rushing leader. Marengo's cause was helped by 9 Rockford Lutheran fumbles.
Phillips has a speedy two headed rushing attack led by quarterback Quayvon Skanes(sr, QB) a Conneticut recruit and junior running back Kamari Mosby(jr, RB). Both are very fast and shifty and capable of scoring a touchdown every time they touch the ball. In Phillips regular season win against Catholic school Carmel, the pair had a combined 260 yards rushing in the first half alone.
Marengo has a balanced offensive attack led by running back Jarren Jackson and wide receiver Craiton Nice. Nice had 187 yards receiving on 9 catches in their win over Rockford Lutheran.
The key for Phillips is to stop Nice and the Marengo passing attack. In last year's state championship game, Rochester torched Phillips on numerous big gain passing plays. Phillips has not really faced a powerful passing team all year long. Marengo may provide them their biggest test in the pass defense.
I see a 28-14 type of game with Phillips advancing to their 2nd straight state championship.
St. Rita vs Carmel Friday 6:00pm,Friday, 11/20 @ Gately Look for Mt. Carmel to win big as the Caravan already beat St. Rita 35-14 during the regular season.
Curie vs Simeon Saturday 11/21, 12pm @ Gately for the City Championship "They played in week 5, Simeon won 33-21. It was a tale of two halves and going into halftime Curie was up 14-0. Great game on both side, but Curie was pretty much non-existent in the second half as they hadn't been tested up to that point and had a running clock by halftime in the previous 4 games. Should be a great match up again as Simeon is beatable and Curie has been tested more as the season has gone on." Curie is still buzzing after their hard fought 42-41 loss to Warren in the first round of the state playoffs. Simeon looks to bounce back after their playoff loss to Batavia.
Pritzker won the Inter-City 3 conference with an undefeated 9-0 record. They beat Bulls College Prep in the inaugural Noble Bowl pitting Noble School Conference champions. The Inter-City 3 is an all Noble School conference. Pritzker is playing at a level above all the schools in its conference. I would love it if they considered moving up to a Chicago Conference.
Ahmad Bradshaw starred for Brooks as a quarterback for the football team and in track.
He now starts at quarterback at Army as a sophomore. "I'm proud to represent Chicago and my country," said Bradshaw a Bronzeville native who played for the Mighty Men Youth football league in grade school.
Class 4A Quarterfinals Phillips 24 Geneseo 7 Phillips took a 17-0 lead to take control of the game. Phillips defense was dominant as they held Geneseo to only 7 points. Defensive line was stout as Geneseo could not move the ball almost the entire game. Phillips even made a field goal. Phillips faces undefeated Marengo next in the semi-finals. The game will be played at Gately. Marengo beat the high powered offense of Rockford Lutheran 38-28 in their quarterfinal game. Class 4A defending champion Rochester lost their state quarterfinal game to Belleville Althoff.