1. Whitney Young (23-3)
#PrepsTalk: The Dolphins seize their first Public League championship in 15 years after a thrilling 60-56 overtime win against Morgan Park. Jahlil Okafor was superb once again—19 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks.
2. Morgan Park (26-3)
#PrepsTalk: Kyle Davis scored 11 points, Billy Garrett Jr. added 10 more and Lamont Walker tacked on nine points and 13 rebounds, but the Mustangs could not stop Whitney Young. However, look for Morgan Park to make a long run in the 3A playoffs.
3. Simeon (23-3)
#PrepsTalk: Another chapter of the fierce Morgan Park-Simeon rivalry is in the books. The Wolverines, who lost to M-P 54-53 in last week’s Public League semis, no longer have bragging rights. But that might be irrelevant if another state title goes Simeon’s way.
4. Proviso East (21-3)
#PrepsTalk: Another year of West Suburban Gold dominance, capped off by Friday’s 81-63 victory at Willowbrook. Branden Jenkins scored 17 points for the Pirates, who face De La Salle in the City-Suburban Showdown on Saturday.
5. Oswego (24-2)
#PrepsTalk: The Southwest Prairie champs cruised to a 65-46 senior night victory over Plainfield North. The Panthers made 11 three-pointers in the contest. They wrap up regular-season play at Romeoville Thursday.
6. North Chicago (24-2)
#PrepsTalk: Think the Warhawks are ready for Wednesday’s North Suburban championship against Stevenson? NC is coming off a 100-58 thrashing of Round Lake, paced by Kurt Hall’s 26 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
7. Bloom (22-3)
#PrepsTalk: Zerell Jackson’s layup with 0.3 seconds to go gave the Blazing Trojans a 52-50 victory over Crete-Monee Friday in a SICA thriller. Bloom has one more tune-up for the state playoffs—Friday at Kankakee.
8. Marian Catholic (24-3)
#PrepsTalk: Two Chicago Heights powerhouses appear back-to-back in this week’s CSN Top 20. The Spartans are coming off an impressive 55-50 win over ESCC foe Notre Dame. St. Patrick is up next for M-C.
9. Benet (23-4)
#PrepsTalk: Speaking of the ESCC—should Benet take Wednesday’s game against Nazareth, they’ll win the rugged conference outright. Pat McInerney and Sean O’Mara have been dominant all season.
10. Neuqua Valley (25-2)
#PrepsTalk: The Wildcats used huge second half scoring binges to get past Larkin and Plainfield East last week. The 4A Bolingbrook sectional (including Neuqua and Benet) should be very entertaining.
11. Orr (21-3)
#PrepsTalk: The Spartans jolted Whitney Young in the regular season, but they didn’t have an answer for Jahlil Okafor in Wednesday’s Public League semifinal. Orr, however, should be a tough out in the IHSA playoffs.
12. Niles North (23-3)
#PrepsTalk: The last time North had this much success on the basketball court was back the ‘84-‘85 season, when head coach Pete Christie led the Vikings to a 22-4 record. Glenn Olsen has turned around a program that went 3-23 four seasons ago.
13. Stevenson (22-4)
#PrepsTalk: Connor Cashaw’s 20 points propelled Stevenson to a 77-67 victory over Mundelein Friday night. The Patriots have a Tuesday home game against Antioch before Wednesday’s conference championship against North Chicago.
14. Maine South (25-3)
#PrepsTalk: Maine South 49, New Trier 46 (OT). The Hawks will remember this one for quite some time. Perhaps just as much as their 47-45 victory over NT back in January. It’s the first conference championship for Maine South since 1998-99.
15. Lemont (22-2)
#PrepsTalk: If you have time to see only one high school boys basketball game Friday night, we highly recommend a trip to Country Club Hills as Hillcrest hosts Lemont with the South Suburban Blue title at stake.
16. Homewood-Flossmoor (18-5)
#PrepsTalk: The key for the Southwest Suburban champion Vikings will be how they replace injured stars Lamar Wofford-Humphrey (ankle) and Thaddeus Little (toe). H-F faces Lincoln-Way Central Tuesday.
17. West Aurora (22-5)
#PrepsTalk: If West Aurora claims Wednesday’s game against Glenbard East, they get a share of the DVC title. Should the Rams win, they win the title outright. Glenbard East tipped West Aurora 58-56 back on January 18th.
18. Notre Dame (20-5)
#PrepsTalk: How about this stat—the top six teams of the East Suburban Catholic Conference (Benet, St. Viator, Marian Catholic, St. Patrick, Notre Dame and Marist) have a combined record of 105-37. Pretty impressive.
19. Larkin (21-4)
#PrepsTalk: Despite Friday’s 63-53 loss to Neuqua Valley, Quantice Hunter, Kendale McCullum and Quentin Ruff have given Royals fans a season to remember. Can they play deep into March?
20. Loyola (20-5)
#PrepsTalk: Welcome to the CSN Top 20, Loyola Academy. The Ramblers are blazing hot right now. They’ve won 13 straight games and just secured the Catholic North title.
Looming and Lurking: New Trier, Curie, Crystal Lake Central, Hinsdale Central, Hillcrest, Glenbard East, IC Catholic Prep, Zion-Benton, Hampshire, De La Salle, Brother Rice, St. Benedict, Waubonsie Valley, St. Rita, Providence-St. Mel, Oak Park-River Forest, Lakes.
Programming Note: Comcast SportsNet’s High School Lites, sponsored by Discount Tire, will air this Friday night after our Chicago Blackhawks coverage and SportsNet Central. The show will re-air Saturday morning at 7:30 and 8:30.
As always, High School Lites will stream live at CSNChicago.com.
Be sure to follow @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.