High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Posted 10:56 p.m.

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet is your number one source for high school basketball in Chicagoland. Fridays edition of High School Lites will feature budding rivalries and conference showdowns, which includes an intriguing matchup between St. Ignatius and Hales Franciscan. Also, David Kaplan has the story of Proviso Easts Sterling Brown. The talented sophomore, who is the younger brother of the Lakers Shannon Brown, will talk about what kind of legacy he would like to create in Maywood. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Jacobs @ Dundee-Crown, 7:00pm

The Dundee-Crown staff is projecting a huge crowd Friday night in Carpentersville with two teams that have developed quite a rivalry over the years. The last four contests have been decided by eight points or less; the road team has won the last two. Jacobs (11-8, 3-0) sits atop the Fox Valley Valley conference thanks in part to last weeks double overtime victory over Cary-Grove. Nick Hoffman scored 31 of Jacobs 59 points. Dundee-Crown (10-7, 2-3) is led by senior forwards Jamel Kimbrough and Ryan Smith.

Plainfield South @ Plainfield Central, 7:00pm

The Southwest Prairie conference is one race that could go right down to the last night in league play. South (12-6, 5-2) sits in second, coming off a heartbreaking 73-70 loss to conference leader Oswego. Junior guard Ed Presniakovas and senior forward Zach Snowden figure to lead the Cougars offense against a Central team (14-5, 4-3) that is also right in the thick of the Prairie race. The Wildcats attack revolves around shooting guard Derrick Marks, who is headed to play at Boise State next year.

Wheaton Academy @ Immaculate Conception, 7:00pm

Wheaton Academy (17-1, 4-0) is looking down on their competitors in the Suburban Christian Goldliterally and figuratively. The Warriors have a 6-9 center in Luke Johnson and two 6-6 forwards on the roster. Theyre coming off a 53-36 nonconference win over West Chicago Tuesday night. I-C is on a roll, having won four straight by an average of over 14 points per game. Senior forward Demetrius Mobley will lead the Knights (9-10, 2-3) into action Friday in Elmhurst.

Loyola @ (5) De La Salle, 7:30pm

On paper it might look like a mismatch when the 5th ranked Meteors (15-2, 5-1) host the Ramblers (9-10, 2-4) Friday night on Chicagos south side. But the Ramblers have secured victories over Glenbrook North and Evanston, and will be hungry after losing a close battle against Brother Rice Tuesday night. But De La Salle has a ton of weapons, including Illinois-bound Mike Shaw, Dre Henley and Alex Foster. Theyre also coming off a huge 49-44 victory over St. Ignatius last week.

St. Ignatius @ (6) Hales Franciscan, 7:30pm

As mentioned previously, St. Ignatius will be looking to bounce back after that tough De La Salle loss. They also suffered a setback against Brooks on Saturday. The Wolfpack (12-5, 5-1) currently sit in a three-way tie for first in the Catholic North with De La Salle and Hales (15-2, 5-1). St. Ignatius will need a big game from their Illinois-bound 6-10 center Nnanna Egwu. Hales got a signature victory over Whitney Young last week, 64-61. Brothers Aaron and Aaric Armstead, along with forward Dominque Walls cause fits for the opposition.

Lincoln-Way East @ (23) Lockport, 7:30pm

Keep an eye on the 23rd ranked Porters. Although they are newcomers to the Super 25 rankings, they have arguably one of the toughest schedules in the state. Theyve already had to face Simeon, Benet and Homewood-Flossmoor. Lockport (14-5, 5-1) has a talented senior forward in Karrington Ward. Lincoln-Way East (10-7, 3-3) is coming off a nice 55-40 victory over Lincoln-Way Central. The Griffins are surprising some people after many picked the team to finish near the bottom of the Southwest Suburban Red conference.

Waukegan @ Evanston, 7:30pm

Has there ever been a battle for first place between two teams with such strikingly different nonconference records? Waukegan (8-8, 5-1) and Evanston (16-5, 5-1) lock horns on the Wildkits home floor with the top spot in the Central Suburban South at stake. The Kits are coming off a 51-43 win over Maine South last Friday, while the Bulldogs tipped Glenbrook South 55-47. In their first meeting, Evanston took a 73-68 decision in overtime. Itll be a showcase of guards as Waukegans Akeem Springs Evanstons Garrett Jones square off.

