Sunday, December 27, 2015

Late December 2015 Report

The 42nd Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York H.S.

First round play opened on Saturday (Dec 26th) the 42nd annual Xmas venue.  The main head-liner on opening day was the performance of 6-7 unsigned senior forward Lorenzo Edwards who ignited his Lake Forest team to a 40-36 victory over T.F. South.  Edwards recorded 21 points – 7 rebounds & 8 blocks, he clearly out-played Western Michigan signee Brandon Johnson a 6-7 forward “who seemingly failed to get the memo that this was in a prime-time match-up for him”.  Lake Forest will face tournament favorite River-Side Brookfield on Monday at 6:00 pm.  This tournament has a band of on-the-brink stand-outs saddled and ready to shine the next several days.  Downers Grove South has the trio of 6-7 senior 4-man Donovan Ferguson who has drawn quite a following with D2 & D3 schools, while juniors T.J. Clifford 6-6 athlete and deadeye shooter Denis Alibegovis a 6-3 wing, Downers Grove will pose some problems for 2nd round foe Palatine.  Glenbard East won a squeaker with an over-time win against St. Ignatius 56-55 on a game winning three pointer by senior guard Carlos Meyers.  East will play York on Monday at 8 pm, they received solid performances from junior forward Michael Finley and senior guards Davonte Smith and Myers.  Northwestern recruit Barrett Bensen continues to sizzle, he tallied 20 markers in win over Lane Tech his squad will face-off against Minooka on Monday at 4:30.  York features a talented freshman guard Nick Kosich a skilled frosh who was impressive versus Schaumburg, shot it and handled it well.  Conant boasts to highly touted young bigs in six foot eight sophomore Ryan Davis (16 points) and 13 rebounds versus Sandburg and St. Joseph transfer Mike Downing a 6-8 junior lefty with a promising future, they will be on display versus Wheatob North at 5:00 pm on Monday.  This most disappointing game of the day was De La Salle dropping an 8:30 am contest vs Providence Catholic.  George Willbourn and his crew got caught sleep walking so he will hold his auditions in the consolation bracket.  A player to watch at this event is Metea Valley 6-6 sophomore Malik Hall who can score.  This event could end up being one of the top 5 in our state this year.

Thurs – Dec 17th
Triton 92 – Kishwaukee 91

Freshman swingman Donte Thorpe’s tip-in with 3 seconds left, sealed an on-the-road victory for Triton College, snapping Kishwaukee’s five game winning streak.  With 1:55 remaining in a hard fought contest Kishwaukee held, on to a 89-85 margin, but a 3 pointer by Josh Doss (Taft) with 1:29 left cut the margin to one for Triton, 89-88, two free throws from Bryson Butler (Lincoln Park) gave Kish a three point advantage at 91-88 with 39 seconds left.  But Thorpe tallied Triton’s final four points, he came up with a steal & basket with 38 seconds remaining, then he converted a tip-in with 3.7 seconds left which pretty much doomed the Kougars, Thorpe, finished with 11 points; 6-6 soph Percell Washington (Foreman) a high energy inside beast, finished plays and demonstrated he has a wealth of athleticism, while grabbing 11 rebounds and leading all scorers with 24 points.  Eric Gillespie 15, Eddie Miles (Hales) 13 and Josh Doss tallied 10 for Triton who came into the game as region IV #1 team.  The Kougars were led by point-guard Bryson Butler 19, Austin Patterson (Morris H.S.) 18, Malcolm Reed had 17 pts for the Kougars.

