Lane 48 Mt. Carmel 47 Lane's Marques Barnes hits two free throw near the end of the game to win it for Lane. Rare Lane win over Mt. Carmel (In basketball and in any sport). Big opening season win for a Lane team that was 8-19 last season. Mt. Carmel was 24-8 and won the Catholic League South last year.
Lincoln Park 78 New Trier 62 2nd year in a row that Lincoln Park has beaten New Trier.
Perrick "Moon" Robinson took over as the new Head Boys Basketball Coach at Prosser. Despite all the rumors, former coach Julian Murray resigned this summer to aide his wife, spend time with more family, and his new born baby boy. Murray did a quality job with the program after taking over for Coach Bates and keeping Prosser competitive in the Red-North division.
Robinson was one of the top point guards in the city when he played for Prosser. He started out college ball at D1 Bowling Green State University.
Red North Teams 2016-17 (last year's record) Uplift (8-2, 19-8) Lincoln Park (6-4, 15-12) Prosser (6-4, 12-14) Von Steuben (5-5, 12-14) Lane Tech(3-7, 8-19) Taft(10-0 (white north), 15-11)
Payton's football program is on the rise as Payton advanced to the CPS football semi-finals for the first time in school history. Now they hope to elevate some of their indoor sports as Payton will have a new gym this year.:
This is a much needed upgrade. Their old gym, for those who have seen it was cramped and was akin to a small multi-purpose gym of an elementary school. In addition to the gym, Payton has added other facilities. This will increase their enrollment by a couple hundred students. With a great location- improved facilities - there is every reason to believe that Payton will continue to improve its sports programs.
Payton's boys basketball team won the Blue-North basketball team last year and will be elevated to the White-North where they will play with the likes of Foreman, Mather, Schurz, and others.
Uplift will play an enhanced schedule this year. To start off with, they will no longer play in the Mundelien Thanksgiving Tournament. Instead they will be in the Tournament of Champions in downstate Illinois. They open the season in that tournament against Marmiom on 11/23. They play host Washington on Black Friday. Uplift also plays in the Midwest Showdown Shootout in December in Missouri. On December 3rd, they will play in the Chicago Elite Classic at UIC on December 3rd where they will face defending Missiouri state champions Chaminade.
Tournament organizers like the promise of this Uplift team that features new Kansas recruit Markese Jacobs(so, G) and his brother Demarius Jacobs(sr, G)- who committed to SIU last week.
A north side boys basketball team has not been getting this kind of pre-season hype since maybe of the good Foreman and Von Steuben teams from 10+ years ago.
Markese Jacobs(so, PG, 5-9) of Uplift picked up offers from Kansas and the University of Illinois. More offers will be coming as Jacobs is only a sophomore. I got a chance to watch the Jacobs play last year as a freshman starter for Uplift. At first he was hard to notice because he is only 5-9 and my eyes were on his brother Demarius Jacobs(6-3,sr, G)who himself is a D1 recruit. But as the game went on, I could not help but notice his play and athleticism. Playing with all older players he easily blended into the Uplift flow known for their ferocious defense. Jacobs went onto average over 18 points per game for Uplift- who won state two years ago. Markese and his brother Demarius are a big reason why Uplift IS the team in the northside and a team to watch in the talent rich CPS and maybe even beyond.
UPDATE- Jacobs has verbally committed to Kansas over the weekend.
Calvin Keys(6-5,G/SF; jr to be) of Lane Tech is getting some buzz as he plays in summer leagues and AAU basketball. The scoop on Keys is that he has an evolving post game, a very high basketball IQ, high GPA, and I'm sure that his 6-5 6-6 frame helps.
It's still too early but I'm hearing that he is getting some interest from mid level college progams and maybe even some Ivy League schools.
Dolapo Oliyinka( 6-4, 171lbs, F, sr to be) of Mather picked up an offer from Chicago State University. The 6-4 forward picks up his first offer. I've seen Oliyinka in action. He's been a starting forward for Mather since his sophomore year. He is super athletic and has hops. I also am familiar with him in track and field. He dominated the jumps in the 2015 CPS sophomore meet where he won the triple jump and took second in the high jump and long jump. He triple juped 40-3 as a sophomore.
Lane Tech decided they will be playing at the 52nd Annual Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament. Lane used to play at Luther North but a few years ago, they decided to play at the much bigger York tournament. The results were disastrous as wins were rare and blowouts were common.
