Category Archives: Boys

Q&A: Willowbrook’s Sophie Sullivan Commits to SIU-Edwardsville

For the SIU-Edwardsville women’s program, the 2022 recruiting class is coming together with Illinois prep talent.

Its latest commit is Sophie Sullivan, a Willowbrook point guard who spent her underclassmen years Montini. As a junior she helped lead the resurgent Warriors, to a 14-2 record overall, including 6-0 in West Suburban Conference Gold play, as well as a WSC tournament title.

Sullivan, who announced her commitment on August 13, joins Edwardsville’s Macy Silvey in the recruiting class. Illinois-Basketball.com recently profiled Silvey about her decision to stay close to home.

Sullivan will lead the way this season for Willowbrook after the graduation of Taris Thornton, who is now at Eastern Illinois. Still, the Warriors will return a boatload of talent.

I interviewed Sullivan about her college decision, SIUE’s program, the upcoming high school season and much more.

Illinois-Basketball: What were the most crucial factors that went into picking your college, and how nice does it feel to have that decision out of the way when you start your senior year? 

Sullivan: I absolutely loved SIUE right when I stepped on campus. Edwardsville is a really beautiful town I would say. I feel like no one really knows it until you get there. It just gave me a feeling of home, and I knew I could end up going there. I’ve also known coach Quigley for a long time. She’s seen me play since I was a freshman at Montini. She’s such a nice person. I can’t wait to learn more from her experiences as a player and a person because we played the same position.

I-B: What appeals to you about what SIUE does on the court?

Sullivan: I really like how they play fast because I’m a point guard and I like to push the ball up the court. I feel like I can contribute a lot with my rebounding because for like a smaller guard I would say I can rebound amongst the bigger players and that’ll help get the ball up the court in transition.

I-B: With last year being an odd season, what did you get out of your junior year at Willowbrook and what are you hoping to get out of your senior season?

Sullivan: I was leading on the court, but not so much vocally because I was younger with a bunch of upperclassmen. But then as I got to Willowbrook I think I really took on a leadership role and I helped my team to the first conference championship in a long time. So that was really exciting for my team and for the girls in general. Especially for the seniors to end on a win against a really good (Lyons Township) team was really awesome.

I’m really excited for this year. Especially when I was a freshman, I always looked forward to being a senior and being able to lead all the team workouts and lead the team in general. I feel like the girls really looked up to me and the other upperclassmen on the team since there’s not really a lot of us. There’s two seniors and seven juniors and we have a pretty young team I would say.

I-B: Now that you’ve committed, what are your long-term goals on or off the court?

Sullivan: I’m going to work really hard in this offseason my senior year, and then when I get to SIUE I hope to make the biggest impact possible, whether that be what I do on the court or how I’m cheering my teammates on the bench. I’m thinking about majoring in physical therapy or as a physical education teacher. And then maybe train kids when I’m older on the side.

I-B: When the coaching staff spoke with you, was there anything about your game that they really liked or really wanted you to work on? 

Sullivan: I know coach Quigley has always loved how hard of a worker I was, and she’s seen it in me since I was younger so she knew I would be an impact on the program in that way. She was just saying how she likes to recruit great players and people, so not just on the court but how they are off the court as well.

I-B: When was the first time coach Quigley saw you play? 

Probably as a freshman at open gym when she was the coach at Lewis [University, in Romeovillle].

I-B: Anything else we should know about your commitment or the upcoming season?

For the upcoming high school season, I’m excited because hopefully we’ll have playoffs and everything, and I would love to help lead Willowbrook to the most wins as possible, and maybe regional and even sectional titles.

Expected Illinois natives on the 2021-22 SIUE roster:

  • Redshirt junior Madison Hackstadt (Okawville native, Okawville graduate)
  • Grad Student Allie Troeckler (Bethalto native, Civic Memorial graduate)
  • Sophomore Caite Knutson (Maryville native, Collinsville graduate)
  • Senior Mikala Hall (Danville native, Danville graduate)
  • Freshman Tyler Butler (Belleville native, Belleville East graduate)

Q&A: Glenbard West Forward Ryan Renfro Due to See Increased College Interest

On one of the biggest teams in the state, Ryan Renfro is an overlooked athlete who wouldn’t be in the background at nearly any other boys basketball program in Illinois. As it is, the 6-8, 225-pound senior forward who plays in the middle of Glenbard West’s arduous 1-3-1 zone, is surrounded by some of the other more talented players in the state of Illinois.

The Hitters went 13-1 in 2021, blowing away most of their competition and beginning to receive warranted respect from Chicago-area and statewide media. They have been remarkably large for several years now, something Illinois-Basketball.com wrote about in November. And while many will understandably shower adulation upon the likes of Division-I talent Braden Huff, Caden Pierce and newcomer Bobby Durkin, Renfro is starting to put on display the type of athletic feats and on-the-floor determination that should have more colleges calling soon. 

While not possessing as much shooting or ball-handling skills necessarily as some of his teammates, Renfro possesses the traits that winning programs need in players to put them over the top. As a quarterback previously, his footwork is an aspect of his game that will steadily improve. A physically imposing post presence, Renfro can play bully ball around the rim and does so often on the offensive glass.

Governors State had offered as Renfro a spot on the team as of June 24. More offers are surely to follow.

Ryan Renfro, at center playing defense against Michele Clark. (Photo Kaleb Carter)

Illinois-Basketball.com’s Kaleb Carter spoke with Renfro following two Ridgewood Live shootout wins over Michele Clark and Maine South. 

Illinois-Basketball: What are you guys doing well this summer?

Ryan Renfro: “We may have five guys on the court, but we’re all one player. We’re all working the ball around, getting it to each other. We’ve been playing (together) since fourth grade, so we all know each other really well. I think it’s the chemistry that stands out the most. We’re always looking for the extra pass, it’s just a ton of fun.”

I-B: As an individual, do you try to have an individual identity yourself or is there anything in particular you’re trying to do when you’re on the floor?

RR: “When I’m on the floor, I’m just trying to find the small things to impact the team. I’ve got some of the greatest scorers in the state [around me], so my role, I feel like I really have to go for every offensive rebound or get helpline, maybe take a charge. But I mean, that stuff is just going to lead to scoring on my end, so I just love making the extra pass, hustling, because that’s what helps our team the most.”

I-B: You guys are playing some of the best teams you can this sumer, so how do you think you guys have responded in some of these instances and where do you still want to improve? 

RR: “We’re just hoping to come out and try and blow every team out. Nobody would expect Glenbard West to be good, so we’re just trying to make a name for ourselves. We have a big target on our back this year, so I mean, it’s just going out there, proving them wrong and just staying humble because we know we can do it ourselves.”

I-B: As you’ve got the attention for being the “big team” — what has that been like?

RR: Yeah *laughs* the big team. Oh yeah, we have a lot of teams that like to talk bad about us, say we’re overrated and stuff, but at the end of the day, we know what to do, we’ve been here many times. Height is height. We were going to be the same team no matter what, but it does help though.”

I-B: You do want to play college basketball, so what are your expectations in terms of what type of college you’d like to attend?

RR: “I like to shoot big. You shoot for the moon and land in the stars is what I say so hopefully I can end up playing mid-major basketball at the DI level. I don’t know what my options are yet, but I’m just hoping I can play at the next level…hopefully mid-major for sure.”

I-B: Are you considering JUCO then going up, etc.?

RR: “If that’s the option, that’s what it is. If prep school is the option, it is. I’m not going to quit. Basketball is the sport.”

I-B: Have you made any college visits or had anyone reach out to you?

