Author Archives: Jakub Rudnik

Girls Basketball Top Performances: Week 1

Girls Basketball Top Performances: Week 1

By Kaleb Carter

Each week, I’ll be highlighting the best team and individual performances from around the state that stood out in girls basketball. It could be a state record, an amazing highlight or anything in between. Get in touch to submit a girls team or player at any point during the 2021-22 season.

Notable Week 1 Team Performances

Spotlight on O’Fallon

With one of the biggest wins of the young season, O’Fallon proved that it will be a force to be reckoned with in southern Illinois basketball, beating Whitney Young 56-54.

The Panthers also scored a 57-46 victory over MacArthur.

Coach Nick Knolhoff didn’t know quite how good his young team would be after losing three seniors from last season’s 13-2 squad, but the Panthers delivered in Week 1.

“I didn’t quite have an expectation coming into this season,” Knolhoff said. “I knew we’d be young and inexperienced, but I knew we had  a lot of talent. The COVID year, we had a very good incoming freshman class that didn’t get to really develop or excel in a normal (four-month season), so I am starting a sophomore and I have three sophomores who are giving me very good varsity minutes off the bench.”

Leading the way for the Panthers this week were juniors Simone Dowell and Laylah Jackson, the latter a Belleville East transfer who came to the school wanting play with her cousin, Dowell. Dowell had the game-winning bucket for the Panthers with under two seconds to go versus Whitney Young. Dowell holds scholarship offers from Saint Louis, Missouri State, Illinois State and others. 

The Panthers have also gotten 10 points from sophomore D’Myjah Bolds in each of her first two varsity games. 

“We have size, we have shooters, and we have blockers and we have great defenders,” Knolhoff said. “I pretty much go 9 or 10 girls deep off the bench.”

Added Knolhoff, “This season we have a very, very good chance to go really far.”

Edwardsville

A long postseason volleyball for senior Sydney Harris and others didn’t hinder a loaded Edwardsville team to start the season.

The Tigers knocked off Whitney Young 47-45 thanks to two Macy Silvey free throws with 2.8 seconds to go. Harris scored 21 points in the win.

St. Joseph-Ogden

The week after three Spartans signed NLIs to play college basketball (Taylor Wells: Mount Mercy; Payton Jacob: Illinois Wesleyan; Ella Armstrong: Truman State), the Spartans went 3-0 and defeated Centennial 54-26 to win the Danville Turkey Tournament.

Fieldcrest

Fieldcrest won the Integrated Seed Solutions Tournament with a 22-point performance from junior Ashlyn May in a 60-50 win over Serena in the final. Stood 4-0 after a week of play.

Dixon

Dixon won the Oregon Thanksgiving Invitational, defeating Rockford Christian 37-32 to finish a 4-0 week.

Monmouth-Roseville

Won the ROWVA/Williamsfield-Ridgewood Tournament by defeating Abingdon 46-31 in the title game. The Titans also defeated West Central (46-33), Galva (52-28) and ROWVA (50-44). Junior Mattie Gillen scored 28 in the ROWVA win.

Mahomet-Seymour

Took first at the Prairie Central Turkey Tourney with a 69-54 win over Eureka. Also defeated Pontiac (53-26), Prairie Central (47-24) and Illinois Valley Central (55-25).

Coal City

Won the Comet Classic, defeating Reed-Custer 44-37 in the championship game. Also earned wins over Gardner-South Wilmington (40-15), Grant Park (38-34) and Wilmington (42-29).

Putnam County

Went 4-0 in the Princeton Holiday Tournament. Won games over Bureau Valley (40-21), Midland (53-32), Henry (40-33 in overtime) and Princeton (36-21). Sophomore Ava Hatton led the way for the Panthers with games of 20, 19 and 17 points.

Havana

Won the Macomb Tournament Championship, 53-30 over Alleman. Taryn Wickman and Kaity Robinson were all-tournament selections as Havana went 4-0.

Notable Week 1 Team Performances​

Mallory Cyrulik, Clinton, Sr.

