CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs 1st Round

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CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs 1st Round

1 Maine South (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Glenbrook South 35-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lane Tech
PrepsTalk: The Hawks soar into the playoffs with the momentum of their 60th straight conference win.  They shook off a 14-0 deficit as Matt Alviti scored four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).

2 Glenbard West (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Downers Grove North 26-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Elk Grove
PrepsTalk: The Hilltoppers were all business against Downers North; now the scene shifts to the playoffs, where 7As top seed will try to get back to Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2009.

3 Lincoln-Way East (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Joliet West 42-6
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Plainfield Central
PrepsTalk: Justin Corbett rushed for 90 yards, racked up 90 more in receiving and scored twice.  Now the Griffins set their sights on getting back to state for the first time since 2005.

4 Loyola (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated St. Rita 28-7
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Evanston
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Peter Pujals accounted for all of the Ramblers scoring (two rushing, two passing touchdowns) as Loyola takes the Chicago Catholic Blue conference title.

5 Marian Central Catholic (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Wheaton Academy 41-7
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Wauconda
PrepsTalk: The Hurricanes claim back-to-back Suburban Christian Blue conference championships.  The defense against Wheaton was solid, holding the Warriors to only 11 first half yards.

6 Mount Carmel (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Defeated Providence 17-0
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Brother Rice
PrepsTalk: The 'D created six turnovers (four forced fumbles and two interceptions) as the Caravan posted their third consecutive shutout.  Next up: a rematch against a Catholic Blue foe.

7 Crete-Monee (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Rich East 38-7
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Springfield
PrepsTalk: The Warriors trailed briefly, but got rolling on offense with contributions from Kyle Tilley, Lance Lenoir, Laquon Treadwell, DeShawn Smith and Marcus Terrell.

8 Kaneland (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Defeated Morris 33-30
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Belvidere
PrepsTalk: The Knights lived up to the hype, winning the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference.  Drew David found Zack Martinelli for the game winning five-yard score with 27 seconds left.

9 Batavia (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Elgin 49-12
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Downers Grove North
PrepsTalk: The Bulldogs overwhelm the Maroons and take the Upstate Eight River title for the second straight year.  And they get bumped up to Class 7A.  How will that factor in their postseason run.

10 Palatine (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Schaumburg 51-18
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Niles West
PrepsTalk: The Pirates might be peaking at the right time.  RB Cam Kuksa (141 total yards, two TDs) is back from an ankle injury.  Palatine's only loss was to 5A state champ Montini.

11 Neuqua Valley (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Bartlett 42-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Naperville North
PrepsTalk: Running back Joey Rhattigan scored three touchdowns and now has 45 over his career.  The Wildcats win their first Upstate Eight Valley championship since 2006.

12 Cary-Grove (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Prairie Ridge 35-14
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Rockford Auburn
PrepsTalk: The Trojans pulled away late to win their first division title since 2009.  Marcus Thimios broke open a close game with a 90-yard kickoff return to start the second half.

13 Waubonsie Valley (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Metea Valley 41-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Proviso West
PrepsTalk: Running back Austin Guido --226 yards and four touchdowns against Metea-- set school records for career rushing yards (1,826) and touchdowns (27) in a season.

14 Glenbard North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Defeated Naperville North 21-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Fremd
PrepsTalk: This shows you how competitive the 8A bracket isGlenbard North, the DuPage Valley Conference champs for the first time in 21 years, gets a 4-seed.

15 Wheaton North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 23-13
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. St. Charles East
PrepsTalk: It's a pretty good time to be a Wheaton North Falcon-- an 8-1 record and they keep their arch-rival out of the postseason.  John Peltz: 20-28, 223 yards and three TDs vs. WWS.

16 Bolingbrook (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Defeated Lockport 34-10
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Sandburg
PrepsTalk: Intriguing first round matchup against a fellow SW Suburban Blue foe who has already beaten Brook.  All eyes will be on the injured Aaron Bailey this week.  Will he play?

17 Benet (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Joliet Catholic 31-21
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Andrew
PrepsTalk: Its a storybook season for Benet.  Not to look ahead or anything, but what a matchup Benet-Oswego could be in the second round.  Stellar D versus a juggernaut offense.

18 Marist (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Cincinnati (Withrow) 27-12
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lyons
PrepsTalk:  Quarterback Ian Woodworth had a favorite go-to receiver in Flynn Nagel on multiple scoring strikes.  The RedHawks could have a tough road in the 8A bracket, though.

19 Lemont (8-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated T.F. North 42-0
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Morgan Park
PrepsTalk: Dont overlook Lemont in 6A.  They have shut out five opponents on the season.  Their opening round matchup will represent a rematch of last years playoff matchup.

20 Providence (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Mount Carmel 17-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais
PrepsTalk: The Celtics could not overcome turnovers, one of them a fumble that resulted in an 88-yard Caravan touchdown.  Brandon Price did rack up 103 yards, but was kept out of the end zone.