RR: “ I have not made any visits, but I have talked with West Point (Army), North Dakota and Cleveland State reached out to me. It’s nothing final yet. I just started this recruitment process. A bunch of schools have been texting me, it’s pretty fun. Nothing yet, hopefully some more though. I’ve just got to play my game and hopefully more will come.”

(Photo: Kaleb Carter)

Westinghouse Backcourt Displays Potential at Riverside-Brookfield

Westinghouse lost six seniors from its 2020-21 team — a significant exodus considering its younger players got far fewer reps than they would have in other years. Heading into the 2021-22 season, Joshua West and Isiah Giles are two Westinghouse guards to watch. 

West, now a senior, showed promise over the Friday games at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout. His activeness and length stood out on the defensive end. He has a good handle that helps him get to where he wants to on the floor, though he doesn’t need to dominate the ball.

“I think people should know about his versatility on the offense or defensive, and he’s a great two-way player and he gets it done on both ends of the floor,” Westinghouse head coach Rafie Fields said. “On the offensive end, he can .. put the ball in the basket however you like. He can score from the mid-range game. He can attack the basket, shoot the three. Defensively, he plays the passing lanes as well.” 

West has stepped into more of a leadership role with all the roster turnover, a role that Fields says West has handled well.

For the 6-3 West, it’s a role he feels that he is used to. 

“It’s been different, but I mean, I already felt this role from our team on JV my freshman and sophomore years,” he said. “I feel like it’s the same thing, but just at a higher level.” 

West is playing with CD Elite on the AAU circuit, which he credits for the improvement in his game. 

“It’s been giving me the exposure that I need,” West said. “It’s also been preparing me for things like this tournament. It’s been helping me find my game, you know, that’s the biggest thing: finding my game.”

Eastern Illinois and Dominican are two schools that have reached out to West. 

Alongside West in the Westinghouse backcourt is scoring guard Isaiah Giles, a junior.

“He’s just a shifty guard where you know, he’s going to give you something every game, you don’t know what it is, but he’s extremely shifty and extremely quick,” Fields said. “He’s just trying to become more of a point guard because even though his frame says point guard, he’s a true shooting guard at heart, but we’re just trying to get him back into that point guard [role].”

Giles needs to just get the repetitions at the position and gain the understanding that he needs to be on the ball more. Still, he does have a jump-shot that extends beyond the three-point line. 

Giles describes himself as, “a shooter, who has improved his playmaking ability.” 

Giles and West have impressed and are two to watch for throughout the summer and next season. 

Ridgewood Live Notebook: Tinley Park, Kenwood and Others (+Photo Gallery)​

Keon Richardson at Ridgewood Live 2021

Ridgewood Live Notebook: Tinley Park, Kenwood and Others (+Photo Gallery)

Ridgewood hosted a live event and tournament June 25 to June 27. More than 80 boys teams from the Chicagoland participated, and many of the top players in the state were on display.

Kaleb Carter stopped by the event Friday and caught a number of games and got a chance to chat with some of the standouts.

Tinley Park's Keon Richardson Eyes the Future

Keon Richardson at Ridgewood Live 2021
Tinley Park's Keon Richardson at the Ridgewood Live event. (Photo: Kaleb Carter)

Keon Richardson said that Tinley Park is starting to put the pieces together that could lead to a successful winter season. While some of his teammates have missed action thus far in the summer period, the senior point guard and the Titans showed flashes of excellence.

“Summer been good, got a lot of competition,” Richardson. “Good up and down. The Hillcrest tournament was good.”

At Ridgewood, Richardson showed off a pass-first mindset and distinct court vision that has led to college contact from Tulsa and IUPUI. He’s due for a July 1 visit to Tulsa.

“I’m looking for a school that lets the guards be free, lets the guards coach on the floor,” Richardson said.

Kenwood's Davius Loury Does It All

Kenwood Davius Loury
Kenwood's Davius Loury (0) and JJ Taylor (1) guard a St. Charles East ball-handler. (Photo: Kaleb Carter)

Kenwood assistant coach PJ Jones said that rising junior Davis Loury, a 6-7 wing with more than a handful of Division I offers, is the Broncos’ “Mr. do-it-all.”

Quite a compliment for a program that has some of most talented players in the state of Illinois. 

“He’s kind of what makes our team go, especially (since) he’s a mismatch for most teams,” Jones said. “Some of our other guys really take up the other team’s best defender, so that usually leaves Davius with someone smaller on him … just getting him to crash the boards, post up when he’s got a little guy and shoot over top of them.”

Loury received an offer Friday from Appalachian State while at the event. He also holds offers from DePaul, Illinois, LSU, Miami (OH), Nebraska and Western Illinois.

This summer alongside his talented teammates, Loury is working on several simple aspects of his game. He emphasized his need to become a better ball-handler.

“My shot, dribbling, passing the ball, drive-and-kick and more athleticism,” Loury said. 

According to Jones, Loury’s versatility gives Kenwood more options, especially on the offensive end. 

“He’s another option to bring the ball up and run the offense through, that’s great,” Jones said. “It relieves some pressure off the other guys. For him as a player, being able to do multiple things, he played great defense today, being able to defend all five spots is something we want to see out of him.”

In addition to a flock of major Division I coaches being in attendance for 5-star recruit JJ Taylor (Class of 2023), the Broncos showcased Darrin Ames (2023) and recently returned and highly recruited Trey Pettigrew, a senior, on the floor. 

“He left Illinois when he was ranked the the No. 2 player in the state,” Jones said of Pettigrew. “With the COVID season in limbo, he moved out to Arizona. He was ranked the No. 5 player out in Arizona. With him, getting acclimated with the guys, he’s played in the same AAU program as some of the younger guys, different teams though, 16U teams, 17U teams. Getting him acclimated and letting him know that college coaches know that you can score the ball, but we want to see you facilitate a little more, personal that’s what I want to see him down.”

With rising freshmen Bryce Heard and Rob Walls contributing as well, the Broncos’ lone loss at the three-day event came to Glenbard West, a team loaded with senior, college-level talent.

Other Notable Teams and Players

  • St. Charles East’s Trent Warren (class of 2022) had a hot shooting weekend, putting up double-digits in three straight games, including 20 against Kenwood and 25 versus Fenton. He also used our photo (we see you, Trent) for his new Twitter profile avatar. 
  • Lots of coaches were in attendance, including Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Illinois’ Brad Underwood, Wisconsin’s Greg Hard, Bradley’s Brian Wardle, UIC’s Luke Yaklich and plenty of others. Former NBA superstar Shawn Marion was even there watching Kenwood. 
  • DePaul College Prep has reloaded, and perhaps most intriguing is Dylan Arnett (2022), a 6-9 forward who walked away from the event with a Western Michigan offer. He showed himself capable of replacing some of the production lost down low from North Dakota signee Brian Matthews. 
  • Hillcrest and Tinley Park both showcased potential in the form of talented guards and springy forwards, but both will need the extra time leading up to the season to put things together. Matthew Moore (2023) and Bryce Tillery (2023) of Hillcrest showed flashes of what could make Hillcrest nearly as good as it was in 2021
  • I don’t have much to say about Glenbard West that hasn’t been said. They look like state championship material. They’re downright huge. The 1-3-1 zone they trot out covers more space than any other zone that comes to mind at the high school level. GBW did finish the event undefeated, including a close win over Kenwood. A couple spurts from senior transfer Bobby Durkin (Hinsdale South), including a deep 3-pointer and a two-handed slam in rapid succession, opened eyes. 
  • I was witness at the end of my day to a close affair between Whitney Young and Lake Forest. Asa Thomas is no joke and is dangerous from wherever and in creating. Whitney Young’s length and athleticism plus clutch plays late from D-I recruits A.J. Casey (offered by Florida Saturday), Xavier Amos (2022) and Daniel Johnson (2023) led to the win over a charged up Lake Forest squad. Casey is so smooth and improving in his all-around game. 
  • DeKalb’s Martez Jackson (2022) is a scrappy guard who defends just the way DeKalb teams have been taught to over the last handful of years by head coaches Al Biancalana and Mike Reynolds (both of whom I covered previously at the DeKalb Daily Chronicle). 
  • Simeon’s  Rubin twins, Miles and Wesley (recent transfers from Homewood-Flossmoor) have tremendous upside as incoming juniors. They are going to be ridiculous to try and stop as a tandem in the coming years.
  • Bolingbrook has some fearless guards and lots of size. Beware of coach Robert Brost’s perennially reliable bunch. 
  • The way Batavia guard Trent Tousana carries himself showcases his confidence, and I’m excited to hear how often he scores in bunches this year. 