Fri – Dec 18th
Fenwick 62 – De La Salle 51

Senior Mike Smith led three players in double figures with 18 points, as the Friar’s cruised by De La Salle for a road victory.  In a Catholic league contest the Friars held the Meteors to a frigid shooting night in the second half, combined by ragged floor play, poor shot-selection and numerous miscues.  To take down a discipline squad like the Friars, playing a game of reckless abandonment clearly will strap-you with a quick L.  Senior guard George Willborn recorded 20 points & 6 rebounds, but was saddled by foul trouble most of the first half.  Junior guard William Norman tallied 13 off the bench and senior Andre Raiford contributed 12.  Fenwick had an impressive balanced attack, garnered by strong performances from Jacob Keller 13 and Mike Ballard scored 14 points and registered 8 rebounds.  Fenwick will be one of the key marquee teams on hand at the reconstructed Proviso West tournament.

Sat – Dec 19th
Morton 81 – Kishwakee 67

A crowd of about a hundred plus watched a highly spirited Morton team defeat a Kishwaukee squad who seemed to have slept walked through most of the contest.  Morton just out-scrapped & out-rebounded the Kougars, who never seem to get un-tracked, the home team was just a step slow through most of the contest, they played as if the Xmas break couldn’t come any sooner.  Morton scored 30 points off turn-overs and 20 points off 2nd effort attempts.  Remy Price (Kenwood) 18, Chris Poole was 7-10 & 4-7 from 3 pt mark claimed 18 points, Quawone Harris 12, Chris Soczek had 10.  Daniel McFadden finished with 10 markers and Javonte Peals also tallied 10 points and Bryson Butler went for 9 pts.  The Kougars fall to 8-6.  They will play Madison Community College the 2nd of January.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Jack Tosh Holiday Classic

Lorenzo Edwards 6-7 forward from Lake Forest is playing in this event and he is one of the top 5 unsigned seniors in the state, averaging 20 pts and close to 20 rebounds, 6 blocks nightly.  On December 26th at 4:30 he will be going head on against Western Michigan 6-7 recruit Brandon Johnson.  

Other notable players to watch at this event are:  George Willbourn Jr (De La Salle), Barret Benson (Hinsdale South), Mark Smith (R.B.), Jalen Clanton (R.B.), Henry Trelenberg (R.B.), Kaleb Thornton (Nazareth), Ryan Davis (Conant), Michael Downing (Conant), Denis Albegovic (Downers Grove S.), TJ Clifford (Downers Grove S.)

This one of our top 5 tournaments in the state.  This might be the place to be on the 26th of December despite the start of the Proviso West tournament and the Big Dipper event opening on this day.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Top Holiday Tournaments to Watch

Top Holiday Tournaments to Watch

Pontiac Holiday “A Place to be” – December 28, 29, 30, 2015
This will be the #1 Tournament to Watch
Notable Players on the Scene:  Simeon’s Zach Norvell, Evan Gilyard, Josh Thomas, Ben Coupet, Talen Horton-Tucker, Messiah Jones, Charles Payton (Bloomington), Devin Gage (Curie), Elijah Joiner (Curie), Landers Nolley (Curie), Kendle Moore (Danville), Daylan Williams (Danville), Trevian Bell (Joliet West), Elijah Ward (Joliet West), Teyvion Kirk (Joliet West), Tabyous Casterberry (Joliet West), Evan Hines (Niles West), Octavius Parker (Niles West), Breshawn Wilkerson (Oak-Park), Cameron Gross (Oak-Park), Connor Fuller (Oak-Park), Deandre Enoch (Oak-Park), Da’Monte Williams (Peoria Manual), Romon Douglas (Manual), A.J. Youngman (Manual), Kevin Kreiger (Plainfield North), Jayson Dorsey (Warren), Camron Donatian (West Aurora).

