High School: New Trier
Here’s a look back at this season’s holiday tournaments:
The honor goes to Pontiac this season. Having Simeon helped, but Pontiac was about much more than Simeon this season. On the final day alone, fans were treated to three overtimes games, two of which went to double overtime, and nearly witnessed Simeon upset by Peoria Manual. It would be hard to find two better holiday tournament semifinal games than Curie-Warren and Simeon-Manual anywhere in the country.
St. Ignatius is the reason for York finishing second here. While the tournament favorites won at Proviso West, the McDipper, Pontiac and plenty of others tournaments, St. Ignatius added an element of surprise at York. The Wolfpack first fought back from a double-digit deficit to defeat Downers Grove South in the semifinals and then defeated De La Salle in the championship.
Curie 77, Warren 68, 2 OT at Pontiac: In the first Pontiac semifinal, Warren forced a first overtime when JoVaughn Gaines drained a 3-pointer from the corner in the final seconds of regulation and then sent the game into a second overtime when Jon Geske dropped in a late layup. Curie won in the end. Devin Foster had 27 points in the win.
Simeon 48, Peoria Manual 47 at Pontiac: Not to be outdone by the first semifinal, Simeon and Peoria Manual went down to the buzzer to determine their game. Manual had two shots at overtaking Simeon on its final possession, but missed a shot around the basket and had the ball stolen in the game’s final seconds. The game had 10 lead changes.
St. Ignatius 47, De La Salle 44, OT at York: In the championship game, St. Ignatius senior Brian Howard sent the game into overtime with an off-balance 3-pointer with four seconds left, and the Wolfpack prevailed in overtime again the tournament favorites.
St. Ignatius 52, Downers Grove South 50 at York: In the semifinals, St. Ignatius overcame a 12-point deficit to upset Downers Grove South. Abdoulie Contch scored the game-winner in the lane with 1.5 seconds left.
Elgin 57, Glenbard North 51 at Elgin: Before Elgin could win close semifinal and championship games, it had to win a tight quarterfinal matchup with Glenbard North. Former AAU teammates, Elgin’s Kory Brown and Glenbard North’s Josh Fleming, went head to head in the final minutes. Fleming had a game-high 21 points, but Brown, who had 19 points, came out with the victory.
Crete-Monee 67, Seton 66, OT at Rich South: In the semifinals, Crete-Monee’s Marvie Keith sank two free throws with 35 seconds left to lift his team to the upset victory. Mark Conner scored 19 points off the bench for Crete-Monee. Crete-Monee squandered a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter to allow overtime.
Metea Valley 69, Rolling Meadows, OT at Hinsdale South: Metea Valley nearly saw its unbeaten season ruined by Rolling Meadows, which led 39-30 heading into the fourth quarter. Spearheaded by Kenny Obendorf and his 20 points, Metea Valley rallied in regulation and won in overtime.
New Trier 61, Homewood-Flossmoor 58 at Proviso West: The second-round matchup was expected to be a good one, and it didn’t disappoint. The game went back and forth until New Trier got hot in the second half and connected on seven 3-pointers in the final quarters. Connor Boehm had 25 points in the win. Tyrone Sherman had 24 points for Homewood-Flossmoor.
All-tournament first team
New Trier senior forward Connor Boehm, Proviso West tournament: Boehm has been one of the most consistent players in the state this season. At Proviso West had 25 points and nine rebounds vs. Homewood-Flossmoor, 14 points and 14 rebounds vs. Morgan Park, 16 points and six rebounds vs. Proviso East and 17 points and seven rebounds vs. Von Steuben.
Elgin senior guard Kory Brown, Elgin: Brown stepped up game after game in the Maroons’ run to their own holiday tournament championship. He had a 18 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in Elgin’s upset win over La Lumiere in the tournament championship.
Proviso East senior guard Keith Carter, Proviso West: Carter keyed the Pirates’ run to their first Proviso West title since 1991 and was awarded the tournament MVP. He had 18 points and five steals in a win over Benet in the quarterfinals.
Bloom senior guard Donald Moore, Rich South: Carter’s point guard play led the Blazing Trojans to their first McDipper title since 1995. He had 14 points and four assists in the title game. He was named the tournament MVP.
Simeon senior forward Steve Taylor, Pontiac: Jabari Parker may have won the MVP trophy at Pontiac, but many, including Parker, thought it should have gone to Taylor. Taylor had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead the top-ranked Wolverines over Curie in the championship game.
All-tournament second team
St. Ignatius senior guard Brian Howard, York: Howard and St. Ignatius surprised Downers Grove South and De La Salle on their way to the York title. Howard sent the championship game into overtime with a 3-pointer and finished with 20 points. He was named tournament MVP.
