IHSA: Top 20 basketball rankings

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IHSA: Top 20 basketball rankings

1. Whitney Young (17-1)
PrepsTalk: Think the Dolphins are ready for Saturday's game against Simeon? Jahlil Okafor, Paul White, Ausar Madison and company absolutely crushed nationally ranked Long Beach Poly (CA) over the weekend, 85-52.

2. Simeon (15-2)
PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn (28 and 21 points, respectively) came to play in another nationally-televised game. This time, they take down Oak Hill (VA) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

3. Morgan Park (17-2)
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs bounced back after a tough loss to Simeon with a 74-45 win over Perspectives-Calumet. They will have another Red-South tilt Wednesday against Julian.

4. North Chicago (19-1)
PrepsTalk: The Warhawks survived a missed T.F. North three-point attempt at the buzzer to get a quality 59-57 win at Whitney Youngs MLK Dream Classic. JaVairius Amos-Mays racked up 22 points.

5. Proviso East (14-3)
PrepsTalk: The Pirates continue to make quick work of the West Suburban Gold. Branden Jenkins and Sterling Brown each scored 16 points as East ran away from Downers Grove South on Saturday, 80-55.

6. Oswego (16-2)
PrepsTalk: The Panthers tamed the competition at Wheaton Warrenville South, defeating the host school, Bartlett and Metea Valley. Quick turnaround for Oswego, with Romeoville and Plainfield South this week.

7. Benet (18-3)
PrepsTalk: Pat McInerney (21 points, 10 rebounds) hit a game-winning free throw with 1.8 seconds left to propel Benet to an exciting 51-50 win over Marian Catholic Thursday. Keep an eye on this team come March.

8. Marian Catholic (19-2)
PrepsTalk: The Spartans picked up two wins at the Rockford Jefferson MLK Tournamenta 67-41 win over the host school and a 64-51 triumph over Belvidere. Tyler Ulis continues to impress.

9. Notre Dame (16-2)
PrepsTalk: Another statement win for the Dons, this time on the floor of arch-rival St. Patrick. Jake Maestranzi, Donte Stephenson and Eddie Serrano all scored in double-figures in NDs 54-51 win Friday.

10. Orr (15-2)
PrepsTalk: Another game, another win against an out-of-state foe. This time it was Saturday's 63-45 victory against Ottawa Hills (MI). Now things get interesting, with games against Farragut and Whitney Young this week.

11. Bloom (15-3)
PrepsTalk: The Blazing Trojans were successful at Joliet Centrals MLK Day of Hoops. They beat Danville 72-38 behind 14 points from James Coleman. Bloom now faces H-F Tuesday, then Rich Central Friday (both at home).

12. Niles North (18-3)
PrepsTalk: Lorenzo Dillard, B.J. Beckford and Malachi Nix continue to pace the Vikings, who were busy over the weekend at the Lake Zurich MLK Classic. Among the victims: Streamwood, Harlem and Wheaton North.

13. Neuqua Valley (19-2)
PrepsTalk: Neuqua's defense gets torched by Mundelein on Monday, falling 80-59. The Wildcats look to get back on the winning track at Lake Park on Thursday.

14. West Aurora (14-3)
PrepsTalk: The Blackhawks, after a tough loss to DuPage Valley foe Glenbard East on Friday, bounced back to defeat long-time rival East Aurora 78-45 on Saturday. Jontrel Walker scored 20 points in the win.

15. Stevenson (13-4)
PrepsTalk: The Patriots tie the Zee-Bees atop the North Suburban Lake standings with a 66-56 victory Friday night. Jalen Brunson was unstoppable26 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Up next: Tuesday at Warren.

16. Brother Rice (16-2)
PrepsTalk: Jim Barista paced the Crusaders with 23 points in a road win at Nazareth last Tuesday. Tough stretch now for Rice: Tuesday vs. Marist, Friday vs. Seton, January 29th at Marian Catholic.

17. Curie (12-5)
PrepsTalk: The Condors took care of business in Michigan on Saturday in a 63-43 win against East Lansing. Cliff Alexander scored 26 points with 14 rebounds. Red Central foes Phillips and Harper are on deck.

18. Maine South (19-3)
PrepsTalk: The Hawks were very impressive in Galesburg. Their efforts included a 54-48 overtime thriller against Bloomington. Can Maine South ride the momentum off that win into Friday against Niles West?

