CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (30-1)

Results: Defeated Whitney Young 52-42 and Marist 65-44

This Week: Tuesday vs. Evanston (4A Chicago State Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Kendrick Nunn ignited a 19-1 second quarter against Cinderella Marist. The Wolverines are three wins away from a three-peat.

More Simeon: Check out webisode 14 of DRIVE: Simeon Hoops

2 Proviso East (30-0)

Results: Defeated Lake Park 73-52 and Schaumburg 78-39

This Week: Tuesday vs. West Aurora (4A Hinsdale Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Pirates have defeated their playoff opponents by an average margin of 22 points. Sterling Brown scored 18 against Schaumburg.

3 Warren (26-3)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest 51-35 and Mundelein 87-52

This Week: Tuesday vs. Rockford-Auburn (4A NIU Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Two sectional games, two victories against fellow North Suburban-Lake foes. Now, a date with standout guard Fred Van Vleet and Auburn.

4 Bloom (28-3)

Results: Defeated Thornton 44-24 and Homewood-Flossmoor 43-32

This Week: Tuesday vs. Edwardsville (4A ISU Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: It pays to hit free throws. Donald Moore scored 18 of his 20 points from the charity stripe in the win against Homewood-Flossmoor.

5 Hillcrest (25-5)

Results: Defeated Providence 66-46 and Morgan Park 59-48

This Week: Tuesday vs. DuSable (3A Joliet Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Hawks, looking for their second state title in three years, had four players in double-figures against Morgan Park.

6 Marshall (24-7)

Results: Defeated St. Joseph 58-52 and St. Francis 45-41

This Week: Tuesday vs. North Chicago (3A Hoffman Estates Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Milton Doyle and Korbin McClain both contributed with big games against St. Francis as the Commandos survived the upset scare.

7 North Chicago (23-6)

Results: Defeated Grayslake Central 77-62 and Lakes 69-59

This Week: Tuesday vs. Marshall (3A Hoffman Estates Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: ISU recruit Aaron Simpson tallied 27 points against Lakes; North Chicago won their fourth sectional title in five years.

8 West Aurora (25-5)

Results: Defeated Plainfield East 58-53 OT and Metea Valley 69-61

This Week: Tuesday vs. Proviso East (4A Hinsdale Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Blackhawks, backed by Jontrell Walkers 22 points and 18 more from Juwan Starks, shot 55 from the field against Metea Valley.

9 Plainfield East (27-2)

Results: Lost to West Aurora 58-53 OT

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Bengals could not hold a 12-point lead against the Blackhawks. Still, 27 wins for a new kid (school) on the block is more than impressive.
10 Marist (26-6)

Results: Defeated Bogan 67-63; Lost to Simeon 65-44

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Kudos to Maristtwo upsets over ranked foes (Curie & Bogan); the Curie win -- thanks to a spirited play-by-play guy -- vaulted them into the national spotlight.

11 Bogan (26-4)

Results: Lost to Marist 67-63

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: DeVaughn Johnson had 25 points against Marist, but the Bengals could not hold a 15 point lead with three minutes to go.

12 Elgin (26-4)

Results: Defeated McHenry 43-34; Lost to Rockford-Auburn 67-56

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown was stellar against Auburn (20 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks). But Fred Van Vleet (32 points) was too much.
13 Evanston (21-10)

Results: Defeated New Trier 65-49 and Niles North 62-42

This Week: Tuesday vs. Simeon (4A Chicago State Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: No team has enjoyed a better late season surge like the Wildkits. But can they play giant-killers against Jabari Parker and company?

14 Downers Grove South (23-6)

Results: Lost to Metea Valley 60-51

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: A nice season for the Mustangs, but replacing Jerron Wilbut, Jamall Millison, Kevin Honn and Greg Garro will be a challenge.
15 Huntley (26-4)

Results: Lost to Rockford-Auburn 62-48

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Red Raiders lose to Auburn in the sectional championship for the second straight year.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: No games played

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Malcolm Hill-Bey and Devin Foster will not be there, but watch Cliff Alexander and Marcellus Davis next season.
17 Andrew (24-3)

Results: Lost to Homewood-Flossmoor 36-22

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The T-Bolts did not score for the first 10 minutes of the game against H-F. Andrew will reload with forward Jubril Adekoya in 2012-13.

18 Seton (27-5)

Results: Lost to Breese Central 57-47 and Rockford Lutheran 55-51

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Sting pick up fourth place honors at state. Guards Mark Weems, Jr. and Kamal Shasi will be some of the key contributors next season.

19 Whitney Young (16-10)

Results: Lost To Simeon 52-42

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Sophomore Miles Leonard scored a team-high 13 points against Simeon. Hell be part of a dominant lineup in Chicago hoops next year.