1st Round Pairings:
Danville vs Lockport 9:00 am
Curie vs St. Charles North 10:30 am
Bloomington vs Bloom Twp 1:00 pm
Simeon vs West Aurora 2:30 pm
Oak-Pk-River Forest vs Niles West 4:00 pm
Manuel vs Warren 6:00 pm
Benet Academy vs Warren 7:30 pm
Joliet West vs Plainfield North 9:00 pm

Proviso West Holiday Tournament – December 26, 28, 29 and 30th

Notable Players to Watch:  Mike Smith (Fenwick), Jamal Nixon (Fenwick), Jacob Keller (Fenwick), Charlie Boyle (Fenwick), Nick Rakocevic (St. Joes), Joffari Brwon (St. Joes), Lavon Thomas (St. Joes), Marcus Garrett (Hilcrest), James Jones (Bogan), Bryce Barnes (Bogan), Tyler Chisom (Proviso East), Emanuel Cross (Proviso West), Charlie Moore (MP), Jamal Burton (MP), Jarrin Randle (MP), Ayo Dosunmu (MP), Raphael Cruz (Von), Christian Negron (Larkin), Damarius Jacobs (Uplift), Xavier Castaneda (Young), Lucas Williamson (Young), Jake Kosakowski (Young).

1st Round Pairings:
Hillcrest vs Elgin-Larkin 9:30 am
St. Joseph vs Dunbar 11:00 am
Morgan Park vs Providence St. Mel 12:30 pm
Proviso East vs Uplift 2:00 pm
Fenwick vs Von Steuben 4:00 pm
Whitney Young vs Morton 5:30 pm
Proviso West vs Bogan 7:00 pm
New Trier vs Cathedral Catholic 8:30 pm

State Farm Holiday Classic – December 28th-31st

Notable Players to Watch:  Carlos Hines (North-Lawndale), Tyrone Rhivers (North-Lawndale), Isaac Nelson (Springfield), Keon Day (Springfield), Drew Evans (Thornwood), Marcus Hussey (Thornwood), Jason Jones (Rock-Island), William Miles (Rock-Island), Simeon Hinton (North-Chgo), Oliver Stevens (Edwardsville), Dexter Oyewo (Plainfield So.).

1st Round Pairings – Dec. 28th (Shirk Center-IL)
Chicago North-Lawndale vs Springfield High 6:00 pm
Thornwood vs Normal Community 9:00 pm
Rockton Hononegah vs Normal U-High 4:30 pm
Peoria Notre Dame vs Wheaton W’ville South 7:30 pm
Rock-Island vs Chatham Glenwood 1:00 pm
Champaign Centennial vs North-Chicago 2:30 pm
Zion-Benton vs Plainfield South 11:30 am
Edwardsville vs Mahomet-Seymour 10:00 am

Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic – December 26, 28, 29, 30

Notable Players to Watch:  Cameron Bowles (H.F.), Kendric Pryor (H.F.), Jeffrey Boyd (H.F.), Tayvon Tyler (Auburn), Jaylon Catledge (Richards), Marquan “Bay-Bay” Williams (Perspective MSA), Justin Smith (Stevenson), Rodney A Willie Herenton (Stevenson), Dwayne Rose (Crete), Coreyoun Rushin (W’House), Ibrahim Dosunmu (Lincoln Pk), Marco Lewis (Lincoln Pk), Peter Blust (Hinsdale Central).

1st Round Pairings
Richards vs Chicago Hope 9:30 am
Stevenson vs Foreman 11:00 am
Homewood-Flossmoor vs Lincoln Park 12:30 pm
Rockford Auburn vs Westinghouse 2:00 pm
St. Charles East vs DePaul Prep 3:45 pm
Maine South vs Urban Prep Englewood 5:15 pm
Hinsdale Central vs Crete Monee 7:00 pm
Crespi Carmelite vs Perspectives MSA 8:30 pm

73rd Annual Centralia Holiday Tournament – December 28th-30th

Notable Players to Watch:  Nick Finke (Champaign Central), Tim Finke (Central), Bailey Dee (Central), Kamron Reaves (Central), Calogeno Dawson (Central), Marcus Latham (Alton), Maurice Edwards (Alton), Kevin Caldwell (Alton), Brandon McCombs (Jacksonville), D’Aaron Owens (Centralia), Tyler Dancy (Belleville West), Damarcus Gilmore (Harlan), Ramar Evans (Loyola), Chance Armstrong (O’Fallon), EJ Liddell (Belleville West).