19. Larkin (16-3)
PrepsTalk: The Royals saw their impressive 11-game winning streak come to an end Saturday against Geneva, 61-56. Note: Quentin Ruff hit six three-pointers Thursday against Streamwood.

20. York (15-4)
PrepsTalk: The Dukes forced 25 turnovers in a 68-31 win over the weekend against Elgin. David Cohn continues to shine. York goes back into West Suburban Silver play this Friday against Proviso West.

Looming and Lurking: Zion-Benton, Providence-St. Mel, New Trier, Oak Park-River Forest, Glenbard East, Bartlett, Seton, Stagg, Homewood-Flossmoor, St. Viator, Lemont, Montini, Lake Forest, Crystal Lake Central, St Rita, St. Edward, Bogan, Woodstock, Bartlett.

You can catch High School Lites, sponsored by Discount Tire, every Friday night at 10:30. We stream the show live at csnchicago.com.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.

Simeon beats rival Morgan Park for city championship

Simeon beats rival Morgan Park for city championship

The Battle of Vincennes is one of the best high school basketball rivalries in Illinois. But for as often as storied rivals Morgan Park and Simeon play, the two Red-South titans had never met for the city title.

That changed on Sunday. 

In an epic clash of top-five teams that might go down as the season's best game, No. 4 Simeon held on for a 68-64 win over No. 3 Morgan Park in the Public League Playoff finale at Chicago State.

The city title is the eighth for the Wolverines as they've won this event in back-to-back years -- the first time a team has done that since the Derrick Rose-led Simeon teams in 2006 and 2007. 

Simeon (24-3) was led by junior Kezo Brown, as he finished with 26 points while senior Evan Gilyard added 18 points. Simeon also had 13 points from junior Talen Horton-Tucker while role players like Messiah Jones (six points, seven rebounds) and Madison Lowery (three points, five rebounds) made winning plays down the stretch by grabbing key rebounds in a tight game. 

After going six consecutive quarters without a made three-pointer after going 0-for-6 in the first half on Sunday, the Wolverines finally heated up from the perimeter in the second half thanks to Brown's three triples and a key bucket from Gilyard.

The Mustangs (19-6) had a chance to tie this game down by three with 11 seconds left but junior Ayo Dosunmu missed a contested pull-up three that was rebounded by Lowery. 

Lowery made one of two free throws at the other end to ice the game after getting fouled.

Dosumnu finished with 16 points despite battling foul trouble for Morgan Park while big man Lenell Henry continued a strong recent stretch with 15 points. Melo Burrell added a double-double for the Mustangs with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. 

Simeon and Morgan Park split the regular-season series in Red-South conference play during the season as the road team won both games. Sunday's clash at Chicago State was a fitting conclusion to three great games between the two rivals this season as both schools enter their respective classes as potential title favorites.

Both Simeon and Morgan Park were clearly focused on Sunday's city championship game on Saturday as the two teams both lost in the annual City-Suburban Showdown. Playing a lot of reserves and not going their hardest, the Wolverines lost to Evanston and Morgan Park fell in overtime to Stevenson. 

While Morgan Park has a far easier path to Peoria in Class 3A, Simeon is still a major contender in Class 4A as the Wolverines are playing very balanced ball entering the final stretch of the season.

Tyler Ulis returns to Marian Catholic for jersey retirement

Tyler Ulis returns to Marian Catholic for jersey retirement

As the NBA world convenes in New Orleans for All-Star festivities, one point guard in the league returned to Chicago for his own celebration. 

Friday night, Tyler Ulis was the guest of honor at Marian Catholic, the school where he put on a four-year clinic despite being one of the smallest players on the roster. The school honored his tremendous career by retiring his No. 3 jersey.

  

Well under six feet, Ulis thrived for the Spartans by accentuating his unreal ballhandling, shooting and floor management skills. He was named to the 2014 McDonald's All-American team and went on to play for Coach Calipari at Kentucky. 

Ulis, now with the Phoenix Suns, currently averages 3.1 points in nine minutes per game. Similar to his time at Kentucky, the rookie's game is improving the more he plays. Following a tough January when he shot under 30 percent, Ulis has connected on 44 percent in February. More impressively, though, he's logging an assist to turnover ratio of 6:1 for the month. 

As for Friday, the homecoming king's best gift may have been the Spartans' 38-point win over rival Marian Central Catholic. Check out the highlights and the ceremony in the video above.