Metea Valley senior guard Kenny Obendorf, Hinsdale South: Obendorf continued to put up big numbers while helping Metea Valley to the Hinsdale South tournament championship. He had 24 points in the championship game and was named the tournament MVP.
Benet sophomore center Sean O’Mara, Proviso West: O’Mara isn’t as hyped as some of the state’s sophomores, but he’s been more productive than most of them. He was impressive throughout Proviso West. He had 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks against Proviso East in the semifinals.
Simeon junior forward Jabari Parker, Pontiac: Parker didn’t disappoint the sellout crowds at Pontiac. He hit difficult jumpers, swatted shots and threw down a few jaw-dropping dunks. In Simeon’s one-point win over Peoria Manual, he scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Warren senior forward Darius Paul, Pontiac: Paul averaged 15.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in four games at Pontiac. With fellow post player Nathan Boothe in foul trouble against Curie, Paul scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Andrew junior forward Jubril Adekoya, Kankakee
Plainfield East senior forward Brian Bennett, Pekin; Crane senior guard Willie Conner, Romeoville; De La Salle junior forward Alvin Ellis, York; Stevenson senior guard Michael Fleming; Curie senior guard Devin Foster, Pontiac; Morgan Park junior guard Billy Garret Jr., Proviso West; North Chicago senior guard Aaron Simpson, Bloomington; Crete-Monee junior forward LaQuon Treadwell, Rich South; Downers Grove South senior guard Jerron Wilbut, York
Andrew (9-0): Won the Kankakee’s holiday tournament, biggest upcoming test could be at Thornwood on Jan. 20.
Bloom (13-0): Won the McDipper, have plenty of tough games in the future, including at Homewood-Flossmoor on Jan. 24.
Immaculate Conception (12-0): Won its own holiday tournament, could still be undefeated heading into matchup at Elgin on Feb. 15.
Glenbard West (10-0): Won its own holiday tournament, could be challenged this week when playing at Bolingbrook and York.
Metea Valley (13-0): Won Hinsdale South’s holiday tournament, will host Lake Park, which is also undefeated in the Upstate Eight Valley, on Saturday.
Plainfield East (11-0): Won the Pekin holiday tournament, hosts Wheeling tournament winner Naperville Central on Jan. 17.
Simeon (12-0): Won the Pontiac holiday tournament, face nationally-ranked No. 36 Miller Grove in West Virginia on Saturday.
Read the full rankings.
HILLSIDE, Ill. -- When Donnie Boyce was hired prior to the season, his promise was to return Proviso East’s program to the heights it reached during his playing days.
On Friday, his words met the Pirates’ actions when No. 2 Proviso East defeated No. 11 New Trier 68-55 in the Proviso West holiday tournament championship before 2,780 fans. It was the Pirates’ first title since they won it in consecutive years in 1990 and 1991. Boyce was a senior on the 1990 team.
“It’s amazing,” said Boyce, whose team improved to 11-0. “To be able to win it as a player and then come back my first year coaching, it’s unbelievable. I’m just really pleased with the effort my team gave this whole tournament.”
Proviso East set the tone for Friday’s win in the opening minutes of the game. The Pirates jumped on New Trier with their intense full-court pressure and disrupted the Trevians’ offense while creating their own scoring opportunities.
Proviso East built a 23-10 after one quarter. Senior Keith Carter, who earned tournament MVP honors, had six of his 15 points in the first quarter.
“That was a key,” Carter said. “We had started slow the first three [tournament] games. That made us fight hard.”
New Trier answered back. The Trevians (11-2) never took the lead, but they did pull within two points by halftime and kept Proviso East within striking distance throughout the second half.
Proviso East’s Paris Burns gave his team some breathing room in the third quarter. He had six points, four rebounds and one steal in the quarter, and the Pirates took a 48-41 advantage into the final eight minutes.
The Pirates were balanced across the board. Carter, Burns (12 points), Paris Lee (17 points) and Sterling Brown (15 points, 12 rebounds) all finished in double figures. Brown was also named to the all-tournament first team.
“I feel coach Donnie is bringing the old swagger back from the state championship team and bringing it to now,” Lee said. “I feel good for the program. This means a lot. It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to hit me.”
New Trier’s Connor Boehm also earned first-team tournament honors after his 16-point, six-rebound performance against Proviso East. Austin Angel (12 points), Steven Cook (12 points) and Jordan Thomas (15 points) contributed for the Trevians.
The holiday tournament season is upon us. Here’s a guideline to the week ahead.