Whitney Young 2022 Forward Xavier Amos Raises Stock at RB Shootout

Xavier Amos Recruiting

Whitney Young 2022 forward Xavier Amos boosted his stock tremendously during the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout, with one of the top performances of the weekend in front of coaches from colleges such as Loyola, Michigan and Illinois. 

The multi-faceted 6-8 forward held one offer from Mount St. Mary’s before the event and left with three other college offers. The first offer of the weekend came from Loyola-Chicago, which he had been in contact with before the event.

“I went to a visit with them on Monday the 15th,” Amos said in an interview at the shootout. ”The campus was great. And the coach called me on the way home yesterday and told me he wants to tell me [about the offer] before I got home.” 

Amos has the size and skill to play as a modern power forward at the next level. He has a good handle and moves fluidly for a player of his size. Amos showed the ability to score down low or take his defender off the dribble. He and his teammate, AJ Casey, the top-ranked 2022 prospect in Illinois, have a good connection on high-low plays.  Defensively, Amos uses his length to protect the rim. 

Amos plays with Team Rose on the summer circuit, which has helped prepare him in terms of the competition he’s facing and getting exposure from college coaches. 

“Oh, It’s been really good, alking, getting more interesting from coaches,” Amos said. “Yeah, we are going to carry it into July. Hopefully, that goes well.” 

Amos is using the summer to fine-tune every aspect of his game. 

“Shooting, dribbling, defense, everything, he said. “I’m trying to get better at everything.” 

Before the end of the weekend, Amos received offers from Kent State and Northern Illinois. That momentum carried into the week, with offers from Indiana State and Cal State Fullerton as well.

New Head Coach Sean Connor is Learning and Doing for Antioch

Sean Connor is a man of different sides. He’s a father and husband. A math teacher. A sophomore basketball and ultimate frisbee coach. The man who runs fall basketball league.

It’s no surprise that Antioch’s new head varsity boys basketball coach knows what it takes to juggle tasks. He’s worn many hats coaching, scouting and organizing in the world of high school hoops. Still, Connor — who spent seven years at Chicago’s DePaul College prep teaching and coaching — bided his time before taking a head coaching job.

“I think I always knew I had a lot to learn,” Connor, now a Grayslake resident, said. “You look at all the different experiences I’ve had, and the more head coaches I was under the more I realized, ‘Like man, you’ve really got to make sure you understand this facet or this facet.’”

“It’s easy to say you want to be a varsity coach, but you’ve got to realize when you take on that duty, there’s more to it than just running the varsity team,” he continued.

Connor was hired Thursday, June 18, by Antioch. He was immediately thrust into the role: That same day at the Carmel Catholic Summer League he got to see his new Sequoit players in action.

Connor’s most recent coaching experience was at DePaul College Prep as the head sophomore coach, winning two Catholic League titles in six seasons. Before that he was with the sophomores at York and Geneva, and he has other experience building up youth feeder programs at programs like Marmion.

At DePaul, and when it was previously known as Gordon Tech, Connor was an assistant coach for a program in a school without much recent historical success before Tom Kleinschmidt’s arrival. 

“It was hard to rebuild the program and try to help coach Kleinschmidt achieve the vision he had and what we wanted to be,” Connor said. “That was a long process. Obviously it’s very fulfilling to see everything come to a head this past year after going downstate and having the opportunity to see the guys compete in the Chipotle Classic. But I know some people didn’t understand the amount of work that really went in over the last 8-to-10 years in rebuilding that thing, and how many times people said no and, ‘DePaul’s not good enough.’

“It’s just been a really cool experience to be part of that rebuild and have all these visions and goals the school set and a lot of them come to fulfillment,” he added.

That type of experience informed the type of attributes he wants his program at Antioch to showcase. That doesn’t mean he will remove any agency from his Sequoits players. 

Connor wants his players to take ownership of what’s to come in the process of program-building. He wants this especially for the upcoming seniors — a group who have seen three varsity coaches during their tenure after Tim Bowen’s departure after two seasons.

“I’ve always been very student-centered,” Connor said. “One of the things we’re going to do this week, and I’ve given the guys homework, is to think about what do you want Antioch basketball to be known for. Because I don’t think it’s appropriate that I come in and tell them what they should be in a community that I don’t have very strong roots in.”

A Woodstock graduate who still has family there, a more recent move to Grayslake put Connor’s family in a good position to look for new head coaching jobs. Growing up in Woodstock, Connor says he relates to what kids from Antioch experience growing up. He doesn’t doubt that will greatly influence the team they become. With an already organized feeder program — a selling point for Connor, who is already familiar with the region north of Chicago — he anticipates fitting in with the community’s existing identity. 

“(Antioch) and Woodstock are both blue collar, out on the rim of the country versus suburban area, and I really relate to a lot of the kids in the community,” Connor said. “Because I grew up in a similar situation where you have just enough and have you have to work hard to get by.”

The newly anointed head coach was looking forward to taking his team to compete at Rockford and getting to know his new players. Kobe Kriese, a threat to fill the hoop up a season ago, is now gone. 

Antioch has some seniors leaders and a large group of returning juniors. It also has talented underclassmen in sophomores like Coby Priller and Carter Webb back and the anticipated arrival of freshman Marshall Gehrke. Many moving pieces create a cloudy but enticing picture for the team’s future. 

“The seniors have been fantastic in terms of leadership, being where they need to be and starting to give input as to where they want to be,” Connor said. 

“There’s a very cool blend of experience: a lot of guys with varsity experience and then some young talent,” he continued. “We’ve got four players over 6-5, so it’ll be really cool to watch these guys grow over the summer and then really interesting to see what it looks like in November.”

While Antioch has had some recent success — the Sequoits won three consecutive regional titles between 2016 and 2018 despite three losing records — Connor things they can elevate past the traditional powers north of Chicago. 

“I think they can disrupt the status quo in Illinois basketball because nobody is always looking at Antioch as the team to come out of the north suburbs,” Connor said. “Since you know it’s North Chicago, Waukegan, Zion-Benton, Round Lake and some of these other programs have been really strong. It’ll be really cool to track us over these next few years.

Unsigned Senior Boys Looking for a College Program

With the season completed and a boatload of talent still making moves trying to find the right college to land at, we’ve done some soliciting.

Jakub Rudnik and Kaleb Carter have been asking you to fill out a google form for seniors trying to play at the next level.

This will be an ongoing list on the site this offseason. We’ll be adding to and subtracting from it as players sign, and we hope you’ll help us keep folks informed as to the players who commit and sign with college programs. 
If you want to add to the list, fill out this form.