Scored 37 and grabbed 23 rebounds in a 66-61 win over Olympia.

Alyssa Lewis, Alton, So.

Averaged 17.7 points, 6 steals and 6.3 assists per game over three games, leading the Redbirds to a home tournament title. The sophomore was named tournament MVP.

Whitney Dunn, Kenwood, Sr.

Scored 26 in the final game of Kenwood’s tip-off tournament to lead her team to a win over Butler College Prep. Dunn also scored her 1,000th career point. Recently signed her NLI with Loyola.

Xamiya Walton, Butler College Prep, So.

In a 70-38 win over Hyde Park, finished with 29 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

In a 66-12 win over Lindblom posted 24 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds and 6 steals.

Had 27 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals in 82-15 win over DRW.

Totaled 22 points, 5 assists, 5 steals, 2 rebounds in 72-18 win versus Chicago Vocational.

Janae Kent, Oak Forest, Jr.

Scored 45 and had 14 boards in a 71-62 overtime win over Plainfield North, had 35 points in a 64-51 win over Beecher.

Had 17 points and 7 rebounds in a 60-36 win over Chicago Agriculture.

Put up 19 points, 10-plus boards in a 59-48 win against Andrew.

Lisa Thompson, Joliet West, Jr.

26 points in championship game of Lincoln-Way Central Tournament and earned MVP honors. Scored 21 points in 59-54 win over Lincoln-Way Central. Posted 26 points in 72-48 victory vs. Minooka.

Olivia Durbin, Civic Memorial, Jr.

Scored 34 points and made 10 three-pointers in the first half of a 72-24 win over Mt. Zion. Finished with 42 points and 12 triples.

Sophie Swanson, Barrington, Jr.

Scored 36 points in a 66-31 win over Buffalo Grove. Swanson tied Barrington’s single-game scoring record, set by Taylor Thompson on 1/28/20. 

Lexi Sepulveda, Plainfield East, So.

Sepulveda had 22 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals versus Willowbrook. Added 23 points versus Lockport.

Kiaya Johnson, De La Salle, Fr.

Finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists in a loss to Riverside Brookfield, her first varsity game. Johnson also had 19 points in a 49-39 victory versus Hope Academy. 

Ava Gugliuzza, Lincoln-Way West, Jr.

The SIUE women’s basketball commit scored 32 points in an 80-65 win over Moline, knocking down seven three-pointers. Had 23 points in a 46-32 win over Joliet Central and 23 more in a loss to Joliet West.

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Eidle leads reloaded Hersey pack; Fisher looking to boost Libertyville teammates

Eidle leads reloaded Hersey pack; Fisher looking to boost Libertyville teammates

Katy Eidle Hersey

By Kaleb Carter

Hersey junior Katy Eidle and Libertyville junior Emily Fisher were the smoothest operators on the court in a Thursday matchup of two of the top teams in the northern suburbs. Beyond the two starts, both programs are seeking to define roles for their supporting players.

Hersey came into the season with high expectations. But after a 57-46 win in the Buffalo Grove Bison Classic, played at Hersey, the Huskies look like potentially one of the top teams in the state. It’s almost hard to believe after Hersey lost perhaps the strongest senior class in program history. Last season’s Huskies, led by Eidle and now-graduated Mary Kate Fahey and Mary McGrath, finished a perfect 16-0.

With no postseason to decide a state title, perhaps only Kenwood has as solid of a claim as Hersey for the state’s top team last season.

“We’re as good as we were last year,” Eidle, a Michigan commit, said. “We’re getting better. We know what we’ve got to work on. We’ve just got to keep improving. We’ll be great. Better than last year, that’s our goal.”

After scoring a team-high 22 points and cutting through the Libertyville defense, Eidle reflected on some of the things that makes this group strong.  

“I didn’t know how we were going to play together our first game, how we were going to gel, but it was phenomenal,” Eidle said. “We all knew how fast we were and how we were going to be able to play with all guards, and we were able to defined.”

