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: Mitch Lewis' recruiting stock soaring

Recruiting News and Notes: Mitch Lewis' recruiting stock soaring

Mitch Lewis (TE), Naperville North

Naperville North senior three-star ranked tight end Mitch Lewis (6-foot-6, 215 pounds) has seen his overall recruiting stock soar over the past month, as he's now touting 10 verbal scholarship offers and has more interest growing by the day.

"It's been a pretty wild last week or two," Lewis said. "It just seems like a lot of schools decided to offer me. It all came out of nowhere to be honest and it feels pretty amazing."

Lewis has added several of his 10 offers over the past few weeks and ran down his list of offers.

"I have offers now from Hawaii, Wyoming, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, South Dakota, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Illinois State and Northern Iowa," Lewis said. "Also Iowa, Penn State and Purdue have also been in touch weekly, and both Iowa and Penn State are coming to watch one of my basketball games this week. I have a feeling some of the Big Ten schools are getting closer to offering me."

Lewis, who made his first official visit to Wyoming back in November is planning to set more official visits in January.

Joshua Maize (DE), Deerfield

Deerfield senior three-star ranked defensive end Joshua Maize (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) has switched up his planned official visit schedule, and he will make his first official visit this weekend.

"I'm making my first official visit to UConn this weekend," Maize said. "I was suppose to go to Miami of Ohio last weekend but they wanted me to reschedule. I was suppose to go to Miami of Ohio last weekend but they wanted me to reschedule since I was the only recruit scheduled to visit."

So what is Maize looking for when he visits UConn?

"I'm just looking forward to seeing the campus and the surrounding area," Maize said. "I've never been out East before so I want to see what UConn has to offer. I'm also looking forward to getting to know the coaches and the guys on the team. UConn also is supposed to have great facilities and I'm excited to see the different facilities along with the overall environment at UConn."

Maize has also drawn late recruiting interest from a handful of schools.

"Syracuse has been showing a lot more interest," Maize said. "They have a few offers out to Juco kids so they are waiting to see what happens. Syracuse wants me to make an official visit in January. I'm also talking weekly with Toledo and Central Michigan. I'm sure I'll set more visits in January but for now my focus is on UConn this weekend."

[MORE: The 2016 Edgy Tim All-State Team]

Nick Marozas (OL), Brother Rice

Brother Rice junior offensive linemen Nick Marozas (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) added his first scholarship on Monday from Minnesota.

"Getting my first offer from Minnesota feels great," Marozas said. "It was a bit of a surprise. I talked to one of the coaches on Monday morning and then later in the day they called my coaches at school then they offered me a scholarship."

Marozas visited Minnesota earlier this fall and came away impressed with the Gophers.

"I visited Minnesota last month for the Homecoming game against Purdue," Marozas said. "I had a chance to talk to the coaches at Minnesota on that visit and that went well. I liked the campus, the facilities and the stadium. Minnesota is just a great program and school and it's pretty exciting to get my first offer from a great Big Ten program."

Marozas has drawn interest from Minnesota along with Syracuse, Illinois, Indiana, Northern Illinois and Navy. Marozas plans to make a mid January unofficial visit to Syracuse.

Alec Palczewski (OT), Prospect

Prospect senior offensive tackle Alec Palczewski (6-foot-6, 270 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock soar late this fall. Palczewski, who added his first offer from Illinois a few weeks ago, now has added offers from the Fighting Illini along with Vanderbilt and Syracuse. Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana have also started to take interest in Palczewski.

Lyons Township QB Ben Bryant verbally commits to Wisconsin

Lyons Township QB Ben Bryant verbally commits to Wisconsin

Lyons Township junior three-star ranked quarterback Ben Bryant (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) decided to end his recruiting process early and gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment.

"I feel like Wisconsin would be a great fit for me," Bryant said minutes after posting his decision via his Twitter account. "The coaches at Wisconsin really want me there. Wisconsin is a Top 10 program. I love the campus, plus it's really close to home. Honestly I have a lot of reasons why I decided on Wisconsin."

Bryant took part in a Wisconsin satellite camp at Homewood-Flossmoor and received his offer from the Badgers shortly after his camp appearance.

Bryant, who also had an early offer from Central Michigan, was drawing increased recruiting attention from several Big Ten schools this late fall and made unofficial visits this fall to both Iowa and Indiana along with Wisconsin.