Update: Players who have made a college commitment since the release of this list:

  • Nathan Hall, big man, Collinsville (Briar Cliff)
  • Devon Vanderheydt, forward, Washington (Quincy)
  • Noah Reynolds, point guard, Peoria Notre Dame (Wyoming)
  • Cooper Schmid, guard, Plainfield South (North Central)
  • Nathan Thompson, wing, Effingham (Illinois College)
  • Isaiah Holden, point guard, Evanston (Missouri Southern State)
  • BJ Denton, point guard, Lindblom (Tougaloo College)
  • Joe Melton, forward, NCOE (Rend Lake)
  • Ty Lampley, wing, Belleville West (Parkland College)
  • Taijon Barry, small forward, Eisenhower (Rock Valley)
  • Gary Clay Jr., guard, Rich Township (Wabash Valley)
  • Isaiah Donnell, point guard, Richwoods (Southwestern Illinois College)
  • Gabe Metzger, guard, St. Laurence (North Central)

Updated List of Illinois Unsigned Senior Basketball Players

Unsigned Guards

Cullen Cosme: PG, Brother Rice

Senior Statistics:
  • 10.1 points
  • 5.4 rebounds
  • 3.6 assists
  • 1.3 steals

Rashard Harris: PG, Kankakee

  • 6-4
Senior Statistics
  • 15.1 ppg
  • 6.2 rpg
  • 4.1 apg
  • Coach’s comments: “High IQ, big body, strong rebounder, part of two groups that went a combined 39-5.”

Highlights

Don Williams: G, HSA Southwest

Senior Statistics
  • 21 ppg
  • 12 rpg
  • 4 apg
  • Coach’s comments: “He is 6’3 and can play all positions. He’s very athletic and very coachable.”
  • Contact Romel Bryant: bryant@hsaswchicago.org    708-990-7379

Highlights

Joseph Perkins, G, HSA Southwest

Senior Statistics
  • 20 ppg
  • 5 rpg
  • 5 apg
  • Coach’s comments: “He’s only played varsity one year, but his impact is tremendous. He is 6 feet tall, very fast, and a consistent scorer. He can facilitate your offense and is very coachable. As a point guard he is leading his school to its 1st division and conference championship.” 
  • Contact Romel Bryant: bryant@hsaswchicago.org    708-990-7379

George Betevis, G, Bartlett

Senior Statistics
  • 7 ppg
  • 5.4 rpg
  • 4.3 apg
  • 1.9 spg
  • Awards: 2-time all-conference honorable mention
  • Coach’s comments: “George is an excellent defender with great energy and grit. George can score off the bounce around the basket, and is a solid 3-pt shooter. He led the team in steals and charges. Contact: jimwolfsmith@u-46.org

Brandon Bryant, G, Brother Rice

Senior Statistics

Coltin Quagliano, G, Wethersfield

Senior Statistics
  • All-State: 2019, 2018 First AP and IBCA-
  • 2,219 career points: Wethersfield leader as well as Lincoln Trail Conference leader.
  • Coach’s comments: “Program difference-maker.  He’s going to make a college team a lot better.”
  • Contact coach Jeff Parsons 309-221-5204

Highlights

Braden Finch, G, Mahomet-Seymour

Senior Statistics
  • 10 ppg
  • 3.5 rpg
  • 3.0 apg
  • 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Coach’s comments: “Braden is a strong combo guard with ability to guard multiple positions. He has great vision, shot close to 40% from 3FG range over final 10 games of ’21 season. He is very coachable, can score at all 3 levels, passes well and has great work ethic on defensive side of the ball. He is a D-III/NAIA/Ju-Co candidate.” Contact coach Ryan Bosch  (217) 649-2036   rbosch@ms.k12.il.us

Maurice Evans, G, Tinley Park

Senior Statistics
  • 15.4 ppg
  • 6.4 rpg
  • 4.5 apg
  • 2.4 spg
  • Contact coach Brown: 708-567-0549

Dwight Newsome, G, Belleville West

Senior Statistics
  • 11.1 ppg
  • 3.1 rpg
  • 1.0 apg
  • 36% from 3 (29 of 82)
  • 3.3 G.P.A
  • Awards: all-Southwestern Conference
  • Coach’s comments: “Dwight is a very good outside shooter and is very skilled offensively. 6-2 guard who stepped up for us this year He is an exceptional student as well.”
  • Contact: aschobert@bths201.org, 618-570-9380

Brennan Weller, SG, Edwardsville

Senior Statistics
  • 4.0 G.P.A.
  • 19 ppg
  • 10.1 rpg
  • Led Southwestern Conference in scoring and rebounding
  • Awards: 1st team all-SWC two years consecutively.
  • Coach’s comments: “Great scorer and teammate. Can shoot and finish at the rim. Gifted at reading screens and scoring. Very hard worker, leader, winner.” Contact: Dustin Battas dbattas@ecusg7.org

Gabe Calhoun, G, Dunlap

Senior Statistics
  • Surpassed 1,000 points
  • 4-year varsity starter
  • Led conference in scoring twice

Carson Brozenec, G, Fisher

  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight:
Senior Statistics
  • Led conference in scoring, 25 ppg

Highlights

Drew Taggert, PG,Limestone

  • Height: 5-10
Senior Statistics
  • 8.5 ppg
  • 4 rpg
  • 4 apg
  • Coach’s comments: “Drew is looking for a JUCO. He is a quick PG that can handle the rock.  Can lock down defensively and will give you everything he’s got.”
  • Contact: Tony4421@gmail.com

Highlights

Film

Jovon White, G, Perspectives Leadership Academy

Senior Statistics
  • 15 ppg
  • 13 rpg
  • 5 apg
  • 2.3 G.P.A
  • Coach’s comments: “Great rebounder, big body, move well around the floor know how to use his size to advantage. Great on the glass/scoring.”
  • Contact: Mike smith, +1 (773) 732-9775

Highlights

Jadyn Benson, G, Mount Carmel

  • Height: 6-4
Senior Statistics
  • 15 ppg
  • 9 rpg
  • 3 apg
  • 3 spg
  • 3.1 G.P.A
  • Contact (312) 509-5488

Highlights

Dorien Little, G, Holy Trinity

  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 180
Senior Statistics
  • 20 ppg
  • 7 rpg
  • 2 bpg
  • Shot 56% from floor, 48% from 3
  • 2.6 G.P.A
  • Coach’s comments: “Athletic guard. Above-average shooter from distance. Good slasher and finisher at the rim. Great motor and very coachable.”
  • Coach: Larry Coats (coach) 312-213-0013

Highlights

Angelo Vassilakis, PG, Lockport

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 155
Senior Statistics
  • 6.9 ppg
  • 5.0 apg
  • 2.2 spg
  • 2.7 rpg
  • Coach’s comments: “College- ready strength, great on-ball defender, lives in the paint, pass-first PG.”
  • Contact: 815-871-0520, Andrew Weber, Lockport HS Assistant Coach

Highlights

Austin Kohley, G, Harvard

Senior Statistics
  • Coach’s comments: “Austin is being overlooked due to playing at a small school in a weaker conference but he is the real deal.  He is a 6’2” Guard who can play the 1, 2 or 3.  Solid ball handler who attacks the basket hard and finishes.  Good shooter who can hit the 3 though he can be streaky at times.  Good defender and his mom played college basketball so he knows the game very well.
  • Contact coach Dan Krauser (815) 519-6042 dkrauser@cusd50.org