Senior Val Allen, a 5-11 post player who will be relied upon around the basket, scored 12 points in the opener. She said the group is highly supportive of one another and is quickly adapting to their roles.

“Rebounding is key for me, fulfilling last year’s issues, because we were a big rebounding team so just getting down low, rebounding the best that I can to kick it out to my guards,” Allen said. 

Junior Natalie Alesia, one of nine juniors on the varsity roster, looked comfortable against Libertyville, netting all eight of her points in the first half. Meghan Mrowicki — a Division-I soccer recruit who sat out last season to focus on her primary sport — will often be tasked with defending other teams’ best scorers. 

“She (Mrowicki) hasn’t virtually played in two years,” Hersey coach Mary Fendley said. “She’s not just a great athlete. If you can come out like that on a varsity court and guard one of the best players in the state, I’m amazed by her ability. She just couldn’t make the commitment last year because of her commitment to soccer, and now that she’s back we’re really happy.”

Fendley was also excited by the complementary nature of her varsity-inexperienced players coming off the bench, such as 5-11 junior Mackenzie Ginder and 5-7 junior Sabrina DiVito. Several Huskies who did not play in game one will also return from illness. The vast majority of players on the varsity roster are at least 5-8, giving the Huskies another edge this season. 

“We thought that we had the pieces, but until you actually get in season … you can’t (know),” Fendley said. “They’ve got to figure out how to put the pieces together, coaches and players.”

Emily Fisher primed to lead Libertyville

After losing four of five starters to graduation from the 2020-21 team, the Libertyville Wildcats are looking to junior Emily Fisher to lead this new group. 

The 6-0 Maryland recruit is taking that challenge personally, and says she’ll continue to stress the value of communication with her teammates. Donning a Terrapins sweatshirt, Fisher was optimistic after the Hersey loss.

“Communication is one thing everybody is going to have to get really good at at one point, and I think it’s something we can really improve on,” Fisher said. “And if we can get [that] down and get our heads up, it’ll be a game-changer for us.”

Fisher scored a game-high 23 points against the Huskies, 15 of which came in the second half. She also kick-started plenty of Wildcat scoring opportunities with outlet passes after tough rebounds.

Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said Thursday was essentially the first varsity experience for his entire roster, minus Fisher and Kristina Kotzan, an effective 6-2 senior forward who scored nine points for Libertyville. Kotzan and 6-0 senior guard Libby Ryan are threats from beyond the arc, which will be key to Libertyville’s dangerous offense.

“We needed our kids to get their feet wet and see what the speed is going to be, see the strength it takes, and see what type of shooting they’re going to face against,” Pedersen said. “We saw pretty quickly what it’s going to take to defend in a varsity basketball game.”

And while Pedersen suggests Fisher will always have the green light to do as she sees fit during the course of the game, Fisher sees her role just as much in building up her teammates.

“I think they’re all trying to learn from the older players,” Fisher said of her less-experienced teammates. “Our role as the older people on the team is to be there to answer questions … and stay positive during games.”

Going forward, Pedersen said he wants his team to have more of an aggressive, attacking mindset, something that will come with more varsity playing time. Fisher, who says she wants to become a better mid-range and three-point shooter, will seek to help those around her grow in their confidence.

As the experience grows, expect this to be a team that evolves over the course of the season.

Mother McAuley will dissect opponents; Keller’s shooting lethal for CLC

Jakub Rudnik

By Kaleb Carter

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Mother McAuley sophomore guard Grace Gambotz whipped a behind-the-back bounce pass so quick that it was almost hard to grasp what happened. 

Senior Bella Finnegan received the pass and let loose a smooth, nothing-but-net 3-pointer with just under two minutes remaining in the first half of an eventual 58-41 Mighty Macs win over Crystal Lake Central, played at Hersey as part of Buffalo Grove’s Bison Classic.

“We’ve just been practicing a lot over the past couple years, and I‘ve been playing with Bella for probably five or six years and I just know she gets to her spots,” Gambotz said. “I know as long as I get it there, I know she’ll hit the shot … We played feeder and elementary school together and the same AAU club (Lady Lightning).”