1st Round Pairings
Alton vs Memphis Raleigh 9:00 am
Arlington, TN vs Cahokia 10:30 am
Christian County, KY vs Belleville West 3:30 pm
Champaign Central vs Addison Trail 6:15 pm
O’Fallon vs Chicago Marist 9:15 pm
Salem vs Germantown, TN 12:30 pm
Jacksonville vs Mount Vernon 3:00 pm
Centralia vs Chicago Sullivan 7:45 pm

Big Dipper Holiday Tournament – December 26, 28, 29 & 30th

Notable Players to Watch:  Nana Akenten (Bolingbrook), Zach Grady (Bolingbrook), Brandon Lawani (Bolingbrook), Devon Sams (Bolingbrook), T.J. Smith (Marian Catholic), Austin Richie (Marian Catholic), TeeAaron Powell (Marian Catholic), Brandon Hurt (Marian Catholic), Myles Howard (Marian Catholic), Karim Sameh (Hales), Darias Oliver (Leo).

1st Round Pairings
Bolingbrook vs Butler College Prep 9:00 am
Hales Franciscan vs Lincoln-Way Central 10:30 am
Rich East vs Leo 12:00 pm
Thornton vs Perspectives Calumet 1:30 pm
Joliet Central vs King 4:00 pm
Rich South vs University High 5:30 pm
Rich Central vs Marquette Catholic 7:00 pm
Marian Catholic vs Tinley Park 8:30 pm
Pekin Holiday Tournament – 51st Annual – December 28th-30th

Notable Players to Watch:  Xavier Bishop (Lanphier), Cardell McGee (Lanphier), Aundrae Williams (Lanphier), Yaakeema Rose (Lanphier), Deshawn Bishop (Peoria), Jake Rhode (Mount-Carmel), Christian Peavy (Mount-Carmel), Nick Chambers (Mount-Carmel), Damon Gillespie (Richwood), Kaeien Johnson (Richwoods), Bryce Vollrath (Richwoods), Elyjah Goss (Plainfield East), Jalyn Adams (Plainfield East), Vinny Tarello (Plainfield East), Nick Meyer (Lake Zurich), Joe Lavin (Lake Zurich), Devin Whitelow (Washington), Lou Griffith (Washington), Jake Meeske (United Township), Bryant Jefferson (United Township), Anferney Burns (Peoria Central).

1st Round Pairings
Richwoods vs Moline 9:00 am
UTHS vs Limestone 10:30 am
Lake Zurich vs Freeport 12:45 pm
Mount-Carmel vs Morton 2:15 pm
Lanphier vs Plainfield East 3:45 pm
Pekin vs Hersey 6:30 pm
Washington vs Peoria High 8:00 pm
Boylan vs Normal West 9:30 pm

Collinsville 32nd Annual Holiday Classic – December 28th-30th

Notable Players to Watch:  Jordan Goodwin (Althoff), Tarkus Ferguson (Althoff), Brandon Gooch (Althoff), Marvin Bateman (Althoff), Edwyn Brown (Althoff), Javon Pickett (Belleville East), Rico Sylvester (Belleville East), Marquise Chairs (East St. Louis), Antonio Johnson (East St. Louis), Patrick Baxter (East St. Louis), Kenny Berry (Granite City), Isaiah Bowers (Lincoln), Keymonta Johnson (MacArthur), Dallas McClain (MacArthur), Amir Brummett (MacArthur), Parker Bland (Quincy), D’Angelo Hughes (Springfield S.E.), Mark Johnson (Springfield S.E.), Trevyon Williams (Springfield S.E.).