Highlights

Film

Trenton Kyler, G, DeKalb

Senior Statistics
  • 20.4 ppg
  • 4 rpg
  • 3.0 apg
  • 53% fom 3
  • 2.8 G.P.A.
  • Awards: 2-time DuPage Valley Conference POTY. 2021 DeKalb Daily Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
  • Coach’s comments: “He is the ultimate competitor. He is a fearless shooter and creator on the offensive end. He is willing to take the challenge of defending guards and bigs. I would 100% want him on my team.”
  • Contact Mike Reynolds: 217-260-4420 cell michael.reynolds@d428.org

Semaj Greer, G, Rich Township

  • Height: 5-9
Senior Statistics
  • 10.5 ppg
  • 4.7 rpg
  • 3.5 apg

Highlights

Donovan Johnson, G, Rich Township

Senior Statistics

Highlights

Michael Ousley, G, Lanphier

  • Height: 6-0
Senior Statistics
  • 9.9 ppg
  • 3.2 rpg
  • 1.1 apg
  • 0.9 spg
  • Honor roll, two quarters
  • Contact: (217) 502-6204

Highlights

Nick Janega, G, Glenbard East

Senior Statistics
  • 7.2 ppg
  • 38% from 3
  • 4.7 G.P.A.
  • Coaches’ comments: High ceiling, just finding himself, solid D3 player / average athlete but smart positional player, good skill-set.
  • Contact Al Biancalana: 630-388-9380

Highlights

Jayden Williams, SG, East Peoria

Senior Statistics
  • 9.6 ppg
  • 4.1 rpg
  • 1.6 apg
  • 245 Bench, 385 Squat
  • Awards: Mid-Illini second-team all-conference
  • Contact: jgrzanich@ep309.org

Highlights

Trey Selman, SG, Milledgeville

Senior Statistics
  • 27.5 ppg
  • 11 rpg
  • 2.5 apg
  • Awards: Sauk Valley boys basketball player of the year

Highlights

Unsigned Wings

Gary Johns, Wing, Westinghouse

Senior Statistics
  • 17 ppg
  • 11 rpg
  • 3 bpg
  • 3.3 G.P.A.
  • Coach’s comments: Very versatile wing that can handle the ball, knock down the 3, & protect the rim.
  • Contact coach Rafie Fields- 773-3987373

Highlights

Matas Deksnys, Wing, Lockport

  • Height: 6-7
Senior Statistics
  • 15 ppg
  • 4.3 rpg
  • 1.6 apg
  • 1 spg
  • 87.5% Free throws
  • 48 3’s (16 games), 42% from 3
  • Hit 7 3’s in one game, hit 75 3’s as junior.
  • 3.86 G.P.A.
  • Awards: SWSC all-conference, Team MVP
  • Coach’s comments: “Matt is an elite shooter who has great length at 6’7″ tall.  He has grown as a scorer off the dribble as well as a rebounder this season.  He was the focal point of every team’s defensive game plan this year and still produced at a high level.  The sky is the limit for him because he is still maturing physically and will be a very, very dangerous player when he is 20, 21, 22 years old.”
  • Contact coach Brett Hespell – 708-912-1739  bhespell@lths.org

Highlights

Eric Wade, Wing, Belleville East

Senior Statistics
  • 14.3 ppg
  • 10.3 rpg
  • 3.2 apg
  • 2.3 spg
  • 1.4 bpg
  • Coach’s comments: “Great finisher at the rim, leader mentality on and off the court, never gives up and is an amazing rebounder and scorer.”
  • Contact: (618)-3105459, Email- ericwade1324@gmail.com

Josh Garner, Wing, Limestone

  • Height: 6-0
Senior Statistics
  • 18.1 ppg
  • 7.1 rpg
  • 36% from 3
  • Coach’s comments: “Josh is looking for a JUCO. Josh can straight out score the ball, long and athletic, and loves the game.” 
  • Contact: Tony4421gmail.com

Highlights

Film

Devonta Blevins, Wing, Rich Township

Senior Statistics
  • 3.5 G.P.A
  • Coach’s comments: Explosive, athletic, and can shoot the 3 ball.
  • Contact: (708)-631-5901 

Unsigned Bigs

Willie Strickland: F, Kankakee

  • 6-5
Senior Statistics
  • 10.2 ppg
  • 6.8 rpg
  • 3.1 bpg
  • Coach’s comments: “Willie is a 6’5” forward who plays well in the paint and along the baseline. Long arms allow him to play the passing lanes well and block shots. High motor.”

Damarcies Moore, W, CICS Longwood

  • 3.5 G.P.A.

Highlights

Instagram23chinnoo

Qati Dalipi, Forward, Westmont

  • Height: 6-6
Senior Statistics
  • 20.5 ppg
  • 8.5 rpg
  • Team MVP
  • All-Conference
  • All-Area Honorable Mention
  • 2.9 GPA
  • Coach Email: cethridge@g.cusd201.org 
  • Coach Phone Number: (630)-272-3683

Highlights

Illinois HS Basketball Top Performers (March 15-21)

Illinois High School Basketball Players Honored

The abbreviated, frantic high school basketball season is complete in the state of Illinois. One last time, we’re here to highlight top performers in Illinois.

Each week, Illinois-Basketball.com sends emails to the vast majority of coaches in the state of Illinois looking for the some of the top performances from players in the state.

An email was sent to every coach with an email listed on the IHSA website. Any emails omitted can be pointed out to the writer at kalebcarter4256@gmail.com to be added to our database for the future.

We’ve identified 22 deserving athletes between boys and girls basketball from the last week of the season, with a few milestones and accomplishments from the past week. 

Check out who we recognized last week. 

We’re always looking to update information on our website, be it missing players on the commitment lists, former Illinois preps players competing at the college levels that we omitted, or all-conference teams for the 2021 season that aren’t on the website yet. You can send any of this info and more to kalebcarter4256@gmail.com, nudnik.jakub@gmail.com or on Twitter at @ILL_HS_Hoops.

Illinois Girls Player of the Week Nominees

  • Whitney Dunn, Kenwood (3A): Scored 26, had 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in leading a fourth-quarter comeback at Simeon in a 73-66 victory; Had 21 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds in a 63-16 victory over Brooks Prep; 14 points, 4 steals in a 69-43 vs. Lindblom.
  • Timia Ware, Whitney Young (4A): Scored 34 in a win to end the season.
  • Xamiya Walton, Butler College Prep (2A): Led her team to a Noble League Tournament championship, had 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals vs. Pritzker; 29 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals vs. UICCP; 28 points, 6 rebounds, 9 steals, 6 assists vs. Speer; had 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals in the conference championship win over Comer; Also, Camille Jackson reached 1,000 points, including a 13-point, 10-rebound, 3-steal effort in the final; The 5-11 junior post scored 20, had 8 steals and 6 assists in the semis win over Speer; 18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists vs. UICCP and 8 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists and 2 steals against Pritzker. 
  • Reina Grunfeld, Amundsen (3A): Scored 13 points in a 40-31 win over Schurz; Put up a team-high 10 in a 42-17 win against Mather; Dropped 14 points in a 52-45 loss to Westinghouse; pushed team to 12-5 overall record, 9-0 in conference play. 
  • Desiree Bryant, Austin College and Career (1A): 34 points, 24 rebounds, 5 blocks on the week.

Illinois Boys Player of the Week Nominees

  • Phillip Taylor, Lindblom (3A): Scored 20 points and hauled in a school-record 19 rebounds in a 54-51 win vs. Urban Prep-Englewood; Coach Zack Linderman won his 200th game
  • William Bates, Bremen (3A): Finished up a strong season in which he posted 20.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.5 apg and hit 28 3-pointers; Also, DeMarco Mason averaged 10.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 spg.
  • Davius Loury, Kenwood (3A): In wins over Lincoln Park (87-64), Corliss (74) and Lindblom, had points/rebounds/assists totals of 19/10/3,  22/10/4 and 15/7/3 respectively; Averaged 16.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.0 bpg and 1.2 spg on the season. 
  • Jovon White, Perspectives Leadership Academy (1A): Scored 14, added 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 2 assists in a 73-63 win over MSA/Joslin; had 16 rebounds, 3 assists vs. CHSAS; Had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 8 steals, 6 assist and 2 blocks; Posted 12 points, 21 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals; Had 14 points, 18 rebounds in 59-48 loss to Fenger;  Also, JaQuwan Payton scored 28 points, had 5 steals, 3 assists, 2 rebounds vs. MSA/Joslin; scored 18 points vs. Fenger. 
  • Keyonta Ellis, Ogden (3A): Eclipsed 1,000 points in a 52-38 win in his final game; had scoring totals of 32 and 23.
  • Terrell Taylor, Clemente (2A): Scored 18 and had 5 rebounds, 4 assists in a 53-51 win over Wells; Scored 38 vs. Crane and 26 in a 62-52 loss to Curie;  Also, Trey Spires had 23 points, 16 assists, 7 steals and 6 rebounds in an 82-66 win over Crane; put up 19 vs. Curie.
  • Jerell Edwards, Dunbar (2A): Had 21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 steals in a 61-47 victory against Lindblom; 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals vs. Catalyst Maria; 31 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks in 52-38 win over Kennedy.
  • Ahmad Bynum, Simeon (3A): Scored 15, had 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals in 65-37 win over Phillips; Had 10 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals in 61-57 win over Brooks; 14 points, 6 rebounds as Simeon beat Morgan Park 56-46.
  • Darrion Jones, Bogan (3A): The final points of his high school career made the different in a 61-57 win over Morgan Park in which he had 29 points and 6 rebounds; Produced 22 points, 5 rebounds in 53-47 overtime win against Hyde Park; Had 16 points as Bogan defeated Phillips 52-26.

Nick Martinelli’s inner fighter has shaped who he has become as a basketball player

In middle school Nick Martinelli was a huge UFC fan. 

He grew so fond of the sport that at one point he even thought his interest would turn into a profession.

“I wanted to be a mixed martial arts fighter,” Martinelli said. “Everything was UFC. I was a huge Connor McGregor fan. In eighth grade, I got sick during the (basketball) season, and that’s when I would go in my basement and punch this little dummy guy that I had.” 

Even though Martinelli never pursued his mixed martial arts aspirations, that fighter’s mentality has stayed with him. 

His competitiveness needed to materialize early in his basketball career because he was always competing with his two older brothers, Jimmy and Dom Martinelli. Both had successful careers at Glenbrook South and went on to play collegiate basketball. 

Jimmy — the oldest — was two-time all-conference and named the team MVP his senior year at Glenbrook South and went on to be a four-year starter at New York University. Dom finished as the Titans’ all-time leading scorer and just wrapped up his freshman season at Northwestern. 

For Nick Martinelli, seeing his older brothers’ accomplishments was sometimes difficult to deal with. 

“To be honest, I felt a little bit in his shadow (Dom’s) and Jimmy’s too when I was younger,” Martinelli said. “It’s just hard when you have older brothers that were as successful as they were.”

But now, the youngest Martinelli is making a name for himself. As a full-time starter in his junior season, the 6-foot-7 wing averaged 21.8 points and 5.9 rebounds and shot 57.7% from 3-point range in 18 games. Martinelli was also named to the Central Suburban League All-Conference Team.

In his first game as a starter, Martinelli scored 28 points in a 69-49 victory against Hersey. It begin an 11-game win streak to start the season for Glenbrook South. In the ninth game of the season, against New Trier, Martinelli dropped 34 points in a 60-53 win. 

On offense, Martinelli’s left-handed jumper and ability to secure rebounds for second-chance points made him difficult to defend for any team. Often in opposing team huddles coaches can be heard saying, “We have to do a better job against Martinelli.”

Defensively, Martinelli’s length forced players to take tough shots and required them to make precise passes. He finished the season with 10 blocks and 15 steals. 

Although Martinelli has quickly emerged as one of the better upperclassmen in Illinois, it didn’t come without him having to overcome obstacles. 

Heading into Martinelli’s sophomore year, he thought he made the necessary improvements in the offseason to earn a varsity spot. But Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston started Martinelli on the sophomore team.

“It just lit a fire up in me to be honest,” Martinelli said. “When he (Ralston) told me I was on sophomore, I felt a little confused.” 

After playing five games on the sophomore team, Martinelli was moved up.

“Nick had to earn everything and he did so admirably,” Ralston said. “When we lost Joe Shapiro last year, Nick was the first guy off the bench and was getting what I would term ‘starter’s minutes’ in many respects. That was something he had to earn.” 

Martinelli embraced his new role and helped the team anyway he could. Glenbrook South finished the 2019-20 season 29-5 and split the Central Suburban League South title with Evanston. The Wildkits did eliminate the Titans in the Class 4A Elk Grove semifinals.

Still, Martinelli gained valuable experience in his sophomore year. And a lot of those lessons can be attributed to the one season he played with his brother Dom. 

“He wanted to win at every single drill,” Nick Martinelli said. “If you want to be great, you can’t take off drills, you can’t take off days, you always have to be the last one in the gym. I learned a ton of characteristics and good habits from him that are obviously going to benefit me in the future. I owe a ton of my success, which hasn’t been much, to Dom. 

“The way that he constantly fought,” Martinelli continued. “He played when he was sick. He played when he was hurting. And how much he wanted to win obviously showed me what I needed to do to take the next step.”

Though Dom Martinelli graduated, everything was looking promising for Glenbrook South moving forward. Nick Martinelli and point guard Cooper Noard — who started as a sophomore on varsity — would be back to help lead the Titans the following season.  

Then COVID-19 hit. And everything changed. 

“The unusual aspect of having to deal with COVID is that we didn’t have our normal summer routine where we were able to work with kids in a team atmosphere and an individual’s environment,” Ralston said. 

Despite the coronavirus’ impact on and off the basketball court, Martinelli still saw an opportunity for himself to improve his game over the summer so he would be ready for his junior season. 

Every morning Martinelli and Dom would shoot for roughly two hours at their friend’s gym, which features a shooting gun, a three-quarter basketball court and a weight room. Throughout the summer, it was common for the Martinelli brothers to be at their friend’s house for 4-to-6 hours. After a long day of doing basketball drills and working out on the turf field, the two would jump in the hot tub to recover. 

Dom also invited some of his teammates from Northwestern to train. 

“Something that I think got Nick to another level to where he is playing at now was being able to play with some of my teammates from Northwestern,” Dom Martinelli said. “Being able to compete with Big Ten players, I think that is one of the reasons why Nick has gotten so much better this offseason.”

Along with the workouts, Martinelli watched a lot of film over the summer.

From Dom’s senior season at Glenbrook South to Florida Gulf Coast and several Big Ten teams, to NBA players Luka Doncic and Doug McDermott, Martinelli dissected different basketball styles and tried to pick up bits and pieces from everything he watched. 

All the hard work Martinelli put in during the offseason translated on the basketball court. And Dom Martinelli, who was able to catch some of his brother’s games in person, could see the progress his brother made. 