Five tournaments to attend
1) Pontiac, Dec. 28-30: It helps that Pontiac has the country’s top team in Simeon and top player in Jabari Parker, but that’s just the start. Curie and Warren have both been ranked in the top 5 this season and could give Simeon a game. Peoria Manual is one of the top teams outside of the Chicago area this season and has a number of Division I players. The semifinals could include all four teams.
2) Proviso West, Dec. 27-30: This could be an interesting year at Proviso West because of the parity. Proviso East, which is ranked No. 2, is the favorite, but it’s wide open after that. Glenbrook North, Homewood-Flossmoor, Morgan Park, New Trier and St. Joseph have all been ranked at some point this season.
3) Rich South, Dec. 26-27, 29-30: The McDipper could include a top-10 championship game between No. 5 Seton and No. 7 Bloom. Both enter the tournament undefeated. Crete-Monee, Evanston, Hales, Leo, Marian Catholic and Rich South give the tournament depth.
4) York, Dec. 27-30: The Jack Tosh Tournament added De La Salle this season. The Meteors should be the favorites, and they could see Downers Grove South in the championship. Maine South, Naperville North, Riverside-Brookfield and St. Ignatius should be competitive, too.
5) Wheeling, Dec. 27-30: Wheeling has become a whole lot more interesting with the rise of Notre Dame, St. Viator and Stevenson this season. Notre Dame and Stevenson are ranked, and St. Viator is 10-0 heading into the tournament.
Five players to see
1) Jabari Parker, Simeon at Pontiac: If you haven’t already seen Parker, the No. 1 junior in the country, see him. If you’ve already seen him, see him again. Friday is the best day to be at Pontiac. Simeon is likely to play at 2:30 p.m. in the semis and 9 p.m. in the championship.
2) Billy Garrett Jr., Morgan Park at Proviso West: Garrett Jr. is the future of DePaul. His game has continued to develop, and he has a chance to be one of the nation’s top guards when he arrives to Lincoln Park.
3) Gavin Schilling, De La Salle, York: There are actually a number of De La Salle players to see, but Schilling has been the hot name as of late.
4) Tyler Ulis, Marian Catholic, Rich South: Ulis, a sophomore guard, has been receiving rave reviews. This could be a good chance to witness him against other top players.
5) Jewell Loyd, Niles West at Stevenson and Loyola: If you’re to see one girls basketball player all season or even possibly all decade, Loyd is the one to watch. She puts up 40 points and 20 rebounds on a regular basis. Niles West plays at Stevenson on Tuesday and Loyola on Wednesday.
Monday: Rich South is the only tournament running. If you’re looking to go to just one or two game, the late afternoon (4 p.m.) is a good place to start.
Tuesday: The first day of Proviso West is always interesting. The Rich South quarterfinals start at 4p.m. York vs. Riverside-Brookfield at York at 7:15 p.m. could be a fun first-round matchup.
Wednesday: It’s the first day of Pontiac if you want to be there the entire time. New Trier and Homewood-Flossmoor could meet in Proviso West’s second round at 5:15 p.m. Neighborhood rivals Proviso East and St. Joe’s could also meet at 8:30 p.m. at Proviso West.
Thursday: Warren and Waukegan is a potential second-round game at Pontiac at 11 a.m. St. Ignatius vs. Downers Grove South could be a York semifinal at 7:15 p.m. Stevenson and Notre Dame are aligned to meet in a Wheeling semifinal at 7:15 p.m.
Friday: Pontiac is the place to be, but you can double-dip by going there for the semifinals at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and head back toward the city for another championship game. Rich South’s championship is at 7 p.m. York’s championship is at 7:15 p.m. Proviso West’s championship is at 8 p.m. Wheeling’s championship is at 8:45 p.m.
1) Morgan coach Nick Irvin’s father, Mac Irvin, passed away on Saturday. Mac was a legendary figure in Chicago basketball. Morgan Park opens the Proviso West tournament at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
2) Simeon’s road to another Pontiac title won’t be easy. The Wolverines could see a talented Peoria Manual team in the semis and either Curie or Warren in the championship game. Warren lost to Simeon in the Pontiac and state title games last year. If Simeon survives, it will remain the No. 1 team in the country.
3) Proviso East hasn’t won a Proviso West championship since it won it in back-to-back years in 1990 and 1991. First-year Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce was a senior on the 1990 team. It would be fitting for him to coach the Pirates to a title this year.
4) How many undefeated teams will remain after this week? Bloom and Seton are undefeated at Rich South. Curie and Simeon are undefeated at Pontiac. St. Viator takes it undefeated record into Wheeling. Bogan travels to Centralia with an unbeaten mark. Andrew (at Kankakee) Plainfield East (Pekin) and Metea Valley (Hinsdale South) are also undefeated.
