It was a tremendous season of basketball in Illinois this season, and the Chicagoland area saw a ton of great high school basketball. Great teams, great players and great moments defined the 2013-14 season, and here's a look at the final CSN Preps Power Rankings of the season.
After starting the year at No. 1, Whitney Young ended that way after a tremendous final two months of the season to capture the Class 4A title. Morgan Park also repeated as the Class 3A champion, and there were tons of other great stories during the season such as Fremd's 28-0 start and the unbelievable play of teams such as Benet, Stevenson, Orr and Marian Catholic.
Thanks for tuning in to High School Lites on CSN Chicago and streaming the show on the website at CSNChicago.com this season. For the latest in IHSA basketball and local recruiting, be sure to keep it with CSNChicago.com during the offseason.
We'll have more on the 2013-14 season -- and a look at the 2014-15 season -- in the coming days before the McDonald's All-American game hits Chicago next week. Of course, CSNChicago.com will have full coverage of the national high school basketball All-Star game as Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander and Tyler Ulis all participate in the festivities.
But without further ado, here is the final edition of the CSN Preps Power Rankings for the 2013-14 season.
1. Whitney Young (29-5) (3)
The preseason No. 1 team in the CSN Preps Power Rankings finishes the year on top as senior stars Jahlil Okafor, Paul White and Miles Reynolds go out on top. Senior Erwin Henry also had a really good season and the Dolphins played arguably the toughest national schedule in the country.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Marist Sectional
2. Morgan Park (23-6) (5)
Many doubted Nick Irvin's ball club and their ability to repeat in Class 3A, but the Mustangs did it with the win over Orr and Lincoln in Peoria. Sophomore guards Charlie Moore, Jarrin Randall and Jamal Burton all return and Morgan Park will have a lot of talent next year as they go for three in a row.
Sectional Seed: Class 3A*, No. 1 seed, Thornridge Regional
3. Benet (25-8) (8)
Sean O'Mara and the Redwings were probably a tad disrespected during the year as they fluctuated in and out of the CSN Preps Power Rankings, but they came on strong when it mattered and played an incredibly difficult schedule. Collin Pelletieri, Collin Bonnett and Liam Nelligan can all really play.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, East Aurora Sectional
4. Stevenson (32-2) (1)
Great year for the Patriots as they fell to Whitney Young in the semifinals and rallied to beat Edwardsville for third place in Class 4A. With four returning starters, including the junior guard trio of Jalen Brunson, Connor Cashaw and Matt Johnson, they're a definite top-3 team heading into next year.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional
5. Orr (26-5) (4)
The Spartans made it back to Peoria and finished in third place after knocking off Rockford Lutheran. Although Orr lost to eventual champion Morgan Park in the semifinals, they still had a great season .
Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Westinghouse Sectional
6. Marian Catholic (28-3) (2)
Tough loss for Tyler Ulis and company to Edwardsville in the Normal Supersectional, but it was a memorable season for the Spartans as they won the East Suburban Catholic Conference, the McDipper Holiday Tournament and the Chicago Heights Classic.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Thornton Sectional
7. Bogan (25-6) (6)
The Bengals fell to Morgan Park in supersectionals to finish 2-2 against their rival, but Bogan will be back and strong next year behind a strong core of juniors led by Luwane Pipkins.
Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Vocational Sectional
8. North Chicago (26-5) (7)
North Chicago fell just short against Orr to make it to Peoria, but this senior group that was led by a fantastic trio of seniors in Javairius Amos-Mays, Kurt Hall and JayQuan McCloud.
Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Antioch Sectional
9. Loyola (25-6) (9)
The Ramblers were also led by a strong trio of seniors as guards James Clarke, Kevin Kucera and Jack Morrissey were really fun to watch. Head coach Tom Livatino did a great job with this team this season and Loyola was one of the more disciplined teams in the area.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Maine South Sectional
10. Glenbard North (24-6) (10)
Unranked in the preseason, Glenbard North stormed into supersectional play and gave Benet everything they could handle before falling just short. Chip Flanigan and Jeremiah Fleming were two seniors that really broke onto the scene during the season.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 6 seed, Bartlett Sectional
11. Fremd (28-1) (11)
The Vikings started the season 28-0 and won titles in in the Mid-Suburban League and the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. Seniors Riley Glassmann and Ben Carlson both had tremendous seasons for Bob Widlowski's team.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional
12. Simeon (22-5) (12)
Simeon couldn't win five straight titles in Class 4A, but still had a great season as Robert Smith's ballclub will be strong against next year. Juniors D.J. Williams and Edward Morrow lead a top-5 preseason team.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A*, No. 3 seed, Marist Sectional
13. Fenwick (22-9) (13)
Rick Malnati's first season at Fenwick was a good one as the Friars were one of the most balanced teams in the area behind sophomore point guard Mike Smith and senior forwards Tom Planek and Dan Dwyer. Once senior Northwestern commit Scott Lindsey came back, this was one of the best teams in the area.
Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 3 seed, Westinghouse Sectional
14. St. Rita (21-8) (14)
Really good year for Gary DeCesare's Mustangs as the Matthews brothers -- Charles and Dominique -- both played very well and senior Northwestern commit Vic Law also played very well. This should be a talented team next season led by Charles Matthews, who is committed to Kentucky.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Marist Sectional
15. Morton (22-6) (15)
The Mustangs didn't lose in the month of February and went on a great run until their sectional title game loss to Glenbard North. Junior forward Weisner Perez returns next season and should be an All-Area contender.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Bartlett Sectional
16. Maine South (25-7) (16)
Really good season for the Hawks as they overachieved behind a balanced team that could really move the ball and play patiently. Junior post George Sargeant returns next season.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Maine South Sectional
17. Geneva (25-6) (17)
Junior forward Nate Navigato is a big reason why Geneva had one of its best seasons in school history and he's back next season for Phil Ralston's club.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 6 seed, East Aurora Sectional
18. Homewood-Flossmoor (17-12) (18)
The Vikings snuck up on people in the later portion of the season as they advanced to the sectional title game at Thornton before falling to Marian Catholic. Senior center Tai Odiase moves on to UIC, but the Vikings had some younger returning pieces to work with.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 6 seed, Thornton Sectional
19. St. Viator (23-6) (19)
The Lions had a great season and their potent perimeter play was fun to watch. Ore Arogundade moves on to Drake, but Mark Falotico, Pat McNamara and Roosevelt Smart all return for St. Viator.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 5 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional
20. St. Joseph (23-7) (20)
With most of its core returning, look for St. Joseph to be a top-10 team at the very least to begin next season. Junior guards Jordan Ash, Joffrey Brown and Glynn Watson return as well as sophomore center Nick Rakocevic, who was the best sophomore in the state of Illinois this season.
Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 2 seed, Westinghouse Sectional
21. West Aurora (24-5) (21)
The Blackhawks are going to miss senior point guard Jontrell Walker, but junior forward Roland Griffin took a huge step forward this season and sophomore post Carleton Williams has a chance to emerge on the scene next year.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, East Aurora Sectional
22. Thornwood (24-5) (22)
Despite losing senior forward and Bradley commit Donte Thomas, the Thunderbirds rattled off 15 consecutive wins during the season and had a fantastic season.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Thornton Sectional
23. Hinsdale Central (23-7) (23)
The Red Devils were another team that came on strong down the stretch as senior guard Chase Hamilton and junior forward Matt Rafferty both were consistently good.
Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, East Aurora Sectional
24. Providence-St. Mel (26-7) (24)
Great season for Providence-St. Mel, who finished in third place in Class 2A. Although they lost to eventual champion Bloomington Central Catholic in the Final Four, Providence-St. Mel bounced back to beat Petersburg (PORTA) handily for third place.
25. Mooseheart (29-3) (25)
Mooseheart is this year's IHSA Class 1A state champion and they did it with size and athleticism across the board. Really good ballclub that was clearly the class of Illinois' smallest division.