“I think his confidence has skyrocketed since last season,” Dom Martinelli said. “I think that’s just due to all the work he has put in … I think he has gained confidence in that aspect. I see it in every single game.” 

And for Nick Martinelli — who has had to work for everything he has accomplished — he, Noard and senior big man Justin Lesynski were the leaders for the Titans this past season.

“I think Nick is very much a leader by example,” Ralston said. “I want Nick, Cooper and Justin to assert themselves as leaders on the team … It’s kind of hard for me to not say to guys like Nick and Coop, ‘You guys are the ones that have put in as much time as anyone in this offseason,’ so it’s hard for me as coach to not go back and say, ‘Hey, this is your team. You guys are the leaders of this team. We are going to go where you take us.’” 

The 2020-21 Glenbrook South team finished with a 16-2 record and as back-to-back CSL champions. In the condensed season, the Titans also set a school record for winning percentage at 89 percent.

Nick Martinelli at the free-throw line. (Photo: Braeden Schmidt)

At the end of the season, eight teams had the opportunity to participate in the Chipotle League of Champions tournament. Evanston was initially selected as the Central Suburban League representative for the tournament, but the school offered it to winner of the division. Glenbrook South overtook that spot when Evanston lost to New Trier on March 6. 

Two days later, Glenbrook South traveled to face the Trevians, with an opportunity to extend its half-game lead on Evanston. The Titans dominated for the majority of the first two quarters and at one point had a 22-point lead. Martinelli led all scorers with 12 points at the half. But the Trevians made a miraculous comeback and had a 63-61 lead with 47.8 seconds remaining in the game.  

After a 10-second violation, Martinelli was fouled under the basket with 10.8 seconds remaining on the clock. The junior stepped up to the free-throw line with an opportunity to tie the game.

Martinelli took his one dribble and shot. The ball hit the front of the rim and bounced left. Martinelli’s second shot hit the rim and bounced right. 

“That’s definitely one of my worst moments in basketball,” Martinelli said. “Honestly, the worst part about it was I trained for moments like that. I don’t train for making easy layups against bad teams. I train for making big shots against good teams and in important moments … But it’s a learning experience. Everyone misses shots. Michael Jordan has missed shots. Big shots. I have to work harder and patch up some things.”

The Titans lost 64-63 to the Trevians. Glenbrook South rebounded with back-to-back wins against Glenbrook North to end the season. However, it was Evanston that went on to play in the end-of-the-year tournament. 

Martinelli acknowledged that it was “painful to watch” the teams competing in the Chipotle Classic. But he does believe Glenbrook South has the players to do something special next season — as long as the team has the right mentality. 

“I think that we are going to be really deep and really skilled next season,” Martinelli said. “It all comes down to if we really want to put in the work to become state champions, and if we want to buy into what coach wants us to do.”

Martinelli’s routine now involves waking up before school to shoot at his friend’s house to reach his daily “300 makes each morning,” then getting a workout in once school is over.

With the high school season finished, that doesn’t mean Martinelli gets to take a break. In April, his AAU season will begin and Martinelli will compete against some of the best players in the country. 

Martinelli does all this because he is a competitor, a fighter. He has been this way since day one.

“I want to become a high-major player,” Martinelli said. “That’s my goal. My goal used to be to become a Division I player, but now it’s moved to something bigger because I want to strive to be the best player, the best person that I can be.”


Main image courtesy of Braeden Schmidt

Illinois HS Basketball Top Performers (March 8-14)

Illinois High School Basketball Players Honored

Illinois-Basketball.com sends emails to the vast majority of coaches in the state of Illinois looking for the some of the top performances from players in the state.

An email was sent to every coach with an email listed on the IHSA website. Any emails omitted can be pointed out to the writer at kalebcarter4256@gmail.com to be added to our database.

We’ve identified nearly 60 deserving athletes between boys and girls basketball. We’ve also included a list of milestones and accomplishments from the past week. 

Check out who we recognized last week. 

Once again, we’re asking for complete all-conference lists. Can send to kalebcarter4256@gmail.com, nudnik.jakub@gmail.com or on Twitter at @ILL_HS_Hoops.

Illinois Girls Player of the Week Nominees

  • Natasha Barnes, Lindblom: The sophomore racked up a triple-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals, 4 assists;
  • Janae Kent, Oak Forest (3A): Scored 36 in a win over Oak Forest to clinch a conference championship; Also scored 38 with 10 rebounds in another win.
  • Xamiya Walton, Butler College Prep: The freshman wowed with 21 points, 10 assists, 7 steals and 6 rebounds in win over Muchin; Posted 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists in a win vs. Comer; 24 points, 10 steals, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in a win over Noble Academy; 23 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals in a 60-32 win against Phillips; 27 points, 8 assists, 7 steals, 6 rebounds in a win vs. Muchin.
  • Sydney Affolter, Marist (4A): Had a double-double in each of the five games of her last week as a high school player; Put up a slash line (points/rebounds/assists) of 16/11/5 (vs/ Marian Catholic in ESCC title game victory), 29/11/4 (Carmel Catholic), 25/13/7 (Joliet Catholic), 21/10/4 (Lincoln-Way Central), and 23/13/4 (Trinity). 
  • Tahlor Sutton, Hillcrest (3A): Miles College signee scored 31, had 7 assists and 5 steals in a win over Richards.
  • Makiyah Williams, Trinity: Scored 33, had 8 rebounds and 4 blocks; Put up 23 points in a win over De La Salle; Put up 16 points in a 49-48 win over Fenwick to end the season. 
  • Katy Eidle, Hersey (4A): Scored 18 with four 3-pointers and 3 steals in a dominant MSL title game win (68-35) over Fremd; scored 28 in a 63-36 win over St. Ignatius. 
  • Tori Standefer, Civic Memorial (3A): Averaged 15.2 ppg, 4 spg, 4 apg in the last week of the season; led team tok 10-0 finish in the Mississippi Valley.
  • Natalie Schroeder, Watseka (2A): Became 9th player in program history to reach 1,000 points; Led team to 6-0 Sangamon Valley finish, 17-1 overall.
  • Sophia Haska, Fenton (3A): Played in six games with four double-doubles; Averaged 16.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg; 15 points, 10 rebounds against Aurora Christian; Sank 12 3-pointers during the week.
  • Brooke Heiman, Indian Creek (1A): Finished with a Little Ten Conference all-time record 2,124 points; Scored 24 in a 47-39 win over Dakota, 21 in a 47-44 win over Hinckley-Big Rock, 27 in a 57-49 loss to Serena. 
  • Katie Draper, Palestine-Hutsonville (1A): Scored 27 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 4 assists in a win; Put up 39 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in another victory. 
  • Jasper Jones, Momence (2A): Averaged 11.3 ppg, 12.8 rpg during a 2-2 week.
  • Tahj Bloom, Grayslake Central (3A): The freshmann averaged 22.5 ppg, including a 31-point, 12-rebound performance in a win over Round Lake; she led her team to an unbeaten, championship-winning, 7-0 Northern Lake County Conference record.
  • Victoria Matulevicius, Montini Catholic (3A): Averaged 15 ppg, 6 rpg, 2 apg and scored 22 against Mother McAuley as the Broncos grabbed wins over Aurora Central Catholic, Hope Academy and Mother McAuley. 
  • Kylie Kisgen, Freeburg (2A): Sophomore point guard averaged 15 ppg, 8 rpg, 3.7 apg and 3 spg during the week, all while commiting fewer than one turnover per contest. 
  • Annalise Pietrzyk, Providence Catholic (3A): Averaged 14 ppg and defended the other team’s best scoring as PC went 2-1 against the likes of De La Salle (2 wins) and Lockport (loss); led her team to a 10-0 finish in the GCAG White Division. 
  • Addison Bent, Vienna (2A): Broke school records for blocked shots in a season and a career and scored the winning bucket in a 47-45 win over Massac County. 
  • Chloe Pruitt, Mahomet-Seymour (3A): The sophomore scored 27 points and collected 14 rebounds in a win over Bloomington Central Catholic. 
  • Avery Jackson, Kankakee (3A): The junior scored 29 points and reached 1,000 career points as the Kays finished 9-1 in the Southland Conference to win the regular season title (second in tournament). 
  • Kloe Froebe, Lincoln (3A): Averaged 26.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4 apg, 4.4 spg and shot 70.1% from the charity stripe; Broke a 20+ year-old record for points by a freshman in program history (scored 475, previous high was 417).
  • Katie Krupa, Morton (3A): The Harvard commit sored 29 points in a 49-44 overtime victory over Washington in the first-ever Mid-Illini Conference Tournament Championship game, and became the 15th Potters player to score 1,000 points.
  • Emily Fisher, Libertyville (4A): Averaged 16.3 ppg on 55.8% shooting, 8.7 rpg, 6.7 apg, 2 spg and 1.7 bpg; Led her team to wins over Stevenson, Lake Forest and Saint Viator; Helped her team finish on a 14-game winning streak, a 7-0 conference record (16-2 overall) and a North Suburban Conference championship (regular season and tournament).
  • Anna Griffin, Aurora Christian (1A): Scored a career-high (school-record) 39 points and added 17 rebounds in the Metro Suburban championship game (finished 12-1 in conference); Illinois-Basketball.com wrote about Griffin in September.
  • Whitney Zumbahlen, Newton (2A): Registered a triple-double in her final high school game, with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 10 steals in a win over Casey-Westfield. 
  • Isabella Finnegan, Mother McAuley (4A): 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 assists against Montini; 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals in another game against Montini;  15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks vs. St. Laurence; Also, Faith Okorie, 22 points, 6 rebounds against Montini. 
  • Brooke Carlson, Batavia (4A): Averaged 16.3 points per game over three games and had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists in a game vs. Wheaton Warrenville South; Also, Tessa Towers had 28 points, 10 rebounds vs. WWS and 12 points in games against St. Charles East and St. Charles North. 
  • Claire Roberts, Sandwich (3A): Averaged 13 ppg, 4 spg, 3 apg, 2 rpg over two games; Also, Josie Ness had 11 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 bpg, 2 spg over two games and went over 1,000 career points. 
  • Campbell Shrank, Winnebago (2A): Led her team to a Big Northern Conference Tournament title after a 9-1 conference season; combined for 41 points, 14 rebounds and shot 69% between wins in the BNC semis and title game. 
  • Haley Stoklosa, Lincoln-Way Central (4A): Scored 23 vs. Marist and 15 vs. Stagg as LWC went 2-1 for the week and finished second in the Red Division of the SWSC.
  • Trinity Wade, Shelbyville (2A): Scored her 1,000th point and averaged 26 ppg during the week. 
  • Khloe Damm, Illini Central (1A): Over four games, averaged 26.3 ppg, 14.8 rpg, 5 apg, 6.5 spg and 3 bpg; Set a school record with a 41-point outburst in which she made 17 free throws; set school record with 1,656 points. 