5) Some players will make stars out of themselves after this week. Who will we be talking about next week?
Read the full story.
Here are five thoughts on the high school boys basketball scene for your Wednesday afternoon.
1. The early scholarship offer trend is getting way out of hand: It’s been ridiculous for a while, but an offer the other day reminded me of that. Cal Poly recently became the first school to offer Simeon freshman D.J. Williams. Nothing against Cal Poly -- I’m not that familiar with the program -- but why does it need to be offering a freshman who hasn’t even played varsity basketball yet? I don’t see the point. If Williams is as good as projected, he’ll land way out of Cal Poly’s league. If he doesn’t pan out, does Cal Poly need to be offering low- to mid-major players as freshmen to secure them? Maybe the offer was given to attract publicity. If so, mission accomplished. I’m writing about Cal Poly for the first time.
2. There’s a good chance Thursday’s Simeon-Whitney Young contest could be a one-sided game in front of an empty house: Simeon has lived up to the hype so far as the No. 1 team in the country and has only gotten better with the return of point guard Jelani Neely from injury. Whitney Young fell out of ESPNChicago’s rankings after losing to Orr 45-29 last week. Orr turned around and lost to Farragut this week. Whitney Young was without Tommy Hamilton Jr., Jermaine Morgan and Jordan Smith due to injuries, but it will be without at least Hamilton Jr. for the Simeon game as well. Whitney Young, especially its guards, will have to step it up Thursday if it’s going to compete with Simeon. As for Thursday’s attendance, the price tag of $15 and $33 for seats through Ticketmaster and the fact the game was moved from its original date could lead to a small crowd.
3. The location for the City-Suburban Showdown is still up in the air: It is supposed to be played at the UIC Pavilion on Feb. 18, but promoter Bob Rylko and UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt are awaiting word from the NCAA whether the event can be held at the UIC. The NCAA has been enforcing a rule this season that non-scholastic events can’t be held at Division I facilities. Every similar event around the country has had to move to another location. People may want to hold off buying tickets until the location is finalized.
4. Jabari Parker needed only 21 minutes to do something no Simeon player had done: His 40-point, 21-minute performance against Perspectives-Calumet on Monday was the most points ever by a Simeon player in a game. Parker eclipsed Tim Flowers’ record of 35 points.
5. Outside of Jabari Parker, the players who have been the most impressive in the area so far haven’t been the nationally-ranked ones: Crane’s Willie Conner, St. Rita’s Tony Hicks, Andrew’s Jubril Adekoya, Bloom’s Donald Moore, New Trier’s Connor Boehm and Curie’s Devin Foster are among those who have been the most consistent so far this season.
2. Whitney Young: The Dolphins haven’t been able to get past Bolingbrook the past three seasons. Last year’s Class 4A semifinal game was an instant classic with Bolingbrook pulling out a 50-49 win. They’ll be the favorites to get another shot at the defending champs. Whitney Young will be led by its backcourt of Linnae Harper, one of the country’s top juniors, and Janee Thompson, a nationally-ranked senior and Kentucky recruit. Whitney Young will also look to sophomores Khaalia Hillsman and Taylor Brame and seniors Tessa Haldes and Alexis Lloyd.
3. Trinity: The Blazers are looking to make that jump into the state’s elite teams this season and appear to have the talent and experience to do so. They went 29-4 last season and return DePaul recruit and all-area selection Megan Podkowa, who averaged 17 points and nine rebounds last season, junior guard Taylor Nazon, who averaged 11 points, senior guard Alyssa Dengler, junior forward Shannon McGinnis and senior center Vickie Harris. Lauren Prochaska and Mikayla Leyden should also contribute.
4. Maine South: The Hawks pulled off one of last season’s biggest upsets when they knocked off Whitney Young in the Class 4A third-place game. Whitney Young may not have been as motivated after losing in the semifinals to Bolingbrook, but it still was a big win for Maine South and could propel it this season. The Hawks return all five starters and their top six players from last year’s team. Senior guard Michelle Maher, who has signed with Western Illinois, and junior forward Jacqui Grant, who has an offer from DePaul, both averaged around 12 points last season.
5. Marist: The RedHawks look to be a state contender this season with all five starters back from last year’s squad that went 27-6 and lost to Marian Catholic in a Class 4A sectional championship game. Among Marist’s returnees is junior guard JeTaun Rouse, who was the lone sophomore on last year’s ESPNChicago.com all-area team. The other returning starters are seniors Randyll Butler, a Colgate recruit, and Asianna Bey, a Memphis recruit, and juniors Leah Bolton and Claire Ryan. All five starters will likely play Division I basketball.