Looming and Lurking: Morris, Richards, Lakes, Simeon, Thornton, Homewood-Flossmoor, Glenbrook North, Oswego, Montini, Aurora Christian, Oak Forest.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN for prep football coverage.

High School Lites airs every Friday night at 10:30pm and is streamed live at csnchicago.com

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Kevin Dineen is back with the Blackhawks but there were times this summer you wondered if another team would take him away.

The Blackhawks’ assistant coach was a major candidate for the Colorado Avalanche head coaching job, according to the Denver Post, following Patrick Roy’s surprising departure. There were probably other inquiries, too.

“It’s always nice to go through a process of talking about the way you do your business. It’s also a reflection of where you are,” said Dineen following the Blackhawks’ White-Red scrimmage on Saturday. “No. 1, you have to get permission to do that, and the Blackhawks have been great about giving me the opportunity to go out and do that. But also, when you have success, a lot of people want to get your feedback or whatever it is.”

Dineen’s name will likely come up whenever there’s a coaching vacancy. He coached the Florida Panthers from 2011-13 and coached Team Canada women’s team to a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Dineen will get another opportunity in the NHL but for now, life is good in Chicago.

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“For me, I couldn’t be happier right here,” he said. “I have a great person and hockey mind to work with in Joel [Quenneville]. But you know, down the line, those things play their way out and we’ll see where it goes.”

Arriving soon

Patrick Kane, Ville Pokka and Michal Kempny will join the Blackhawks’ training camp on Tuesday. The three finished up round-robin World Cup of Hockey play with their respective teams on Thursday.

Dineen said there’s a chance one of the defensemen, Pokka or Kempny, play in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“They’ll get into the swing of things here on Tuesday,” Dineen said. “So that’ll give them a good rest after a long, tough September, and we expect them to hit the ice flying.”

Briefly

  • Duncan Keith will skate during one of the Blackhawks’ practices on Sunday and Monday.
     
  • Team White defeated Team Red 4-3 in Saturday’s scrimmage at the United Center. Spencer Abbott led Team White with two goals.

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

At the end of the day, a loss means essentially nothing for the Cubs right now.

But the Cubs also certainly don't want to hand games to their division rival as the St. Louis Cardinals make a run at the National League wild card spots.

After the Cubs clinched homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs with the Washington Nationals' loss Friday night, they had no answer for the Cardinals in a 10-4 loss in front of 40,785 fans at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon on national TV.

A few disturbing trends popped their heads above ground for the Cubs again Saturday, including the offense's struggles at manufacturing runs, Jason Hammel getting shelled and some bullpen woes.

The Cubs had no trouble putting runners on base against Cardinals phenom Alex Reyes, but they had a tough time plating those guys, cashing in only once with a runner on third base in six tries over the first four innings.

In two of those spots, a Cubs hitter came up with only one out, but failed to bring the run home as Addison Russell struck out in the first inning and Kris Bryant popped out to shallow left in the second.

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Hammel recorded only seven outs and was tagged for six runs on six hits and a walk, watching his season ERA rise nearly 30 points to 3.83. The veteran right-hander fell to 15-10 as he attempts to make a push for one of the Cubs' final postseason roster spots.

"Honestly, I would love to be a part of [the playoff roster], as the rest of the guys on the team would love to," Hammel said. "I know there's only a certain amount of spots, so if I'm handed the ball, I'll be ready. That's the way I'm gonna view it.

"Obviously you wanna be a part of something special like that, but I think everybody here has already been a part of something special to get to this point. We're all very proud. We still got eight regular season ballgames left to build some momentum. Whether I'm on the roster or not, I'm still gonna enjoy it."

Hammel was also clearly on the wrong end of some bad luck Saturday, as the four runs he allowed in the first came via a check swing and a couple hits just out of the reach of his fielders. 

Joe Maddon won't put too much stock into one rough start in late September.

"I'm not too worried about a good or bad outing right now. I'm not," he said. "Pretty much, you know who the guy is. You know if the guy's go this stuff going on or if he doesn't. ... The greater body of work matters."

Setup man Hector Rondon struggled in his appearance, needing 26 pitches to notch just one out, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before handing the ball off to Felix Pena.

Of course, it's also just one game and one loss for a team with 98 victories and hopes of the World Series.

Rondon had been nearly unhittable since returning from the disabled list two weeks ago and the Cubs offense had been efficient and relentless in the past four games after Maddon's meeting with the hitters earlier in the week.

Maddon also used the blowout to get regulars like Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and Russell out of the lineup to help keep them fresh for October.

After the game, Maddon chose to look on the bright side.

"Our starter had a tough day today; that's it. Otherwise we did some nice things," he said, referencing the solid offensive days from Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist. "We had chances to score runs - runners on third, less than two outs - and we didn't fulfill that.

"We made their starter throw 115 pitches in five innings; I think that's a positive."

The Cubs will close out their season series with the Cardinals on another nationally-televised showdown Sunday night between Jon Lester and St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez.