It's a tremendous Friday night of hoops on High School Lites this week as the schedule is littered with games featuring teams fighting for the top spot in the conference.
The night is led by No. 19 St. Joseph traveling to No. 8 Loyola. The host Ramblers are still undefeated in the state and Catholic League North while the Chargers are fully healthy and a game behind in the league.
Another matchup of ranked teams pits No. 24 Geneva at No. 15 Larkin in an Upstate Eight River battle. Undefeated No. 7 Fremd, the area's lone undefeated team, has a stiff test when they host Conant, who has won 12 straight games.
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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
Northridge at University High, 6:30 p.m.
It is a battle for the Independent School League as U-High (16-5, 10-0) hosts Northridge (15-6, 9-1). U-High is led by unsigned senior center Max Rothschild, who, at 6-foot-8, can make plays on the interior on both ends. Northridge lost to U-High before but has a four-game winning streak heading into this one and a tie for first place is on the line.
Providence-St. Mel at Hope Academy, 7:00 p.m.
The top two teams in the Chicago Prep face off as Providence-St. Mel (18-6, 6-0) travels to Hope Academy (13-9, 5-1). Providence-St. Mel is led by senior guard Tevin King, a potential Division I prospect and they'll be favored over Hope Academy thanks to their tough schedule. Hope Academy has struggled against good teams, but played well since the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.
Riverside-Brookfield at Glenbard South, 7:00 p.m.
A Metro Suburban clash of the top two teams as the Bulldogs (16-5, 9-0) travel to Glenbard South (12-8, 7-2). Riverside-Brookfield took home a 69-54 victory at home on January 10th in this same matchup and again should be the favorite here. The Bulldogs are led by 6-foot-7 Jack VandeMerkt and 6-foot-6 Sam Johnson up front and that will be tough for Glenbard South to match.
No. 19 St. Joseph at No. 8 Loyola, 7:00 p.m.
It's another battle of ranked teams in the Catholic League North as No. 19 St. Joseph (18-4, 9-1) travels to face No. 8 Loyola (19-2, 10-0). It'll be a heavily guard-driven matchup in this one as the Chargers have talented junior guards in Jordan Ash, Joffrey Brown and Glynn Watson but they'll be tested by senior guards James Clarke, Kevin Kucera and Jack Morrissey. Can Loyola remain unbeaten in the league and the state of Illinois?
Richards at Shepard, 7:00 p.m.
In the South Suburban Red, the top two teams in the league standings clash as the Bulldogs (14-9, 7-2) travel to Shepard (8-13, 5-4). Richards handled Shepard the first game of the season and are led by senior forward and Chicago State commit Josh Meier. Can the Bulldogs make it over the hump and become a threat in the south suburbs? Shepard is struggling to win games in the last few weeks.
Hillcrest at Oak Forest, 7:00 p.m.
Can Oak Forest (18-3, 8-1) continue its dream season? The Bengals host Hillcrest (15-6, 9-1) and the Hawks have owned the South Suburban Blue over the years. But Oak Forest counters with 6-foot-9 junior Kyle Flanagan, who is having a very strong season and emerging as a Division I prospect. The Hawks will counter with its own Division I prospect in 6-foot-8 Taylor Adway and Allen Jones and DeAngelo Isby are also having strong seasons.
No. 24 Geneva at No. 15 Larkin, 7:15 p.m.
The No. 15 Royals (21-3, 11-0) have total control of the Upstate Eight River, but they'll face a steep test from No. 24 Geneva. The Vikings have won six straight games and are led by junior forward Nate Navigato and they'll have to get by a talented Larkin team led by Kendale McCullum, Derrick Streety and freshman Christian Negron.
Conant at No. 7 Fremd, 7:30 p.m.
This should be a good one for the top of the Mid-Suburban West as Conant (19-4, 7-1) travels to face unbeaten No. 7 Fremd (21-0, 8-0). Conant has won 12 straight games and is really rolling right now while Fremd has had a tough recent schedule that includes non-conference road wins over Evanston and Huntley. Conant will rely on Danny Sotos and Joe Ranallo for scoring while Fremd will rely on Cornell commit Riley Glassmann and their balanced attack.
No. 12 Proviso East at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m.
Two of the top three teams in the West Suburban Gold play on Friday as the Pirates (17-4, 8-0) travel to Hinsdale South (14-8, 5-4). Proviso East has strong guard play led by senior Jevon Carter and junior Kalin Fisher and Hinsdale South will rely on getting 6-foot-9 sophomore Barret Benson touches in the post and working the ball out. Proviso East will be favored to remain unbeaten on the road, but it will be tough.