6. Hillcrest: The Hawks have finished second in Class 3A the last two years. The goal this season is finally to win the title. They return four starters and four key reserves from last year’s 29-3 team. The group is led by Seton Hall recruit and all-area selection Shanise Heady and Southern Mississippi recruit Samirah Ali. Seniors Jasmine Sanders and Jahmia Phillips also are returning starters.
7. Morgan Park: The Mustangs return three of their top players from last season’s 27-5 team. Morgan Park will be led by small forward Kendyl Nunn, a Toledo recruit, center Gabrielle Richmond, a St. Bonaventure recruit, and point guard Debra Jenkins, the glue of the team. Sophomore guard Shami Goodman and freshman Marsha Howard are also expected to receive major minutes. Morgan Park’s sophomore team won the city championship last year.
8. Montini: The Broncos graduated four starters, including three Division I players, from last year’s Class 3A state championship team. This is a program that reloads, though. Senior forward Tianna Brown is the lone returning starter, and she averaged eight points last season. Center Diamond Thompson was just a contributor on last year’s team, but recently committed to Notre Dame. Nikia Edom, a versatile 5-6 junior, and forward Malayna Johnson will also contribute this season. Some of the newcomers to watch will be sophomores Jasmine Lumpkin, Kelly Karlis, Kateri Stone and Sara Ross and freshmen Kelsey Bogdan and Rainey Kuykendall.
9. Bartlett: The Hawks lost all-area selection Jacki Gulczynski to graduation, but still return plenty of talent and depth from last year’s 28-2 team. The group is led by Haley Videckis, an Indiana recruit, who averaged 10 points last year. Senior Kristin Conniff also averaged 10 points last season. Bartlett also returns forward Lisa Palmer and guard Janessa Baker. Seniors Ashley Johnson, Nicole Gobbo, Natalia Grodzki and Kate Gutzwiller will also be looked to this season. Videckis’ sister Kendra, a sophomore, will also play on varsity this season.
10. Waubonsie Valley: The Warriors return five starters from last year’s 24-5 team. Senior guard Tami Morice leads the returnees after averaging 13 points last season. Becky Williford, Eric Jordan, Rachael Ross and Gratia Brooks are also back. Williford will be back from ACL surgery in December. Waubonsie Valley will also look to a sophomore and three freshmen to contribute this season.
11. Niles West: The Wolves only have two returning starters, but one of them is Jewell Loyd, and that’s all that matters. Loyd, a Notre Dame recruit, is one of the nation’s most electrifying players. She averaged 30 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks last season. She gives Niles West a chance in every game. For it to truly compete for a state title, it’ll need junior guard Molly Kleppin, the other returning starter, senior Jackie Cardena, sophomores Dashae Shumate and Alex Galanopoulous and others to contribute as much as they can.
12. Lincoln-Way East: The Griffins should again be one of the area’s top teams this season after going 25-6 last year. They return Loyola recruit Taylor Johnson, who averaged 13 points last season, and senior center Caitlin McMahan, who had 10 double-doubles last year. Senior Amy Jacobsen and juniors Meaghan McMahon and Natalie Hill should be key contributors this season as well.
13 Zion-Benton: The Zee-Bees are coming off their second-place finish in Class 4A. They return all-area selection Octavia Crump, who averaged a near double-double last season, sophomore guard Samantha Rodriguez, who started as a freshman, senior Aaliyan Smith, senior guard Morgan Franklin, and junior guard Kaitlyn Stabenow, the team’s best shooter. Senior Jessica Williams didn’t play basketball last season, but was the sophomore team’s MVP two years ago. She’ll be heavily relied on this season.
14. Fremd: The Vikings should possess one of the state’s best backcourts with senior shooting guard Jessi Wiedemann, a Valparaiso commitment, and junior point Ashley McConnell returning and the arrival of highly-touted freshman point guard Haley Gorecki. Fremd is coming off a 25-7 season and lost just one game this summer.
15. Fenwick: The Friars could be the most entertaining team to watch this season. Coach Dave Power is going full run-and-gun this year. His goal every game is to take almost 80 shots, including 40 3-pointers. Fenwick will be led by senior forward and Yale recruit Meredith Boardman, sophomore point guard Jade Owens, junior guard Maggie Reilly and senior guard Marek Burchett.
16. Geneva: Sarah Meadows replaces longtime coach Gina Nolan this season. Meadows will have a lot to work with this season. Ashley Santos, a Marquette recruit, will be the Vikings’ go-to player. She averaged 15.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.1 blocks last season. Geneva also returns starting guard Rachel Hinchman and junior forward Sami Pawlak from last year’s 25-7 team. Sophomores Michaela Loebel and Morgan Seberger should also contribute this year.