Schaumburg @ Fremd, 7:30pm

2011 has been very kind to the Vikings of Fremd (13-6, 5-1) so far, as they have scored victories over the likes of Palatine, McHenry and Hoffman Estates. Despite graduating four of their top six players last year, they sit atop the Mid Suburban West thanks to South Dakota State recruit Zach Monaghan. He had 13 points and eight steals in last weeks victory over Palatine. Schaumburg (8-9, 4-2) will be trying to bounce back from Saturdays loss to Lockport. Javon McDonald hopes to provide a spark for the visiting Saxons.

(2) Benet @ Nazareth, 7:30pm

The Redwings grip on the number two ranking in Chicagoland continued last weekend. Benet (21-0, 7-0) secured victories over Marist and Glenbard East. Will Benets Northwestern-bound guard David Sobolewski get a lot of minutes? He has been limited of late with a nagging back injury. Nazareth (15-4, 5-2), an accomplished team, will still need to play a perfect game to pull off the upsetregardless of Sobolewskis status. The Roadrunners have momentum after last weeks 50-43 victory over St. Patrick. Ryan Powers will get a lot of looks for the home team.

THURSDAY GAMES:

(1)Simeon 69 (21) Bogan 60

The top-ranked Wolverines (18-0, 9-0) went wire-to-wire in Chicagos brutally tough Red South conference, escaping without a defeat after Thursdays 69-60 win over Bogan. Simeon, ranked fourth in the nation by USA Today, got help from Jabari Parker during a pivotal stretch in the 3rd quarter. He scored seven of his game-high 17 points in the period and Simeon never looked back after that. Darien Walker chipped in 13 points. Ronnell Buckner and DeVaughn Johnson tallied 16 for the Bengals. We will hear from Simeon head coach Robert Smith after the victory.

Check us out this Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

There's a lot of buzz around the future of the White Sox.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti joined SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss the team's exciting young prospects and how soon they'll be making their way to the South Side.

Also joining Pat Boyle on this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast are the Tribune's David Haugh, Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush and WGN Radio's Sam Panayotovich.

The guys also react to Mike Glennon's recent comments and Kevin White’s uncertain status at OTAs.

Plus, they wonder if Kyle Schwarber has finally found his spot in the Cubs' lineup.

Take a listen to the latest episode below:

Preview: Confident Fire face tough test vs. FC Dallas Thursday on CSN

Preview: Confident Fire face tough test vs. FC Dallas Thursday on CSN

The Chicago Fire are on a three-game winning streak, but those wins have come against struggling teams. FC Dallas, Thursday’s opponent, provides a different level of opposition.

Dallas won the Supporters’ Shield and the U.S. Open Cup last year and was the last team in Major League Soccer to lose this season, only getting knocked off for the first time Saturday against San Jose.

The Fire host Dallas at Toyota Park on CSN with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live. The Fire (6-3-3, 21 points) have more points, but Dallas (5-1-4, 19 points) has played two fewer games.

“You can test yourself against one of the best teams in the league and kind of gauge where you’re at,” Fire defender Brandon Vincent said. “We’re confident and we want to go out there and battle with them.”

Vincent has been part of a defense that has two straight shutouts, although those came against the two-worst goal-scoring teams in the league in Colorado and D.C. Dallas’ attack isn’t the most prolific in the league (14 goals in 10 games), but is very dangerous on the counter.

“They have a ton of attacking talent,” goalkeeper Matt Lampson said. “They’re actually just a solid team throughout and we expect a very hard game, but we are a completely different team. I think we’ve started to prove that and it’s going to be a very good game.”

While the defense will be busy containing Maxi Urruti (6 goals, 2 assists), midfielder Kellyn Acosta has been a crucial two-way player for Dallas. The 21-year-old has become a key player in the middle with playmaker Mauro Diaz, who was third in MLS with 13 assists last year, still out with an Achilles tendon injury.

Dallas has allowed the fewest goals in the league this season, seven through 10 games. Both centerbacks, Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman, have emerged as national team prospects for the U.S.

Dallas has the talent, experience and credentials of a top team. The Fire are new to being a contender. Vincent and Lampson, both in their second years with the Fire, said they haven’t seen the team have this much confidence since they joined the team.

“This is something special,” Lampson said. “That just proves that guys like Juninho, Dax (McCarty) and Bastian (Schweinsteiger) coming in, the culture has completely changed and we have guys who will do anything to win. When you have every guy on the team that’s like that, then you’re going to get results, you’re going to have confidence when you play well and everybody on the field is going to play for each other.”

Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas

Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.

TV: CSN Chicago

When: Coverage begins 7 p.m. Thursday with Fire Pregame Live

Records: Fire (6-3-3, 21 points), FCD (5-1-4, 19 points)