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

Recruiting News and Notes: Jacub Panasiuk nearing college decision

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Recruiting News and Notes: Jacub Panasiuk nearing college decision

Jacub Panasiuk (DE), Lake Park

Panasiuk (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) recently announced that he will make his college choice on June 14.

"I decided that I'm going to make my college choice on June 14th," Panasiuk said. "That's my birthday and I'm just getting closer to wrapping things up. June 14th also happens to be my birthday and I just feel like that's the right time to make my decision."

Panasiuk, along with East St. Louis junior wide receiver Jeff Thomas (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), remain the only uncommitted players in the Rivals.com Early Spring Top 20 Class of 2017 State of Illinois rankings. Panasiuk discussed what factors will help land his services.

"Over the past two years of going on visits everywhere and talking to coaches, I've realized that facilities and all the fancy stuff doesn't really matter," Panasiuk said. "Every school will end up having the same things. It will be how comfortable I am with the coaching staff at the school. I think having a close relationship with the coaches is a key factor in all of this."

Panasiuk, the older brother of Mike Panasiuk who signed with Michigan State, has offers from the Spartans along with several other Big Ten schools. Panasiuk added that he will narrow down his list of favorite schools "very soon."

Joe Spivak (DT), Montini Catholic

Spivak (6-foot-1, 292 pounds) added his second offer this week from South Dakota State. Spivak, who's father Joe played for Illinois State back in the 80's, also landed his first offer from his dad's alma matter. So is it safe to assume that the younger Spivak is a "lock" for Illinois State?

"A lot of people think that I'm a done deal for Illinois State," Spivak said. "I love Illinois State but honestly I'm looking at all of my options for now. I'm just not in a big hurry and I want to see how my recruiting shakes out."

Spivak has drawn recruiting looks from Northwestern, Miami of Ohio, Air Force, North Dakota State and Ball State, along with several Ivy League schools.

Charlie Schmidt (OG), Libertyville

Schmidt (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) was able to add his first offer late last week from Iowa State.

"I was pretty surprised," Schmidt said. "I talked to one of the assistant coaches on Thursday and they offered me the following day."

The sophomore offensive guard also has a serious connection to the Cyclones.

"My teammate Tyler Jost just committed to Iowa State. Also Coach (John) Kuceyeski is from Libertyville so we have a pretty good connection to Iowa State at our school. I know that they have good coaches and a good tradition at Iowa State The Iowa State coaches want me to come out and visit. I don't have anything set just yet but I'll get out to visit them soon."

Schmidt has also drawn recruiting interest so far this spring from Michigan State, Central Michigan and Illinois State.

Marist Notes

Marist head coach Pat Dunne has been putting in some serious time with college coaches this spring. Marist is already touring three DI recruits in junior linebacker Micah Awodiran, junior offensive guard Bill Kuduk (Central Michigan) and junior defensive back Robert Topps and you can now add junior defensive tackle Elijah Teague (6-foot-3, 292 pounds) to the FBS recruit listing as Teague was able to add his first offer from Iowa State.

"Iowa State was able to see me work out at school and they offered me a few days later," Teague said. "I don't know too much about the school but I do have family that lives in Carroll, Iowa which is like 30 to 45 minutes away from Ames. I've been to Ames before and I've seen the school and it looks nice. The Iowa State coaches want me to come out to visit and I'll try to get out to visit them this summer."

Illinois Mr. Basketball Charlie Moore down to eight schools

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Illinois Mr. Basketball Charlie Moore down to eight schools

After opening up his recruitment earlier in April, Morgan Park senior point guard and Illinois Mr. Basketball Charlie Moore is down to eight schools, he announced on Twitter.

The 5-foot-11 Moore is down to Cal, Illinois, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, SMU, UNLV and Western Kentucky. Moore opened up his previous commitment from Memphis after head coach Josh Pastner left to take the same position at Georgia Tech. It's worth noting that the Yellow Jackets is on Moore's final list.

A two-time state champion at Morgan Park, Moore averaged 28 points, seven assists and five steals per game as a senior.

Regarded as the No. 57 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, according to Rivals, Moore is the best available senior point guard left in the country. 

 

Phillips DB Dexter Warren pledges to NIU

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Phillips DB Dexter Warren pledges to NIU

Phillips junior defensive back recruit Dexter Warren (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) already drew a handful of MAC offers and more recruiting looks this spring, yet it didn't take long for Warren to make his verbal commitment. Warren gave NIU head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment while visiting the school last weekend for the Huskies spring game.

"NIU just feels like the right place for me," according to Warren. "I just like everything they have to offer and I was ready so I committed."

Warren, who can play either cornerback or safety at the college level, didn't choose NIU just because of its proximity to his hometown.

"I really didn't consider staying closer to home too much at first," Warren said. "I just liked everything that NIU has to offer. The school being closer to home is just another positive but it wasn't a big factor in my decision. My family and friends can come see me play, which is good."

Warren is now the second known in-state commitment for the Huskies and joins DeKalb WR Cole Tucker in the NIU Class of 2017.