I feel the Luther North Tournament is a better fit for Lane. Lane will actually have a chance at Luther North. There will be some tough teams like Maine East, Lindblom, Jones, and Oak Forest. These are teams more at Lane's level. There will also be some interesting north side schools in the Tournament like Payton, rival Taft, and Northside Prep.
Curie won its first state championship in boys basketball after ii knocked off 65-59 Benet in the Class 4A state title game. Curie salvaged what has been a state tournament filled with most of the top CPS teams getting upset. Hales beat Orr in Class 2A, Lincoln Way-West beat Morgan Park in the super sectionals in Class 3A, and Benet upset Simeon in the Class 4A semi-finals.
Curie is making strides as a sports program. Last fall Curie upset Simeon in the city championship football game. Now, they won state in boys basketball. The talk in the south side is usually Morgan Park and Simeon when it comes to basketball and football. The Curie Condors are taking stage this year.
Class 2A Uplift 73 Christ the King 69 #1 seed Uplift wards off an upset from Christ the King
Orr 58 DePaul 58 Orr handles DePaul on DePaul's court to set up much anticipated battle this Friday between Uplift this Friday at DePaul for the Sectional Finals.
Harper 54 University 44 After upsetting #2 seed Robeson in the Regional Finals, Harper upsets #4 seed University. Harper looks for a 3rd straight upset as they face Hales this Friday for the Sectional Final.
Class 3A North Lawndale 35 Bulls 15 North Lawndale gives up a scant 15 points.
Westinghouse 69 Payton 41 The wins sets up a Red-North showdown vs Farragut in the Regional Finals at Nazareth this Friday.
Class 4A Boys Basketball Regional Game at Curie Lane 61 Jones 60- OT Danny Colombo ties the game with a bucket to force overtime. Lane wins it in OT paced by Colombo's 22 points. Lane plays Curie next.
Other scores Von Steuben 82 Kennedy 60 Mather 68 Steinmetz 52
Uplift graduated all 5 starters from it's state championship team last year yet still managed to win the improved Red-North and look to advance to at least the Sectional Finals.
Class 2A River Grove Regional Final- Boys Basketball
Uplift 77 North Shore Country Day 44
Uplift wins another regional crown after dominating North Shore Country Day. The defending class 2A state champions move on to the DePaul sectional semi-finals this Tuesday vs #2 seed Christ the King. I expect Uplift to quickly dispose of them. Then it will be off to the sectional finals versus either Catholic League power DePaul or ranked CPS hopeful Orr Friday at DePaul. Uplift's biggest wins this year have come against Elk Grove, Warren, Fremd, and Lincoln Park. But the young Titans have come up a bit short when they face some tougher competition in close losses to Proviso East, Hillcrest, and Oak Park-River Forest. Uplift is still trying to put it all together after graduating all 5 starters from their state championship team. Uplift starts a freshman, a sophomore, and three juniors. They are led in scoring by brothers Demarius and Davarion Jacobs(fr). Davarion starts at point guard and has a hihg 15.5 ppg scoring average.
Morgan Park is the #1 team in the area and the #1 seed in the St. Laurence Sectional. North Lawndale is a #2 seed in the Westinghouse Sectional. Though NLCP has to go into the state series with a lot of confidence after playing Morgan Park tough in the CPS playoffs.
Westinghouse vs Lincoln Park. This is a rematch of their game at the Hinsdale Holiday Tournament in December. In that game Lincoln Park won 53-35. However, since then Westinghouse is 7-4 including wins against Farragut and Marshall. Westinghouse is led by 6-5 foward Coreyoun Rushin(jr-pictured above). The junior can do it all as he is 2nd on the team in points( 12.8ppg) and leads the teams in rebounds (8.1 rpg), steals (1.6 steals per game), and blocks (1.7 blocks per game). He is super athletic and plays above the rim. His play reminds me of a young Scottie Pippen. 6-2 guard Joshua Roberts(sr, G, 6-2) leads Westinghouse in scoring with 16.2 ppg. Also watch out for big man Alfred Evans(sr, 6-6, 305lbs). Evans, at 305lbs takes a lot of space down low. Lincoln Park beat Lindblom in the first round. Lincoln Park has been boosted with the return of Amari Freeman(6-6, F, sr). Freeman an all-city wide receiver was hurt for most of the season with a shoulder injury but he appears back as he looked good (including a slam dunk) in their win over Lindblom. Sophomore Julius Fancelino(so, 6-1, G) has emerged for Lincoln Park as he led the Lions with 16 points in their win over Lindblom. I like Lincoln Park in this game by about 10 points.