17. Homewood-Flossmoor: After winning 22 games in coach Dana Noble’s first year, the Vikings are out for more this year. They’ll be led by 5-10 guard Charnelle Reed, who averaged 13 points, 3.6 rebounds, three assists and 2.4 steals last season. They also return junior guards Syndi Johnson and Lauren Parker and senior forward Amena Brent.
18. New Trier: The Trevians were a bit of a rollercoaster last season. With nine seniors and 12 returnees back this season, they hope to be up more than down. The group is led by 6-1 guard Maggie Lyon, a Northwestern recruit, who averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists last season. Senior forward Jessica Blackwell also averaged eight points and six rebounds last year.
19. Marian Catholic: The Spartans graduated a bulk of their talent, but this won’t be a rebuilding season. Their roster is full of young and talented players. Among those upcoming stars are sophomore guard Ashton Millender, sophomore guard Brianna Morrison and freshman guard Teniya Page. Seniors Alanna Ferry, Amber Williams and Sarafina Handy and junior Megan Walsh are back from last season, and their leadership will be key.
20. Cary-Grove: The Trojans hope to carry over the momentum of last year’s playoff run, which ended in a narrow sectional loss to Geneva. Cary-Grove returns three starters -- senior versatile guard Paige Lincicum, junior forward Olivia Jakubicek and junior guard Joslyn Nicholson -- from that 27-4 team.
Junior quarterback Matt Alviti accounted for all but one of Maine South's six touchdowns, scoring the team's first six points on a 3-yard keeper in the opening quarter. Alviti (14-26, 195-yards) then connected with four different receivers in the second half on touchdown strikes of 6, 13, 23 and 27 yards.
"Our defense won that game for us by giving us great field position throughout the second half," Alviti said after the victory. "Going back to Loyola last year, we were kind of in the same situation, but no [we never thought we were out of it]. We never stopped believing. We came out and dug down deep in the second half and we got it done."
Having last defeated Maine South in 2000, New Trier came out with a chip on its shoulder and forced a three-and-out on the Hawks' opening drive. On the ensuing possession, the Trevians capped off a five-play, 51-yard drive on a Jack Nykaza 1-yard TD run to open the scoring.
After Alviti's first TD, the Trevians climbed back on top thanks to a 27-yard field goal from Grant Amick in the second quarter.
Back came the Hawks (5-0, 1-0) as Paul Preston, who ran the ball 19 times for 133 yards, found the end zone on a 7-yard option pitch with 2:39 remaining in the first half, pulling Maine South within 17-14. On New Trier's next play from scrimmage, however, junior Daniel Olaniyan scampered 73-yards up the middle of the Maine South defense for what turned out to be New Trier's final points of the evening.
Though the second half sided entirely with the Hawks, Olaniyan believes Friday's loss will still propel the Trevians (3-2, 0-1) forward.
"No one was hanging their head," said Olaniyan, who finished with 17 carries for 165 yards. "Of course it was a disappointing loss because it was homecoming but we as a ball club know we can still accomplish a lot this season."
Following the come-from-behind win, Maine South head coach, Dave Inserra, preached emotion to his team, which they clearly did not show in the opening 24 minutes of the contest.
"They're not emotional. They're not cocky, but they're not emotional enough at times," said Inserra. "We didn't have it in the first half. At halftime, we were sitting in a funk, but we said it wasn't execution. It was about playing with enthusiasm, passion and tenacity for the game and I think [our guys] showed that in the second half. That was the difference."
Player of the game: Maine South Jr. QB, Matt Alviti: 14-of-26 passing for 195 yards and 4 TDs / 8 carries for 36 yards and 1 TD.
Stat of the game: After dominating the first half, New Trier was held to just two first downs over the final 24 minutes of the game.
It was over when: Alviti found senior tight end Tyler Fahey on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter.
Quote of the night: "This is awesome, especially because it was New Trier. This has become such a big rivalry so to come out here and beat them on their homecoming, man, I wouldn't want it any other way." - Maine South QB Matt Alviti.
New Trier senior forward Connor Boehm has committed to Dartmouth.
Boehm, who is 6-8 and 230 pounds, also had interest from Brown, Princeton, Santa Clara, Yale, among others.
“Connor’s kind of a unique player,” said Rising Stars coach Brian Davis, who Boehm plays for in the club season. “Muscle and size, he has that. He’ll run through a wall for you. It might not be the prettiest thing, but he’ll get you a double-double. He can score in many different ways.”