20 Du Sable (16-9)

Results: Defeated St. Ignatius 51-44 and Dunbar 57-55

This Week: Tuesday vs. Hillcrest (3A Joliet Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Panthers won their first sectional championship in school history. Chris Galbreath and Evance Gayles reached double-figures against Dunbar.
Looming & Lurking: St. Ignatius, Metea Valley, New Trier, St. Joseph, Wheaton St. Francis, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Homewood-Flossmoor, Niles North, De La Salle, North Shore Country Day, Dunbar, Aurora Central Catholic, Providence-St. Mel, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Ridgewood, Orr, De La Salle, Farragut, Yorkville.

Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

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Elena Delle Donne scores 18, leads Sky over Wings

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Elena Delle Donne had 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Chicago Sky beat the Dallas Wings 92-85 on Sunday.

Courtney Vandersloot added 15 points and nine assists, Cappie Pondexter scored 14 and Erika de Souza had 12 for Chicago, which is sixth in the AP power poll.

The Sky (13-13) had an 18-1 run spanning the first and second quarters to make it 40-16 on de Souza's basket with 6:09 left in the first half.

The 10th-ranked Wings (9-18) cut the deficit to 60-54 in the third quarter but Chicago answered with a 12-3 run. From there, the Wings trailed by double-digits until a late 13-2 run brought them within 90-85 with 15 seconds left.

Odyssey Sims scored 22 points and Skylar Diggins added 16 to lead Dallas, which dropped its eighth in a row.

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

Cubs close out road trip with narrow loss to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – Joe Maddon watched John Lackey board the team bus on Sunday morning wearing a Team USA onesie. The Cubs manager later noticed Aroldis Chapman in pajamas in the clubhouse on his way out to the dugout for his pregame media session at Dodger Stadium.

“We’ve created our own little culture, our own little identity,” Maddon said. “I just love the fact that they buy into those moments. Your stars are buying into it.”

The Cubs are in their own world, followed like rock stars on the road, freed from baseball’s unwritten rules and checked out from the daily anxiety and scoreboard-watching stress during a normal pennant race. 

But this afternoon still had a playoff-type atmosphere, with a crowd of 44,745 watching a scoreless game finally pivot in the eighth inning. Cubs reliever Trevor Cahill hit Andrew Toles with a pitch, jammed Howie Kendrick and threw the soft groundball into right field. An intentional walk to Corey Seager loaded the bases, setting up a matchup between Carl Edwards Jr. and the heart of the Los Angeles lineup.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The rookie unleashed a 97-mph fastball and struck out Justin Turner on a foul tip. Edwards then went right back at Adrian Gonzalez, inducing a chopper toward third baseman Javier Baez, who threw the ball to second base. The Cubs missed escaping the jam by a split second, with Seager’s right foot sliding into second just before Ben Zobrist’s left foot touched the bag.

That would be the difference in a 1-0 loss that again showed the narrow margin between these two big-market, first-place teams. The Cubs needed 10 innings to secure a comeback win on Friday night before Los Angeles won one-run games on Saturday and Sunday at Dodger Stadium.  

The Cubs would still leave Los Angeles with a 14-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, their magic number to clinch the division now 20, ending a West Coast trip with a onesies theme almost exactly one year after Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, showing this team would be a force in October.

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

With John Lackey ramping up for return, could Cubs go to six-man rotation?

LOS ANGELES – John Lackey is ramping up for a return to the rotation and all those “Big Boy Games” the Cubs are supposed to play in October.

The Cubs expect Lackey to test his strained right shoulder and throw two bullpen sessions this week, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday at Dodger Stadium. If everything goes smoothly for the two-time World Series champion, the Cubs will tentatively schedule Lackey’s next start for either the Labor Day weekend showdown against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field, or near the beginning of a three-city road trip in early September.     

Lackey (9-7, 3.41 ERA) has accounted for 158-plus innings, making 24 starts and stabilizing the rotation before going on the disabled list on Aug. 15. Jason Hammel should eventually cool off and will be “well-rested” after Maddon’s quick hook on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs also like what they’ve seen from Mike Montgomery, believing the lefty can develop into a solid big-league starter.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

Could the Cubs go to a six-man rotation down the stretch?

“We haven’t planned that specifically yet,” Maddon said. “I’m not opposed, let me put it that way. We’ll see how it all plays out with Mikey the next time through. Again, to do anything we possibly can to conserve our arms for the end of the year is important. 

“It’s being proven throughout the industry right now. Moving forward, the biggest trick there is to get the sixth guy that you like. Most teams are clamoring to get (No.) 4 and 5. We got five that we like. Now we’re working on 6.”

It’s not like the Cubs are fighting for a wild-card spot or clinging to a one-game lead in the division. The best record in baseball allows them to look at the big picture and get creative in September. The counterargument to keeping starters fresh for October would be keeping creatures of habit like Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in a rhythm. 

“Starting pitchers have always rallied to say that they need to stay on that particular plan,” Maddon said. “But I think it’s kind of been proven – just give them that extra day or two on occasion and it really benefits them. So I just think you’re fighting this old view of specifically how it needs to be done."