CSN Preps Basketball Power Rankings: Week 13

CSN Preps Basketball Power Rankings: Week 13
February 23, 2014, 10:15 pm
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This week's edition of the CSN Preps Basketball Power Rankings saw plenty of action as tons of big matchups went on. More than anything, last week's big games showed that the top contenders in 4A and 3A are pretty much set for the area, but there are still plenty of outside contenders. We'll have more on that in the coming weeks, but more on this week's update.

The top-7 remains the same as the top four teams are the clear leaders to win the Class 4A state title, the No. 5 team is a big contender in Class 3A and No. 6 is still unbeaten on the season.

Some teams that were top-25 mainstays were dropped following losing streaks as well.

We'll have many of these teams and more of the top Chicago matchups on this week's edition of High School Lites live at 11 p.m., Friday on CSN Chicago and streaming on CSNChicago.com.

1. Curie (24-1) (1)

The Condors captured the city championship after defeating Hyde Park in the semifinals on Wednesday before knocking off No. 4 Whitney Young on Friday in four overtimes. The city title is a first for Curie, and Cliff Alexander and co. should be the favorite entering in Class 4A after winning the city championship. The Condors are still undefeated in Illinois this season.

[RELATED: Curie tops Whitney Young in four overtimes for city title]

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Marist Sectional

2. Stevenson (23-1) (2)

Speaking of statement wins, Stevenson had two of them this week as they knocked off No. 12 Lake Forest in two overtimes and also knocked off No. 8 Simeon at the City-Suburban Showdown on Saturday at Niles West. Jalen Brunson's 56-point performance in the Lake Forest game might be the individual performance of the year in the area. The Patriots have Wauconda and the North Suburban Conference Championship game this week.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

3. Marian Catholic (23-2) (3)

The Spartans had two impressive wins of their own as they knocked off Carmel in an ESCC road game and followed that up with a win over No. 12 Lake Forest at the City-Suburban Showdown. Marian Catholic faces Nazareth this week.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Thornton Sectional

4. Whitney Young (21-6) (4)

Tyrone Slaughter's bunch failed to capture its second consecutive city championship, but there is no shame in the way the Dolphins lost to Curie, especially without Jahlil Okafor the last 18 minutes of the game. Whitney Young's second-half comeback against No. 5 Orr in the city semifinals was also one of the better halves of basketball a team in Illinois has played this season. The Dolphins will be one of four major contenders from the area in Class 4A.

[DRIVE: Reynolds proves to be heart and soul of Dolphins]

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Marist Sectional

5. Orr (20-4) (5)

It was a painful loss for Orr in the Public League semifinals as they blew a 15-point halftime lead to No. 4 Whitney Young to fall Wednesday at Chicago State. Still, Orr looks like a major contender in Class 3A as the team is balanced, deep and experienced.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

6. Fremd (24-0) (6)

The Vikings are still unbeaten on the season and they have one more game on Wednesday in the Mid-Suburban League Championship game against Prospect to remain perfect going into the playoffs. Riley Glassmann leads a balanced, defensive-minded group that is really tough.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

7. Zion-Benton (23-3) (7)

The Zee-Bees quietly keep winning as they took two this week and have two games next week at Grant and at Mather to close out the season. Milik Yarbrough continues to pile in points as the senior is a likely All-Area selection.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

8. Simeon (18-6) (8)

The four-time defending Class 4A champions fell to No. 2 Stevenson in the City-Suburban Showdown, and Robert Smith's ball club will have time now to regroup before the playoffs. This team will have to get through Whitney Young, Curie and a host of tough teams to get through the Marist Sectional.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A*, No. 3 seed, Marist Sectional

*Defending four-time Class 4A champions

9. Morgan Park (16-6) (10)

The Mustangs had the week off and will look to focus on a run in the Class 3A state playoffs. Can Morgan Park repeat as champions with a younger group?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A*, No. 1 seed, Thornridge Regional

*Defending Class 3A champions

10. Larkin (23-3) (11)

Fresh off a nine-game winning Streak, Larkin has a nice 12-day break to practice until its next game. The Royals have experienced senior guards in Derrick Streety and Kendale McCullum that will work with the rest of the team to prepare them for a run in Class 4A.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, St. Charles North Regional

11. Bogan (24-4) (13)

The Bengals had the week off and now they can prepare to win the Vocational Sectional and try to make a run in Class 3A. Luwane Pipkins and company had a disappointing finish in the Public League Playoffs but have a chance to turn that around now in the state playoffs.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Vocational Sectional

12. Lake Forest (20-6) (12)

Two tough losses to No. 2 Stevenson and No. 3 Marian Catholic this weekend for the Scouts, but they've shown that they're very legitimate with those losses -- and more importantly recent wins -- to warrant remaining in their spot in the rankings. Evan Boudreaux had another huge run in those two losses and he's a definite All-Area candidate.

