High School Lites preview: First things first

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High School Lites preview: First things first

Battles for first place? In early January?

Yes, it might be a little early to start hyping the first place jostling in prep basketball conferences across Chicagoland. But its hard to deny the drama that will unfold on some courts Friday night.

In the Metro Conference, both Ridgewood and Riverside-Brookfield will meet up with undefeated records in league play. And it should be a quite an atmosphere in Norridge, as loads of Bulldogs fans are expected to make the trip north.

RELATED Simeon still the team to beat in Chicago

Over in the Fox Valley Fox, Crystal Lake Central has raced out to a 15-1 record, but theyll have their work cut out for them as Woodstock comes to town. The Blue Streaks, fresh off a 75-57 win over Grayslake Central, will contend with CLCs 1-2 punch of Corban Murphy and Kyle Flack.

And In the Southwest Prairie, Oswego has turned heads all season long, with guards Miles Simelton and Elliot McGaughy dominating the opposition. But Minooka will come in with a 5-0 record in conference play. Keep an eye on Jake Hogen for the Indians.

Here is a snapshot of every basketball game we will profile on Friday's High School Lites at 10:30 p.m. The rankings reflect the latest CSN Top 20:

THURSDAY GAMES:

St. Charles East @ No. 15 Larkin, 7:15 p.m.

Mother McAuley @ Trinity, 7:30 p.m. (GIRLS)

FRIDAY GAMES:

Oswego @ Minooka, 6:30 p.m.

Riverside-Brookfield @ Ridgewood, 7:00 p.m.

Woodstock @ Crystal Lake Central, 7:00 p.m.

Montini @ Marian Central Catholic, 7:00 p.m.

Neuqua Valley @ Metea Valley, 7:15 p.m. (GIRLS)

Naperville North @ Naperville Central, 7:30 p.m.

No. 20 St. Patrick @ Marist, 7:30 p.m.

New Trier @ Maine South, 7:30 p.m.

Our Muscle Milk Team of the Week is Curie High School boys basketball team. Pay no attention to the Condors record, which contains five losses. Or maybe pay attention to the five teams that beat Curie. Every one of them was highly ranked, including local teams like Simeon and Benet, to national powers in Oak Hill Academy (VA) and Arsenal Tech (IN). Their cornerstone is 6-9 Cliff Alexander. Can this highly-touted junior take Curie deep into postseason play?

We'll also head out to Carol Stream to profile Jered Cortez, our Allstate High School Athlete of the Week. Cortez is a two-time Illinois state champion and a Cadet National Champion. What is the key to success for this 126-pound phenom?

As always, well take a drive down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment and bring you up-to-the-minute scores and highlights from across Chicagoland.

High School Lites streams live this Friday night on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well. Check us out at: highschoollites@comcastsportsnet.com

Watch: Prairie Ridge quarterback Samson Evans talks recruiting, state-title run

Watch: Prairie Ridge quarterback Samson Evans talks recruiting, state-title run

It's been a steady climb up the recruiting ladder for Prairie Ridge junior quarterback Samson Evans this winter. 

Evans, who took part in last Monday's Edgy Tim Underclassmen Showcase powered by EFT Football Academy, took a few minutes to fill us in on his latest recruiting news, including receiving early offers from the likes of Illinois, Iowa and Syracuse. 

He also described Prairie Ridge's run to a Class 6A state title last year.

Check out the interview in the video above.

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, for the first time ever in our “Viewers’ Choice” poll, we will have girls basketball as our focus:

Warren at Lake Forest, 7:00pm

Glenbrook South at Maine South, 7:00pm

Vernon Hills at Maine West, 7:30pm

Poll opens Monday at 12:00pm and closes Thursday at 4:00pm. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

**Follow @CSNPreps on Twitter.

**Note the “pinned Tweet” atop the @CSNPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.

**Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @CSNPreps just after 4pm Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other basketball news, scores and highlights this season.