Preps Talk

Dawkins, St. Benedict eye No. 1 seed

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Dawkins, St. Benedict eye No. 1 seed

As St. Benedict coach Tom Horn saw it, last Sunday's 72-29 loss to Du Sable was a bad as it looks. "Horrendous. It was a wash. We agreed to play with a running clock in the second half," he said.
 
But there were extenuating circumstances. Lamon Dawkins, St. Benedict's best player, was sidelined with an injury. Only two starters and four reserves dressed. The other players were injured or sick.
 
But Dawkins, a 6-foot senior guard who scored 91 points in three games last week, was back in uniform on Tuesday. He scored 24 points and Marshawn Williams added 17 in a 66-32 romp over Christian Liberty to boost the Bengals' record to 17-4.
 
So all is well as St. Benedict braces for Friday night's all-important assignment against Hope Academy. The winner will claim the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A regional tournament. Last year, St. Benedict finished 21-8, losing to Hope in the regional final.
 
"We've never been farther than the regional," Horn said. "The best team our school has ever had was in 1974. We ranked No. 8 in the state. But we lost to Niles West in the Class AA regional."
 
How good is this team? "We're very young. We have a little point guard who has to learn how to pass the ball. But we have the potential to do something that the school has never done before," Horn said.
 
That's because Dawkins has emerged as one of the most dynamic players in the city. Last week, he had 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a victory over Chicago Latin, 31 points and 10 rebounds in a victory over Ellison and 31 points and 11 rebounds in a victory over Mather.
 
Horn describes Dawkins, who has a 40-inch vertical jump, as "a high Division II prospect with athletic ability." The youngster wants to play in Division I. He said he has interest from DePaul, Bradley, Loyola, Eastern Illinois, Butler and Florida A&M.
 
All are waiting to see his ACT score. He is a B/C student but scored only 14 on his first ACT. "I'm just not good at testing. I can study all I want but I don't test well. I do well in tests in school. I concentrate as hard as I can and try my hardest but I don't do well on the ACT."
 
He is reading ACT books and is working with a tutor to improve his ACT score. He'll retake the test in February. "I really want to go to a Division I school. I have the grades but I must get the ACT," he said.
 
On the basketball floor, he prefers to play shooting guard. But he understands that if he doesn't grow, he'll be a point guard. "I like to come off screens and shoot a jumper or drive to the basket," he said.
 
He is averaging 20 points per game. A year ago, he averaged 23. But he isn't even the leading scorer on his team this season. Sophomore point guard Marshawn Williams, a 5-foot-5 sophomore going on 5-foot-3, is averaging 24. Williams, who grew up a block from St. Ignatius, ended up at St. Benedict because no other school wanted to take a chance on such a short player.
 
"He takes a lot of attention off me," Dawkins said of Williams. "As long as we win, I don't care if he scores more points or doesn't pass me the ball."
 
Other starters are 6-foot-3 sophomore Johnathon Rasool (7 ppg, 11 rpg), 6-foot senior Israel Aragon (5 ppg) and 6-foot-3, 250-pound Earl Briggs (8 ppg, 8 rpg).
 
They get a boost from assistant coach Manny Weincord, who won more than 500 games while coaching at Roosevelt for more than 30 years.
 
"He's my favorite coach," Dawkins said. "He always talks to me. 'You can do it,' he says. In a game, when I'm upset, he makes me laugh and gives me confidence. He tells stories about all the games he won.

Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

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Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football 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 and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. — just after Chicago White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week we spotlight some Indiana vs. Illinois border wars:

(All times Central)

Gavit at Bloom, 6 p.m.  

Lake Central at Lincoln-Way Central, 7 p.m.

Michigan City at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7 p.m.

Poll opens Monday at 12 p.m. and closes Thursday at 4 p.m. 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! 

[MORE: High School Lites podcast, episode 1]

We will make an announcement on @CSNPreps just after 4 p.m. 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 high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.
 

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 4 Glenbard West

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 4 Glenbard West

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Glenbard West

Head Coach: Chad Hetlet

Assistant Coaches: John SIgmund, Rick Heckman, Jon Schweighardt, Carl Landi, Mike Hofland, Joe Kish, Shea Moroni

How they fared in 2016: 10-3 (4-2 West Suburban Silver Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Neuqua Valley, Homewood-Flossmoor and Edwardsville before losing to Loyola in the semifinal round.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 26th vs Maine South

September 2nd vs Proviso East

September 8th @ Addison Trail

September 16th vs York

September 22nd @ Downers Grove North

September 29th @ Lyons Township

October 7th vs Hinsdale Central

October 13th @ Oak Park-River Forest

October 21th vs Proviso West

Biggest storyline: Can the Hilltoppers run the table in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior RB Ryan Diver, senior WR Alec Pierce, senior RB/LB Dre Thomas

Biggest holes to fill: The Hilltoppers will look to reload on the offensive line this summer with just one returning starter back in senior OC Connor Skryd. 

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard West and head coach Chad Hetlet will look toward the offense - in particular his backfield - as a strength with senior RB Ryan Diver along with senior RB Dre Thomas headlining the Hilltoppers running attack. Senior QB Alex Hollensbe is a threat with the run and the pass and senior WR Alec Pierce is a headliner. If the defense comes ready to play out of the gates this has the makings of another team capable of big things in 2017.