[HIGHLIGHTS: Stevenson 95, Lake Forest 93]

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 3 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

13. Thornwood (20-4) (16)

The Thunderbirds keep winning and have won 13 straight games as they head into two contests with Lincoln-Way North and Lincoln-Way West. Can Thornwood keep getting perimeter scoring from their talented and balanced group.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Thornton Sectional

14. Mount Carmel (20-7) (14)

Disappointing Catholic League Tournament loss to De La Salle, but the Caravan still have David Nichols, Montana Byrd and a very talented team. But can this team get by in the Class 4A Marist Sectional? It is a loaded group and Mount Carmel will have a lot of tough battles.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 5 seed, Marist Sectional

15. Proviso East (21-5) (17)

Nice 3-0 week for the Pirates including a win over downstate power Normal U-High and Ohio State commit Keita Bates-Diop. Have the Pirates regained their form a bit after some losses?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Bartlett Sectional

16. North Chicago (21-4) (18)

The Warhawks are back in the thick of things now that they're back at full strength. They're the heavy favorites in the Antioch Sectional and can they get downstate with this group?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Antioch Sectional

17. St. Viator (19-5) (20)

The Lions won against St. Patrick and now have an interesting week including an ESCC tilt with Marist and a game with No. 14 Mount Carmel. Can St. Viator win some tough games and gain some momentum heading into a ridiculous Lake Zurich Sectional?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 5 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

18. Fenwick (19-8) (22)

The Friars split the week with a loss to De La Salle in the semifinals, but a nice win over No. 17 St. Joseph in the third place game. The Friars lost to the Chargers a month ago at home and the win should be a confidence booster with St. Joseph as the No. 2 seed in the same Westinghouse Sectional.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 3 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

19. St. Joseph (20-6) (15)

After a big road win at Loyola the Chargers got knocked out of the Catholic League Tournament by No. 14 Mount Carmel -- the second time they've lost to the Caravan -- and also lost to Fenwick in the third-place game. Can St. Joe's bounce back and make a run in Class 3A?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 2 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

20. West Aurora (20-5) (23)

The Blackhawks won both of their games this week as they continue to sit tied atop the DuPage Valley Conference. This team has the potential to make a postseason run.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, East Aurora Sectional

21. Morton (18-5) (24)

Wins over Hinsdale South and Addison Trail capped an impressive week for Morton, who is playing really good ball right now. Weisner Perez, an inside-outside wing forward, and Greg Carter, a senior scoring point, can both really play.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Bartlett SectionaL

22. Hillcrest (18-6) (25)

It has also come to 13 consecutive wins for Hillcrest, who has emerged as a real threat in Class 3A thanks to a number of players emerging. The Hawks have quietly been one of the best teams in the area since a rough start.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 2 seed, Thornridge Regional

23. Hinsdale Central (20-6) (NR)

Returning to the rankings are the Red Devils, who won the really tough West Suburban Silver with an 11-1 record after beating York last week, avenging an early-season loss for Hinsdale Central. They also swept Lyons and Oak Park-River Forest and Matt Rafferty is a really good junior forward.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, East Aurora Sectional

24. St. Rita (17-7) (NR)

The Mustangs picked up its biggest win against Illinois competition this season last week with a win over Loyola in consolation play. St. Rita is filled with talent, but can they get through a talented Marist Sectional? The Mustangs have won 10 of their last 11 games with its only loss coming to No. 18 Fenwick.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Marist Sectional

25. De La Salle (13-10) (NR)

The record isn't pretty, but the Meteors are filled with talented juniors, played a really tough schedule and knocked off Loyola, No. 18 Fenwick and No. 14 Mount Carmel to win the Catholic League Tournament title. Martez Cameron, the junior point guard MVP of the tournament, is playing tremendous ball.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 7 seed, Marist SectionaL

Previously ranked: No. 9 York (23-4), No. 19 Loyola (18-5), No. 21 Maine South (21-6),