Red-North champion Uplift plays against a tough Farragut team tonight. If both Uplift and Lincoln Park win, it will give the Red-North a rare two teams in the CPS quarterfinals.
Second Round, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. North Quadrant Farragut 73 Uplift 64 Curie 62 Bogan 60
Central Quadrant Kenwood 46 CVS 38 Westinghouse 66 Lincoln Park 64
South Quadrant Simeon 82 Dunbar 48 Young 69 King 36
West Quadrant North Lawndale 64 Dusable 31 Morgan Park 81 Hyde Park 76
Lindblom vs Lincoln Park should be a really good game. Lincoln Park has beaten Loyola, Westinghouse and New Trier and played tough against Benet, Notre Dame, and Homewood Flossmoor. I love the play of big man Ibrahim Donsi(6-6,200lbs) who provides a strong inside presence and clears the boards for Lincoln Park. Lindblom is an up and coming program with some nice young players like 6-8 sophomore center Isa Macguire(6-8, so- pictured above). The Eagles are led by high scoring guard Paris Edwards(6-2, sr, G). The game is at Lincoln Park. I like Lincoln Park in this one in a close contest.
Football rivals Lane and Dunbar should be a good game as well. The winner will likely play Simeon next.
Orr and Morgan Park is probably the highest profile matchup. Traditional power Orr was relegated to the White-West conference due to playing inelgibel players last year. They swept through the White-West conference and get ot play #1 state ranked Morgan Park. Orr is not to be taken lightly. They are state ranked. Watch out for fiery sophomore Brian Hernandez(so) of Orr.
First Round, Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. North Quadrant Uplift 72 Phillips 57 Farragut 47 Harlan 31 Bogan 74 Urban Prep-West 54 Curie 84 Taft 38
Central Quadrant Kenwood 74 Mather 39 (5) Marshall at (4) Vocational Westinghouse 57 Julian 51 Lincoln Park 51 Lindblom 43
South Quadrant Simeon 82 Collins 29 Dunbar 70 Lane Tech 43 Dusable 62 Von Steuben 59 Whitney Young 68 Brooks 64
West Quadrant North Lawndale 82 Carver 67 King 50 Prosser 48 (6) Foreman at (3) Hyde Park Morgan Park 89 Orr 58
Payton won the Blue-North Boys Basketball conference with a 7-3 conference record. Their 60-56 win over 2nd place Amundsen on 1/22 basically clinched the conference title. Payton will move up to the White North next year where they will switch with Roosevelt who finished in last place with a 1-9 conference record.
After having a rough year in the Red North Foreman has been relegated back to the White-North next year.
Taft will replace Foreman after winning the White-North. This is a reversal of last year when Taft finished last in the Red-North and Foreman was replaced by White North champion Foreman.
Taft looked strong in the White North as they held off my pre-season conference favorite Mather who finished 2nd. Meanwhile, Foreman was in a dogfight most of the year with Lane to stay out of last place in the Red-North. Lane had a good push of late conference wins to avoid getting relegated.
Lane won a key head to head matchup in the regular season versus Foreman when they won 46-45 on a game winning layup by Bright Boachie with 8 seconds left in the game. Then Lane upset Von Steuben twice during conference play including a win last Wednesday to end conference play and a slim 2 point in earlier in the year.
Travon Bell(6-3, G) of Mather committed to play basketball for D1 Chicago State University. Bell is one of the top players in the north side of Chicago. He is a deadly 3 point shooter with good size and shooting range.
Anton Seals(5-10,170lb, jr, G) has led Schurz to a pretty good season so far with a 9-6 record including wins over Hampshire, Mundelein, and Collins but the Bulldogs could not handle Taft as they lost to Taft 74-71. Taft stays atop the White-North. Schurz is currently 2nd.
Lane 68 Von Steuben 66 Dan Columbo scores 34 points to lead the Indians to their first Red-North win.
Prosser 75 Foreman 71
Uplift 71 Lincoln Park 64
Taft 74 Schurz 71 Taft beats 2nd place Schurz to remain atop in the White-North