Even in the first week of the season, Mother McAuley is showing the ability to dissect opposing defenses, in this case, the Tigers’ quick, tricky, extended zone and press. Gambotz, at the head of the fast break, should prove troublesome for opponents for years to come. She started her season with 14 points and a flurry of assists. 

“In eighth grade when she was considering Mother McAuley, you could see the potential,” Mighty Macs coach Keisha Newell said of Gambotz. “She just has so much of a skill-set already and a high basketball IQ. She’s just continuing to learn the game. Work ethic is unreal. She just makes things happen.”

On the the other end of the floor, the Mighty Macs’ intense defense, which thrived largely on defensive footwork and agility, helped create transition opportunities that should help Mother McAuley find plenty of success in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference this season. 

Finnegan was strong on the glass, and provided instant offense, starting the fast break with strong outlet passes after a rebound. The Indiana State signee helped Mother McAuley announce its continued presence among the city’s better teams, finishing with 22 points and leading the team defense.

“I’m just so proud of her because I got to see her start as a sophomore and develop and grow as a person, player all that good stuff,” Newell said. “Just incredibly proud of her, she’s a leader for us and I’m just excited to see what her future holds. I think she’s really cherishing every moment of her senior year, she really cherishes high school basketball.”

Caylin McLean provided quality minutes around the bucket as a complementary big, contributing a steady dose of rebounds that limited the Tigers’ chances. When combining the post presence of those two, and the relentless man-to-man, switching defense the Mighty Macs employ on the perimeter from guards like Maeve Egan, opposing teams will struggle all season to get comfortably into their offense. 

“Our focus and our identity is our defense, so we want to be able to stop teams,” Newell said. “We feel like if we can stop teams and we rebound, then we can run and have fun on offense.”

A dogfight is near certain on most nights in GCAC play this upcoming season, and with the combo of Finnegan, Gambotz, versatile guards and some steady post play, Mother McAuley will be formidable night-in and night-out. 

Paige Keller's shooting stroke on display

Crystal Lake Central’s team and supporters knew about Paige Keller’s shooting stroke, and by the end of the third quarter of Thursday’s loss to Mother McAuley, everyone else in the gym knew as well.

With the Mighty Macs threatening to run away with the game, Keller scored 14 points of her 22 points — including four three-pointers — in a span of two-and-a-half minutes, much to the happiness of the Tigers’ short, three-player bench. 

“I know I can shoot it,” Keller said. “The first half, I felt the nerves, and then I didn’t feel it anymore in the second half, so I just got confidence in myself.’

Keller, a four-year varsity player, found herself nervous heading into the game. 

“You would think I wouldn’t be nervous, but it’s my senior year. I want to make it count,”

A returning Northwest Herald all-area player, Keller is still looking to find a fit to continue her game collegiately. She is setting her personal sights on reaching 1,000 points, but is excited about playing a full season with her senior teammates. 

She says coaches have told her they like her ability to catch-and-shoot, which was on full display (she sank five triples, most of which came from the left corner). She also feels her vision to make cuts into the heart of the defense is an asset for CLC and any prospective college programs.. Rebounding and becoming an all-around, stronger, better player are personal points of interest to her. 

“More than half of our team is seniors,” Keller said. “I’ve been through four years of school with them and we just have this connection.”

Several upperclassmen Tigers were missing due to injury, so Keller was optimistic the team would make strides in the coming games. They ran a tricky 1-2-2 defensive look in the half-court and full-court with an athletic group of upperclassmen. Senior guard/wing Courtney Schober and sophomore Kathryn Hamill (10 points vs. Mother McAuley) created good-looking shots all night.

Keller and the Tigers left Hersey’s gym with plenty of reason for optimism. 

2021-22 Early Signing Day: Illinois Boys

Making a decision on where to play college basketball is one of the biggest moments in a young athlete’s life.

All year long we track player commitments. These announcements are generally verbal agreements by the players to the coaches and programs they will most likely play for, but they are not binding.