1st Round Pairings
Springfield Southeast vs McCluer North 9:00 am
Dec. MacArthur vs Belleville East 10:30 am
East St. Louis vs Riverview Gardens 1:00 pm
Lincoln vs Fort Zumwalt North 2:30 pm
Quincy vs Dec. Eisenhower 4:00 pm
Collinsville vs Oakville (MO) 6:30 pm
Althoff vs Urbana 8:00 pm
Granite City vs Hazelwood East 9:30 pm

On the Trail
Holy Cross and Ivy League schools probably should take some notice of six foot seven junior Mark Taylor arguably one of the top players in the independent school division.  Taylor has an excellent frame, he is a quick leaper, which allows him to be an effective shot-blocker, perimeter skills are noticeable, he possess a nice stoke.  Taylor averages 21 points & 15 rebounds thus far.  Next season he could become a dominant force in the private school arena.

How My Top 20 Fared

  1. Morgan Park (3-1) – Tumbled Simeon 70-65 on-the-road behind a 24 point outing for Charlie Moore; they face another serious challenge at Bogan on Thursday.
  2. Simeon (2-1) – Dropped a home game to MP; still searching for cohesiveness after adding several transfers, in addition to blending in youngsters.
  3. Fenwick (7-0) – Friars arguably have one of the best coaches in the game and one of the better point-guards in the area with Mike Smith; their system just flows.
  4. Riverside-Brookfield (6-1) – Lost to an out-of-town opponent in the Chicagoland Classic; they are a dangerous team; four guys who can score.
  5. St. Joseph (8-0) – Ping has his troops marching particularly behind the trio of Nick Rakocevic/Joffari Brown/Lavon Thomas; they have created a winning formula.
  6. Curie (4-0) – Has a date with Hyde Park on Thurs; there are several teams that may pose a challenge for the Condors at Pontiac.
  7. Bogan (5-1) – The Bengals will be tested at home versus rival Morgan Park on Thurs.
  8. Evanston (6-1) – They have started to click offensively; New Trier shouldn’t pose any threat on Wed.
  9. Notre Dame (7-1) – The North-Suburban Dons squeaked by Lincoln Park a week ago; Ammar Becar has started to contribute his end of the bargain.
  10. Glenbard West (7-0) – William & Mary recruit Justin Pierce has been on a tear offensively; his supporting cast isn’t so shabby after all.
  11. Marian Catholic (6-2) – A talented young core cruised by St. Rita 43-33 Fri night; Benet will visit the Chicago Heights school on Friday.
  12. Whitney Young (2-1) – The locals have placed some high expectations on sophomore wiz Xavier Castaneda; the masses await for him at the Proviso West bash.
  13. Kenwood (3-1) – Slipped by Hyde Park last week; an unproven group still trying to find their way; Nick Robinson & Manny Patterson need to be double digit scorers nightly.
  14. Hyde Park (6-2) – Let one get away at home versus Kenwood due to shaky ball-handling; they are plagued by numerous miscues.  “Brandon Daugherty is a gamer.”
  15. Benet (7-0) – Their hot start makes the Pontiac field even stronger; Simeon could be waiting though; no one will be surprised if they out-last Marion Catholic on Fri.
  16. Farragut (7-2) – Observers were startled that the Admirals dropped a home game to Whitney Young; this could be a topsy-turvy year in the red-west.
  17. Vocational (6-1) – Bogan just dismantled them in a conference game last week; Cavaliers have to clean-up the un-forced turn-overs & bad shot selections.
  18. De La Salle (5-1) – Only loss was to St. Joes on the road; I like their nucleus, senior Andre Raiford and Christian Hayes can play.
  19. Hinsdale South (6-1) – Northwestern recruit Barret Benson has really elevated his play at both ends, his future is so bright on & off the floor.
  20. Thornton (4-1) – We expect the Wildcats coach Tai Streets to win big games in which he demonstrated Friday night knocking off a solid Bradley-Bourbonnais club; he had his squad ready.



