High School Lites Preview: Week 8

High School Lites Preview: Week 8
January 23, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Scott Phillips

Three matchups featuring ranked teams highlights this week's best matchups for High School Lites. I'll be hitting the East Suburban Catholic Conference contest between No. 21 Benet and No. 14 St. Viator while No. 20 Fenwick visits No. 10 Loyola and No. 24 Oak Park-River Forest visits No. 15 York. All three matchups have big conference implications and there are plenty of other matchups that High School Lites will be covering this Friday that have a lot on the line as well.

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.

[MORE: Curie, Whitney Young get big wins at Hoophall Classic]

Thursday's games

Kenwood at No. 2 Curie

The Condors (16-1, 7-0) are coming off of their huge win over Monteverde (FL.), the No. 1 team in the country, on Monday at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts. Will Cliff Alexander and the Condors overlook a talented Kenwood team? Kenwood (8-10, 2-5) has a talented sophomore in Nick Robinson and junior guard Rahamanh Katumbusi is playing well at the guard spot. But can they slow down Alexander?

Conant at Hoffman Estates

Conant (13-4, 4-1) travels to Hoffman Estates (10-6, 2-3) for a Mid-Suburban West clash in this one. Conant is looking to stay behind league leader Fremd and is led by Daniel Santos as they have won seven straight games entering this MSL clash. Hoffman Estates has also won three straight games and is looking to leap up the MSL West standings with a big home win.

 

Friday's games

Girls: New Trier vs. Evanston, 6:00 p.m.

Twins Seara and Sierra Clayborn lead Evanston (16-5, 4-2) as the Wildkits try to overtake the Central Suburban South from New Trier (19-0, 6-0). The Trevians go 10 deep and are one of the few girls programs in the state that are still undefeated on the season. This should be a great CSL South matchup in front of a great crowd.

[RELATED: Okafor, Alexander named to Men's Jr. National Team]

No. 21 Benet at No. 14 St. Viator, 7:00 p.m.

This is a big one for No. 21 Benet (11-4, 1-1) as they travel to Arlington Heights to face East Suburban Catholic Conference rival St. Viator (14-3, 2-1). Benet and senior center Sean O'Mara are coming off of a big win over Larkin in which O'Mara went for 39 points and 16 rebounds while St. Viator picked up a nice win of their own over Hinsdale Central last weekend. Both of these teams have fallen to conference leader Marian Catholic on the road, but they're both within striking distance of the Spartans.

No. 17 North Chicago at Antioch, 7:00 p.m.

Can North Chicago (14-3, 6-0) bounce back after a loss to Curie and Marshall in recent weeks? The Warhawks are still the class of the North Suburban Prairie as they'll travel to Antioch (4-14, 0-5). Antioch has struggled so far this season and haven't won since a Marengo Holiday Tournament game on December 27th.

[ALSO: More shakeups in latest CSN Preps Power Rankings]

Round Lake at Grant, 7:00 p.m.

Grant (9-8, 3-2) hosts Round Lake (3-13, 0-5) in a battle of teams trying to gain some traction heading into the postseason. Grant is coming off of a loss to Mundelein earlier this week while Round Lake also hasn't won since the Marengo Holiday Tournament on December 27th.

No. 20 Fenwick at No. 10 Loyola, 7:00 p.m.

The No. 10 Ramblers (15-2, 7-0) picked up close win over St. Patrick in a non-conference game on Tuesday and they'll be tested again when they host No. 20 Fenwick (13-5, 5-1) in a big Catholic League North contest. The big news for Fenwick is the return of senior wing Scott Lindsey, who is gradually returning from a broken leg suffered in the fall. Lindsey scored 10 points in his season debut against St. Joseph on Friday and he's a key in this one. But can the Ramblers three-guard lineup of James Clarke, Kevin Kucera and Jack Morrissey be stopped?

No. 24 Oak Park-River Forest at No. 15 York, 7:30 p.m.

York (18-2, 5-0) won the Martin Luther King event at Wheaton-Warrenville South on Monday, winning two games, including a win over Bartlett in the title game and they'll be ready to host the No. 24 Huskies (13-4, 2-2). Oak Park-River Forest will try to make-up ground on West Suburban Silver leader York by taking this one on the road as the Huskies look to slow down senior center Frank Toohey from the Dukes. Simmie Cobbs and Erick Locke are senior leaders for Oak Park-River Forest, who earned a big non-conference win over Evanston last weekend.

Boys: New Trier vs. Evanston, 7:30 p.m.

New Trier (12-7, 2-3) fell to Waukegan in a disappoint loss last Friday but went 4-0 at the Rockford Jefferson Martin Luther King event to move to 12-7. Evanston (14-5, 4-1) is just outside of the top of the Central Suburban League South standings and they fell to Oak Park-River Forest over the weekend to fall outside of the latest Top 25 Power Rankings. This is a big rivalry game in front of a huge crowd. Can New Trier win and gain some momentum in the CSL South or will Evanston prevail and inch closer to the top 25.

Deerfield at Highland Park, 7:30 p.m.

Highland Park (12-3, 5-0) is on top of the Central Suburban League North as guards Luke Norcia and David Sachs lead the charge against rival Deerfield (12-4, 4-1). Senior guard Eric Porter is a strong player and junior forward Jack Lieb might be the best college prospect in the CSL North as this should be a great matchup with the conference lead at stake.