Boehm’s older brother Jack is a junior pitcher at Bucknell and his other older brother Peter played basketball for one season at Harvard. Both brothers also starred on the basketball team at New Trier.
The 2010-2011 high school sports year was one to remember for a number of programs.
Maine South’s football team and Bolingbrook’s girls basketball team won their third consecutive state championships. Montini’s football team and girls basketball team captured their second consecutive titles. Wheaton Warrenville South’s football team capped off an undefeated season with another state title. Simeon’s boys basketball team also continued its reign.
But of any of school, no one had the 2010-2011 year New Trier had. The Trevians won five team state championships and four individual state titles to go along with a number of regional and sectional championships.
Here’s a rundown of what New Trier’s teams accomplished this year:
• The boys tennis team won its second consecutive state championship. Robert Stineman repeated as the state singles champion. Jared Hiltzik finished second in singles, and two doubles teams finished in the top five in the state.
• The boys lacrosse team won its seventh consecutive state title. Senior Chad Sawyer became the school’s all-time leading goal scorer this season.
• The girls swimming team won the state championship. Samantha James won the state title in the 100-yard freestyle, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team also won a state title.
• The boys swimming team won the state championship. Max Grodecki won the 100-yard freestyle title, and its 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams also won state crowns.
• The girls golf team won the Class 3A state championship, and Elizabeth Szokol and Kristin Wright finished fifth and sixth in the state.
• The boys golf team took second place in state in Class 3A.
• Senior Mari Georgiadis went 52-0 this season and won the badminton state championship. The Trevians finished third overall as a team.
• The girls tennis team finished third in the state. It had two doubles teams finish in the top six.
• The softball team finished fourth at state in Class 4A.
• The girls cross country team finished sixth at state in Class 3A.
• The boys cross country team finished in seventh at state in Class 3A.
• The boys volleyball team reached the state quarterfinals.
• The girls soccer team won a regional championship.
• The girls volleyball team won a regional championship.
• The girls lacrosse team won a regional championship.
• Senior centerfielder Charlie Tilson was selected in the second round of the MLB draft.
Other notable schools in 2010-2011
Lyons: baseball -- 4A state champions; girls volleyball – 3A state champions; boys soccer – regional champions; girls soccer – regional champions; boys basketball – regional champions; boys cross country – ninth place in 3A; football – reached state quarterfinals in 8A; boys water polo – reached state quarterfinals; girls golf – 10th place in 3A.
Sandburg: badminton – state champions; boys volleyball – state champions; baseball – regional champions; softball – sectional champions; competitive cheerleading – fourth place in state; boys cross country – 10th place in 3A and individual state champion Lukas Verzbicas; boys bowling – 10th place in state; wrestling – third place in 3A; boys water polo – fourth place in state; baseball – regional champions; football – reached the second round in 8A.
Naperville North: girls soccer – 3A state runner-up; boys soccer – sectional champions; boys volleyball – state runner-up; girls swimming – ninth place in 3A; boys swimming – ninth place in 3A; boys gymnastics – fourth place in state; boys golf – third place in 3A; football – reached state quarterfinals in 8A.
Loyola: girls lacrosse – state champions; boys lacrosse – state runner-up; girls swimming-- second place in 3A; boys swimming – fourth place in 3A; girls golf – fifth place in 3A; football – reached state semifinals in 8A; baseball – regional champion; boys golf – eighth place in 3A; girls soccer – sectional champions.
Palatine: girls cross country – second place in 3A; boys cross country – fourth place in 3A; softball – regional champions; boys cross country – fourth place in 3A; badminton – eighth place in state; baseball – regional champions; boys gymnastics – fifth place in state; football – reached state quarterfinals in 8A.
Montini: girls basketball - 3A state champions; football - 5A state champions; wrestling – 2A state champions.
Lake Zurich: football – 7A state runner-up; competitive cheerleading – state champions; boys cross country – second place in 3A; boys bowling – third place in state; softball – sectional champions.
Tilson wasn't displeased to be taken by the Cardinals, despite his proximity to Wrigley Field. While the Chicago White Sox have always been his No. 1 team, the Cardinals haven't trailed far behind.
"I've worn red to Cubs games before," Tilson said, laughing. "The Cardinals are a wonderful organization. I'm just honored to be drafted. It's a fortunate thing. It's exciting to see your name called in the MLB draft."
Tilson was expected to be selected in the first few rounds. Although he watched the draft on Monday, he wasn't disappointed not to be taken in the first 60 picks.
"To be honest, this is kind of what we expected," Tilson said. "You never know. I was pretty optimistic about how today would go."