During multiple windows during the year, athletes can sign official National Letters of Intent (NLI) with their programs, more formally binding athlete to program.

For basketball the Early Signing Period this year is November 10-17. The regular period runs from April 13, 2022, through May 18, 2022. 

Below is a list of all official signees during the early period.

Division I Commitments from Illinois

Commitments ordered alphabetically by high school.

Cam Kraft, Buffalo Grove

College: Xavier
Position: Shooting guard
National Rankings: 56th (Rivals); 59th (247); 61st (ESPN)
Notes: Transferred to The Skills Academy in Georgia prior to senior season

Bryce Moore, Carmel Catholic

College: Niagra
Position: Guard

Dylan Arnett, DePaul College Prep

College: UW-Milwaukee
Position: Power forward

Christian Jones, East St. Louis

College: Missouri
Position: Point guard
National Rankings: 3-star (Rivals)
Story: Fox 2: “National Signing Day: University of Missouri signs East St. Louis point guard as part of 2022 class

Bobby Durkin, Glenbard West

College: Army
Position: Small forward

Braden Huff, Glenbard West

College: Gonzaga
Position: Power forward
National Rankings: 166th (247); 4-star (ESPN); 3-star (Rivals)
Story: The Slipper Still Fits: “Gonzaga lands forward Braden Huff

Caden Pierce, Glenbard West

College: Princeton
Position: Shooting guard

Ryan Renfro, Glenbard West

College: West
Position: Power forward

Cooper Noard, Glenbrook South

College: Cornell
Position: Point guard

Nick Martinelli, Glenbrook South

College: Elon
Position: Forward
Story: Elon Athletics: “Men’s Basketball Announces Addition of Nick Martinelli To Signing Class

Trey Pettigrew, Kenwood

College: Nevada
Position: Guard
National Rankings: 127th (Rivals); 141 (247)
StoryNevada Sports Net: “Trey Pettigrew explains why playing for Nevada was the right fit for him

Damari Wheeler-Thomas, Larkin

College: North Dakota State
Position: Point guard
Story: NDSU athletics: “NDSU Men’s Basketball Adds Four on Signing Day

Tavari Johnson, Lyons

College: Akron
Position: Point guard

NJ Benson, Mount Vernon

College: Missouri State
Position: Power forward/center

Robbie Avila, Oak Forest

College: Indiana State
Position: Forward
National Rankings: 3-star (247)

Justin Mullins, Oak Park-River Forest

College: Denver
Position: Shooting guard

Kolby Giles, St. Ignatius

College: Air Force
Position: Wing

Ben VanderWal, Timothy Christian

College: Furman
Position: Small forward

Jalen Quinn, Tuscola

College: Loyola Chicago
Position: Point guard
National Rankings: 3-star (247)

AJ Casey, Whitney Young

College: Miami (Florida)
Position: Forward
National Rankings: 55th (Rivals); 57th (ESPN); 67th (247)

Xavier Amos, Whitney Young

College: Northern Illinois
Position: Forward

Jaden Schutt, Yorkville Christian

College: Duke
Position: Shooting guard
National Rankings: 47th (ESPN); 55th (247); 82nd (Rivals)

Stories

Division II Commitments from Illinois

Austin Ambrose, Batavia

College: Batavia
Position: Power forward/center

Ethan Ivan, Batavia

College: Wisconsin-Parkside
Position: Forward

Justin King, Mascoutah

College: Missouri-St. Louis
Position: Point guard

 

Patrick Robinson, Oswego East

College: Missouri-St. Louis
Position: Shooting guard

 

GBN’s Brooke Blumenfeld Overcomes ACL Injuries, Commits to NIU

Glenbrook North's Brooke Blumenfeld Overcomes ACL Injuries, Commits to NIU

Brooke Blumenfeld is the first commitment in NIU's 2022 class. (Photos courtesy Brooke Blumenfeld)

The summer before her junior year, everything was going right for Glenbrook North forward Brooke Blumenfeld.