Illinois HS Boys Players of the Week

  • Joe Melton, NCOE (1A): Recorded three consecutive triple-doubles in the Greater Egyptian Conference tournament; Had stat lines of, in points/rebounds/blocks, 24/14/10 in the quarters, 28/12/11 in the semis, 25/13/12 in the final. 
  • Don Williams, HSA Southwest (1A): Set a school record with a 50-point performance in a win over Back of the Yards Prep; Added a 24-point, 11 rebound game and 17-point, 11-rebound outing; Also, Joseph Perkins averaged 24.6 ppg, had 12 assists in one game and 8 steals in another. 
  • Xavier Gagnepain, Sycamore (3A): Posted 23 points, 10 rebounds in a 57-49 win over previously undefeated DeKalb. 
  • Jaden Schutt, Yorkville Christian (1A): Scored 26 in a win over Flanagan-Cornell and 34 in a victory over Neuqua Valley.
  • Mason Kibelkis, Peotone (2A): Scored 28 vs. Reed-Custer. 
  • Robbie Avila, Oak Forest (3A): Scored 42 and had 20 rebounds against Tinley Park; Put up 22 points, 12 rebounds in a win over Oak Lawn. 
  • Lathan Lewis, Harlem (3A): 21 points, 15 rebounds in a conference championship game loss to Rockford East. 
  • Jamauri Winfrey, Richwoods (3A): 35 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks against Moline. 
  • AJ Smith, Metro-East Lutheran (1A): 40 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists.
  • For Saint Ignatius, Parker Higginbottom (best game 22 points, 4 assists); Richard Barron (25 points vs. Bolingbrook); AJ Redd, 19 points, 13 rebounds vs. Chicago U-High); Kolby Giles (12 points, 9 rebounds in U-Hgh win; John Digenan, (10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) all nominated. 
  • Calvin Lucas, Proviso West (4A): 23 points, 8 assists vs. Addison Trail.
  • Blake Peters, Evanston (4A): Hit the game-winning 3-pointer to push Evanston past Niles Notre Dame in the Chipotle Classic semis.
  • Brian Matthews, DePaul College Prep: Was named MVP of the Chipotle Classic after scoring 19, grabbing 6 rebounds in a 51-36 win over Evanston in the title game; Also, Ty Johnson had 9 points, 5 assists in the title game, had17 points in the semis and 32 in a win over Whitney Young.
  • Graham Meisenhelter, Macon Meridian (1A): Had point and rebound totals of 34/10, 25/15, 22/16 and 20-16 as Meridian finished 7-0 in the CIC; Added 9 steals, 12 assists total over the four games. 
  • Hillcrest, Julis Rollins (4A): The Kent State signee finished his career with an undefeated season (13) and with a 20-point game; also had a 12-assist performance against Argo.
  • Jonathan Daly, Agape Christian: Scored 41 points in a game; 21 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds in a win over Shawnee.
  • Trey Bazzell, Prairie Central (2A): Scored 21 and broke the school scoring record in a 52-43 victory over St. Thomas Moore; Scored 31 in the season finale, an 81-62 win, to end with 1420 for his career. Trey averaged 23.2 pts, 8 rpg, 4 apg, 2.7 spg, and 2.5 bpg.
  • Nate Fleisher, Highland Park (3A): In the final two games of his career scored 18 with 2 rebounds and 2 assists, then had 15 points and five steals as the Giants defeated Maine East twice; finished with 601 career points (30th in program history) and 81 3-pointers (12th all-time).
  • Angelo Vassilakis, Lockport (4A): The senior averaged 8.0 ppg, 6.3 apg and 4.1 spg in his final three games, leading his team to wins over Lincoln-Way West, Lincoln-Way East and Andrew.

Milestones/Accomplishments, Game-Winners and More

We’re on the lookout for records and milestones, monster performances and game-winners. You can find more info like this by subscribing to the Illinois High School Basketball News Newsletter.

All-Time Leaders

  • Illini Central senior Khloe Damm: Scoring (1,656).

• Fieldcrest’s Jaxon Cusac-McKay broke the program records for assists and made free throws; Finished fourth in points in school history (1,399).

2,000-point scorers

1,000-point scorers

Coach Milestones

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