Tilson was unsure Tuesday whether he'd end up signing with the Cardinals or play at the University of Illinois next season. Prior to the draft, he said he had hoped for a signing bonus in the seven-figure vicinity. He has until Aug. 15 to sign with the Cardinals.
"To be honest, it's too early to tell," Tilson said. "Right now, we'll see where it goes. I'm fortunate to have two great options. I'm excited for either one.
"There certainly is a lot more to come. I obviously would like to get it done, get it out of the away, but for a decision like this you have to take into account all things. For today, I couldn't be happier."
Tilson, who throws and hits left-handed, had a .406 average, scored 41 runs and stole 28 bases during his senior season for the Trevians. He is thought to be a potential leadoff hitter at the major league level.
WINNETKA, Ill. -- New Trier’s Charlie Tilson has a figure -- actually seven of them -- that will decide whether he will be playing baseball professionally or for Illinois a year from now.
“I’ve come out with a number that it’s going to take for me to go,” said Tilson, who is also the ESPNChicago.com/Muscle Milk Prep Athlete of the Week. “I don’t know if I’ll get it. My education is important to me. I may end up out-pricing myself.
“I’m excited. If it were to work out, it would be a great scenario. My No. 1 goal is to play professional baseball, but at the same time I want to get a great education and Illinois is a great school, and they’ve had a great season.”
Tilson is considered to be a borderline first-round pick. He’s No. 29 in ESPN’s top 100 draft rankings. If he isn’t taken in the first round on Monday, he’s expected to go early on Tuesday.
“There is an outside shot that Tilson sneaks into the bottom few picks of the first round to a team such as Tampa Bay who has multiple selections, but otherwise fits nicely in the sandwich round based on talent alone,” ESPN MLB draft analyst Jason Churchill said. “He's committed to the University of Illinois, but is considered signable which should keep him in the top two rounds.”
One MLB scout thought Tilson’s signing bonus request would certainly be a topic of conversation when teams are deciding to draft him.
“Potentially, yes, he could get seven figures, but potentially it’s also the thing that stops him from going somewhere,” the scout said. “It puts him in limbo.”
There may be some doubts whether a team can sign Tilson, but there isn’t any over his ability. After stealing seven bases and being the only player to hit a home run at last summer’s Area Code Games in California, Tilson has been on everybody’s radar. Ever since then, scouts have been out in droves to New Trier’s baseball games to see Tilson play.
“He’s a special player,” New Trier coach Mike Napoleon said. “We knew that. We didn’t bring him up as a sophomore for no reason. Everyone locally knew him, everyone in the state of Illinois. In that same sense, it just exploded in the Area Code Games. When you’re the only guy to hit a home run, steal a few bases and throw a couple guys out, that’s national news.”
Tilson, who throws and hits left-handed, continued to impress scouts with his speed, defense and hitting during his senior season. Tilson had a .406 average, scored 41 runs and stole 28 bases through May 31.
“He has a unique offensive set of tools,” one American League scout said. “He’s a plus-runner. He has leadoff type of ability. He can be a table setter.”
If Tilson and a team can’t agree on a number, Illinois coach Dan Hartleb will gladly take him. Other schools tried to sway Tilson from Illinois following his performance at the Area Code Games, but he has remained loyal.
Hartleb, whose team is playing in the NCAA tournament this week, has kept in touch with Tilson throughout the draft process, but hasn’t put any pressure on him. Hartleb said he wants Tilson to do what’s best for his career.
“It’s not going to be an easy decision either way they go,” Hartleb said. “They do have some very good options whether it’s the University of Illinois or with the professional side. We hope we can get him to the University of Illinois. He’ll continue to fill a void and help us move forward in the leadoff spot. We’ll have to see how it all unfolds.”
Tilson had hoped to be playing in a super-sectional game during the draft on Monday, but New Trier was knocked out of the state playoffs in the sectional semifinals. Instead, Tilson will watch the draft with his family at his home.
“I’m not going to make too big of a deal out of it because you never know what happens,” Tilson said. “I don’t want to build it up. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to be nervous. I don’t know what to expect. I thought I had a pretty good season. It’s one of those things we’ll just see how it goes.”
New Trier coach Mike Napoleon and Simeon coach Leroy Franklin each won their 700th career baseball game this week.
They became the eighth and ninth coaches to reach the 700-win plateau. Naperville Central coach Bill Seiple also won his 700th game earlier this season.
Napoleon reached the mark on Thursday when the Trevians defeated Maine South. Napoleon is in his 26th season coaching and has won two state championships at New Trier.
Franklin won his 700th game on Monday when Simeon defeated Morgan Park. Franklin has been at Simeon for 29 years.
Both coaches already belong to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.