Sat, Dec 12th
Kishwaukee 82 – Chicago Olive Harvey 80
2 Over-Times

At O.H. - a mostly well played early evening junior college tilt. A crowd estimated at 200 watched both teams come out from the onset focused on executing their offense/system.  Olive Harvey team was tenacious defensively while Kishwaukee surprisingly wasn’t too shabby either.  Both teams actually demonstrated some patience while both squads played unselfishly sharing the basketball, Austin Patterson a six-foot-three shooter/scorer from Morris (IL) and Ryan Reeder 6-3 a long-distance marksman from Mendota, IL kept Kishwaukee in the game during a seesaw second half.  Bryson Butler a 6-1 point-guard from Lincoln Park got things going during the opening half where he recorded 8 pts & 4 assists for the Cougars before coming-up lame and couldn’t go back out in the second half due to an illness, never-the-less Butler was impressive during his early stint.  E’mon Frison’s (Hales) hit a critical three pointer with 3.5 seconds left tied it at 75-75 to send the contest into the 2nd OT, the Cougars managed to hold on and get their fourth straight win, this one on the road.  Patterson tallied 24, Reeder finished with 16, Butler had 8.  The Kishwaukee group is comprised of predominately all freshmen they have a good young core but lack size on the interior.   Olive Harvey was led by Brenell Pendleton with 22 points and Travis McBride netted 19.  

Fri, Dec 11th
Valparaiso 71 – Chicago State 53

In Chicago - the Cougars hosted perennial Horizon League leaders Valpo.  Washington (IL) native Alec Peters capped off a terrific night dropping in 26 points on 8-11 shooting night as the Crusaders rode to an eighteen  point victory, while shooting at a 41 percent clip in 1st half and 50% from the 3 pt line.  I’m assuming the Chicago State faithful’s left the Jones Convocation Center somewhat disappointed by the Cougars lack-luster performance.  They were doomed by undisciplined play, just a lack of patience while hoisting-up ill-advised shots, many coming from deep on the perimeter, now Chicago State does possess some offensive punch, but they lack size so most understand they have to play a certain style or system that favors their strengths.  Everyone in Chicago want to see favorite son Cougar Coach Tracy Dildy reach the heights with his program, entering his sixth year at the school, but they have to figure out ways to execute whatever scheme or game preparation they have going into an affair with an opponent such as Valpo.  Former Crane guard Kieran Woods was the only Cougar in double figures with 14.  Valparaiso had a contingent of fans in the stand to cheer on Chicago area players Darien Walker 12 (Simeon), Keith Carter 9 (Proviso East), Jubril Adekoya 6 (Andrew) and Lexus Williams (Marist).  The Cougars non-conference match-ups will certainly have them in contention and ready for a tough competitive league play.

Thurs, Dec 10th
Kenwood 55 – Hyde Park 51
(Dynamite High-School Environment)

A packed house which included some former notable coaches and players watched this red-central show-down.  Kenwood’s senior guard Zion Morgan was too much for the host team, he turned-in a 29 pt outing.  Morgan a 6-1, combo committed to Valpo but did not sign early, scored nine points in the crucial 4th period, but his two free-throws with 31.7 seconds left pretty much sealed the deal for the Broncos.  Hyde Park’s 6-7 senior Tajuan Agee was saddled with foul trouble most of the game and was held in check until the remaining 5 minutes in the contest where he came up with some key plays, junior center 6-8 Anthony Cameron was also in foul trouble and had a tough time getting on track most of the game.  Brandon Daugherty kept the Thunderbirds within striking distance with 12 first half markers, he finished the evening with 18 points, he is a player to watch, he does have some scoring ability on the perimeter and will likely need a juco next season.  Kenwood’s unsigned senior forward Nick Robinson didn’t reach double figures, but he had several moments of eye-popping plays.  The Indiana State recruit did not sign early just like his team-mate Morgan.  Hopefully this isn’t a new trend we’re witnessing, “because it-isn’t-cool”, there are other optional ways of getting out of a letter of intent if it’s a coaching change by the season’s end.  Whoever might be advising them & their families should look at this in a different manner its business on both sides of the table.  Junior Manny Patterson fought & battled all night, tallied 10 points.