As a sophomore in 2019-20, she led the Spartans to their best record since 1992-93, and their first regional final since 1999. Despite limitations from COVID-19, her recruiting was picking up, and she’d just received an offer from Northern Illinois. Playing for her AAU program Wolverinas, Blumenfeld scored 19 points in a game — her high with the team.

Just seconds into her next game, everything changed.

“It was the first possession,” Blumenfeld said. “I cut across the lane, my teammate threw me the ball. And it was almost like I was trying to go up for a right-handed layup, but my feet were planted. So when my body twisted, my right leg didn’t move with it.

Blumenfeld tore her left ACL in eighth grade, but initially didn’t think this injury was as severe. 

She was wrong.

The ligament was torn again, an injury that typically takes nine months or more to recover from — this time in the right knee. She said she was in disbelief after receiving the diagnosis, that it was almost an “out-of-body experience” for some time afterwards.

“The first thing that popped into my head was, ‘I can’t play,’” she said. “‘I can’t play the sport I love. I went through this once, why is this happening to me?’”

Still, Blumenfeld said giving up basketball was never a consideration. Even though she knew how much work the rehab process would be and that she’d miss junior year, she had no choice but to come back once again.

“It’s just kind of who I am,” she said. “I love waking up early and going to practice. I love the feeling after a practice. … If there’s a party, I’d rather be in the gym. That’s where I feel most comfortable. It’s my escape from the world. I really don’t know who I’d be without [basketball].”

“She’s a gym rat,” Glenbrook North head coach Nick Capalbo said. “I’ll open the gym up whenever she wants to come in. She puts a lot of work into her game — she’ll stay for hours after practice, come in every day in the summer, [use] the weight room. She’s super driven, especially with this injury.”

Without Blumenfeld, the Spartans struggled, finishing 3-12 in the shortened season. But she was there with her teammates, their biggest cheerleader in the empty gyms.

“She’s a big personality, which I love,” Capalbo said. “It’s super great to have your best player be such a leader. … I remember that something happened in a game and the whole bench went crazy, and Brooke jumped up, with a [torn] ACL, so high and so excited. And she did a chest bump with one of our players, and she hit the floor.

“I was so concerned that she was going to get hurt again when she was recovering,” he added. “But she was just so excited and happy. … That’s just her personality right there.”

brooke-blumenfeld-niu-1

Blumenfeld Commits to Northern Illinois

Despite missing her junior season — a crucial year in recruiting — Blumenfeld made her college decision on June 26, staying near home at Northern Illinois. Still, proximity wasn’t the biggest factor in the choice.

“Northern, they kept their offer [to me], and they easily could have taken it [away],” Blumenfeld said. “But they didn’t. Through the nine months, there were some schools that dropped me. … All the way through, Northern stuck with me. 

“That just says a lot about the program and how they see me not only as a basketball player, but they care about me as a person,” she continued.

With their first commitment in the 2022 recruiting class, the Huskies are getting a 6-0 forward who was one of the best players in the Central Suburban League South as a sophomore, averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds per game.

As the Spartans’ biggest player, she spent most of her first two years near the basket. 

“Freshman year she was just our strongest, biggest player, and she could make some layups,” Capalbo said. “Her jump shot is outstanding right now. … Her ability to go to the basket now, she’s worked on her left hand, her right hand, she’s worked on her post moves. Right now she’s getting that three down, that’s her next phase, what we’re working on this summer.”

For Blumenfeld, the work on her jump shot has been an effort to diversify her game.

“People, they figured out my game sophomore year was driving to the basket, I can finish around the rim,” Blumenfeld said. “They figured that out, so coaches now have [defenders] sag off me because they think I can’t shoot. In the summer league games, that’s my time to, when they’re sagging off, pull up and hit the three. And I think that just opens my game up a lot.”

That versatility should help Blumenfeld fit the role of the modern collegiate power forward, and fit in with Northern Illinois’ system.

