High School Lites Preview: Week 9

High School Lites Preview: Week 9
January 30, 2014, 5:45 pm
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Scott Phillips

It's a quiet Friday night in terms of ranked matchups, but there are still plenty of intriguing games as teams all over the area try to figure things out for the stretch run of the conference season.

This week on High School Lites, we'll take a look at some under-the-radar teams that might be able to surprise some people come March including Prospect, Thornwood, Plainfield North and No. 21 Mount Carmel to name a few.

[RELATED: New teams at the top of this week's power rankings]

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.

Hersey at Prospect, 6 p.m.

The Knights (11-7, 6-0) are unbeaten in the Mid-Suburban East this season and on Friday they'll host conference rival Hersey (7-9, 3-3). Prospect won at Hersey earlier this season 59-52 and they've played a tough schedule and have an astounding nine games this season that were decided by six points or less. Prospect is 7-2 in those outcomes and it's because seniors Danny Thomas and Bobby Frasco have come through in the clutch multiple times this season.

No. 24 Thornwood at Lincoln-Way West, 6:30 p.m.

The Thunderbirds have played great basketball since losing senior forward Donte Thomas -- a Bradley recruit -- to a torn meniscus in his knee. Thornwood (13-4, 6-0) has a balanced scoring effort each time out and they're still unbeaten in the SouthWest Suburban Red. The Thunderbirds be tested on the road at Lincoln-Way West (8-6, 3-3) as Hayden Witt and freshman Marco Pettinato can both put up points.

[MORE: Should IHSA implement the shot clock in basketball?]

Plainfield South at Plainfield North, 6:30 p.m.

This is a big matchup in the Southwest Prairie as the league's two top teams, Plainfield South (10-9, 6-1) and Plainfield North (14-5, 5-2) square off with a share of first place on the line. Plainfield North is led by high-scoring junior guard Trevor Stumpe, who is having a great season, while Plainfield South has been up-and-down this season, but they've won five of their last six games.

Lockport at Joliet Central, 7 p.m.

This should be an interesting matchup in the SouthWest Suburban Blue as Lockport (10-8, 4-2) travels to Joliet Central (11-7, 3-3). Both of these teams are behind conference leader Bolingbrook, but they're still within striking distance if things really go right in the month of February. Lockport has alternated wins and losses the last four games while Joliet Central will look for a better effort after getting completely blown out by Stagg the previous game.

[ALSO: Whitney Young's Ty Slaughter leaving a lasting impression]

GIRLS: Whitney Young at Montini, 7 p.m.

A tremendous girls game is on tap for Friday night as the Associated Press' No. 2 team in Class 4A, Whitney Young (18-3) takes on Class 3A No. 1 team Montini (22-1). Whitney Young sophomore point guard Kiara Lewis is regarded as one of the best players in the country in her class and she'll go against Montini and its two leading scorers, Kateri Stone and Kelly Karlis.

No. 15 St. Joseph at No. 21 Mount Carmel, 7 p.m.

Mount Carmel is new in the CSN Preps Power Rankings this week and they'll be challenged at home in Catholic League North play when St. Joe's visits. The Caravan (15-6, 6-2) have won five straight games, including a really solid win over Bolingbrook, but they'll need this win to move closer to the top of the Catholic League North and the two conference unbeatens: Loyola and St. Joseph. The Chargers (16-3, 8-0) are still waiting on junior guard Jordan Ash to recover from a leg injury, but Glynn Watson, Joffrey Brown and sophomore big man Nick Rakocevic are still talented enough to win plenty of games. Mount Carmel senior guard David Nichols is one of the area's most underrated players.

[RELATED: Alexander, Okafor, Ulis included in All-American Game]

Von Steuben at Uplift, 6 p.m.

Uplift (19-3, 8-0) started the season unbeaten before a loss to Morton at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, but they're still unbeaten in the Red-North and close to the 20-win mark on the season. They should be able to do that against a struggling Von Steuben team (4-14, 1-7) that has played better recently. The Panthers have won two out of three games.

Crete-Monee at Rich East, 7 p.m.

Two Southland teams trending in opposite directions clash on Friday as Crete-Monee (11-8, 3-2) travels to Rich East (11-3, 3-2) in a battle for second place in the league behind Bloom. Crete-Monee has lost four consecutive games while Rich East has won six straight games and is led by the dynamic duo of Quinton Moore and forward Don Henderson.

[HIGH SCHOOL LITES: Week 8 roundup]

Marist at No. 4 Marian Catholic, 7 p.m.

Marist's balanced attack will look for a big East Suburban Catholic Conference upset as they travel to No. 4 Marian Catholic on Friday. The RedHawks (15-4, 2-1) are off to a solid start and they're led by Nic Weisher, Jeremiah Ferguson, Kevin Lerma and emerging sophomore Chamar Hawkins. Marian Catholic (15-2, 3-0) will look to bounce back from the weekend loss to Stevenson as Tyler Ulis and company will be fired up to play at home. The Spartans are still the heavy favorite in the ESCC at this point in the season.

Glenbard North at Naperville North, 7:30 p.m.

Glenbard North (13-4, 6-1) is trying to keep pace with DuPage Valley leader West Aurora and they'll try to win at Naperville North (9-8, 3-4) to keep pace. The Huskies will look to turn around a two-game losing streak while Glenbard North will rely on Chip Flanigan and Jeremiah Fleming to carry the scoring burden.