High School Lites Preview: Conference play heating up

High School Lites Preview: Conference play heating up
January 16, 2014, 8:45 am
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Scott Phillips

This week's matchups once again have a lot of drama as there are a couple of games with two ranked opponents facing each other from the latest edition of our Preps Power Rankings. Morgan Park and Bogan will clash on Thursday in the Red-South while the North Suburban Lake will have Lake Forest traveling to Stevenson. In the western suburbs, Fenwick travels to St. Joseph for a Catholic League clash while Proviso East and Morton battle for the top spot in the West Suburban Gold.

[MORE -- High School Lites: Week 6]

Comcast SportsNet will have cameras across Chicagoland on Friday for "High School Lites," which starts at 11 p.m. and is streamed live at CSNChicago.com.

Thursday's Games

King at No. 2 Curie, 4:30 p.m.

The Condors (14-1, 6-0) should have little to no problems with King (12-5, 5-1) after Curie beat them on the road 82-56 on the road earlier this season. But will Curie stay hungry against their inferior Red-Central foes? Cliff Alexander went for 35 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks the last time these teams met. Does he have another performance like that in him?

No. 7 Morgan Park at No. 8 Bogan, 5:00 p.m.

How about this Red-South clash? Bogan (16-2, 4-0) and Morgan Park (12-3, 5-1) have already split this season as Bogan won at Morgan Park and the Mustangs got revenge in the semifinals at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, and Bogan is riding high after a road win at No. 5 Simeon earlier this week. Can a fully healthy Morgan Park win two straight against Bogan? This should be a heck of a battle.

Friday's Games

No. 5 Simeon at Vocational, 5:00 p.m.

Simeon (10-3, 3-2) could use a bounce-back effort in the Red-South following their home loss to Bogan on Tuesday. The Wolverines were without sophomore guard Zach Norvell due to him leaving school because of a medical issue, but they still have plenty of talent and should be able to get by Vocational (12-4, 2-3). Vocational has a solid record, but they are still under .500 in Red-South play and they'll need wins over one of the top three teams in the league in Bogan, Morgan Park and Simeon to truly have a chance to compete for the league crown.

GIRLS — T.F. South at Oak Lawn, 5:30 p.m.

T.F. South is off to a 13-2 start on the season  the best start for them under head coach Steve Breshock  while Oak Lawn won its own Holiday tournament and is off to an even better 15-1 start on the season as they are competing for the South Suburban Red. Can T.F. South win this crossover matchup of great teams and represent the South Suburban Blue?

Bradley-Bourbonnais at Thornwood, 6:30 p.m.

The SouthWest Suburban Red leaders square off as Thornwood (11-4, 4-0) hosts Bradley-Bourbonnais (10-1, 4-0) on Friday night. The Thunderbirds are missing Bradley commit and star senior Donte Thomas, who has a torn meniscus and will have surgery on Friday, but Kaliph Fagan, Brian Thomas, Donzel Vinson, Chelby Frazier and Rashaad Alexander all hit double-figures in win over Crete-Monee and Thornwood is 2-0 since Thomas got hurt. Bradley-Bourbonnais is 10-1 on the season, but they haven't been tested often and lost by 15 points to Joliet Central. This game will go a long way in determining who is the best in the SouthWest Suburban Red.

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Notre Dame at No. 25 Benet, 7:00 p.m., (WCIU U-Too)

This should be an interesting matchup in the East Suburban Catholic Conference as Notre Dame (7-8, 1-1) takes on No. 25 Benet (9-4, 0-1). The Red Wings are still searching for their first conference victory in the loaded ESCC, but they've played a very tough non-conference schedule and should be prepared for a Notre Dame team with some talent. Joe Mooney is a talented guard for the Dons while sophomore Ammar Becar should be an interesting match-up down low with Benet senior and Xavier commit Sean O'Mara. Can O'Mara and Benet get enough perimeter shooting around the big man to hold off Notre Dame? 

Bolingbrook at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m.

Can the Vikings (7-6, 3-1) finally get over the hump against good competition and knock off Bolingbrook (10-2, 4-0) in this matchup of the SouthWest Suburban Blue's top two teams? Homewood-Flossmoor has played a difficult schedule and four of its six losses on the season have come against teams currently ranked in the CSN Preps Power Rankings while Bolingbrook is hoping to bounce back after its third-place finish at the McDipper following a disappointing loss to Thornton. The Raiders are just outside the Top 25 right now and a win and a few losses ahead of them could put them back in the Power Rankings.

No. 17 Lake Forest at No. 4 Stevenson, 7:00 p.m.

The Scouts (12-3, 3-2) lost to Warren last week and now have to travel to Lincolnshire to face the Patriots (13-1, 3-1) coming off of a loss on the road against the No. 6 Zee-Bees of Zion Benton. This should be a solid game for second place in the North Suburban Lake and an interesting clash as junior forward Evan Boudreaux faces Stevenson guards Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw. Matt Johnson should also be back in the lineup for the Patriots after missing the Zion-Benton game due to suspension.

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No. 6 Zion-Benton at Libertyville, 7:00 p.m.

The Zee-Bees (13-1, 3-0) are riding high after their home win over Stevenson last Friday and now they have to go on the road to face Joe Borcia and Libertyville (8-5, 2-3). Milik Yarbrough and Admiral Schofield are a tough duo to stop and the big-bodied forwards can both get rolling with the jumper. The Zee-Bees still need to do a better job taking care of the ball though as they had 28 turnovers against Stevenson.

No. 20 Fenwick at No. 12 St. Joseph, 7:00 p.m.

This is a big matchup of 5-0 teams in the Catholic League North as Fenwick (12-4) takes on St. Joseph. The Friars will be counting on sophomore point guard Mike Smith to continue to play well in big games as Smith does a nice job running the offense and changing paces for a young guard. St. Joseph will counter with strong junior guard play from Glynn Watson and Jordan Ash and sophomore forward Nick Rakocevic facing Fenwick's seniors Dan Dwyer and Tom Planek will be an interesting matchup as well.

No. 14 Proviso East at No. 22 Morton, 7:30 p.m.

Atop the West Suburban Gold is a matchup between the Pirates (11-3) and Mustangs (8-3) are both 3-0 in the league. Proviso East has strong guard play from senior Jevon Carter, a West Virginia commit and sophomore Antonio Williams as well as junior Kalin Fisher while Morton has a duo that can really put it in the bucket with senior guard Greg Carter and Weisner Perez.