“The way they play, it’s a lot like my AAU team,” Blumenfeld said. “They play fast, they like to push it up the court. I really wanted to make sure that the school I committed to would allow me to, if I got a rebound, take it and go. … That’s my thing, I’m six foot and I can handle the ball. And I wanted to make sure I wasn’t stuck down low in the five position all game. And the way they run their offense, they’ll allow me to do that.”

This summer Blumenfeld said she’s working on gaining back all of her explosiveness, but she has been healthy playing for both Glenbrook North and the Wolverinas. Capalbo expects her to compete for conference player of the year this winter, and both have their eyes set on a regional title and beyond. No matter what, she’s put in the work to have a chance at both, and then to play at the next level.

“I tore my ACL once, and then I did it again when everything was at my peak — my recruiting, how I was playing,” Blumenfeld said. “I’m back from that. People have doubted me, but I know what I want to do, and I’ve done it.”

14 Illinois Girls Nominated for 2021 McDonald’s All-American Game

Fourteen girls from around the state were nominated for the 2021 McDonald’s All-American game, the event announced Thursday, Feb. 18.

Each one of the seniors is highly decorated and has decided where they will play college basketball. Get to know the nominees below.

Sydney Affolter, Marist

Lauren Cohen, Glenbard South

Khaniah Gardner, Simeon

  • Position: Forward
  • College: Vanderbilt
  • Stats and highlights: 2019-20 3A state champion; averaged 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a junior

Anna Griffin, Aurora Christian

Lindsey Hahn, Lyons

  • Position: Point guard
  • College: Winona State
  • Stats and highlights: All-conference as a junior, shooting 40 percent from three and nabbing 51 steals (Winona Post)

Grace Hall, Homewood-Flossmoor

Lauren Huber, Libertyville

Greta Kampschroeder, Naperville North

Kendall Moriarty, Benet

Aneesah Morrow, Simeon

De’Ahna Richardson, Bolingbrook

Jalysa Stokes, Joliet Central

  • Position: Guard
  • College: Missouri-St. Louis
  • Stats and highlights: Oswego East Holiday Tournament MVP; all-conference; more than 1,100 career points

Timia Ware, Whitney Young

Makiyah Williams, Trinity

Illinois DI Hoopers: December 21 Top Performers

On Monday, 36 Division I basketball players from Illinois saw the court, with five scoring in double figures.

Some notable performances are below, as well as all box scores at the bottom in sortable tables. You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

Monday Notes

  • Oswego East graduate RayJ Dennis had 16 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals Monday. He’s averaging 14.3 points as a sophomore for Boise State, up from 4.1 as a freshman.
  • Austin Richie, who played high school basketball for Bloom and Marian Catholic, scored 14 points for Tulsa in a win over Memphis Monday. He has scored 33 points over the last two games after just 8 points over the first four.
  • Curie graduate Dajuan Gordon had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Kansas State in a win over Jacksonville. It’s the sophomore’s second career double-double, both in the last three games.
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Illinois DI Hoopers: December 20 Top Performers

A huge day for college basketball with 88 former Illinois high school players in action. In total, 24 players reached double figures scoring, with six double-doubles and the rare triple-double

Some notable performances are below, as well as all box scores at the bottom in sortable tables. You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

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Illinois DI Hoopers: December 19 Top Performers

Saturday was a big college hoops day, with 93 Illinois high school basketball players in action across Division I teams. Twenty-one players scored in double digits, with two double-doubles and two other 20-point scorers.

Some notable performances are below, as well as all box scores at the bottom in sortable tables. You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

Williams Scores 11 in Freshman Debut

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Illinois D1 Hoopers: December 18 Top Performers

In the only Friday night basketball we have right now, 66 former Illinois high school basketball players were in Division I action. Of those 15 reached double digits scoring, with a trio reaching a double-double.

Some notable performances are below, as well as all box scores at the bottom in sortable tables. You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

Debut Double-Double for Hawkins

Southern Miss had the first five games of its season cancelled, so juco transfer Fess Hawkins has had to wait more than three weeks to make her debut. The former Champaign Central (she played three seasons before transferring out of state) and Vincennes player did not let the chance to finally play go to waste.

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