High school basketball: Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 ranking as of February 13, 2022
The pre-season seems a long way off. It’s easy to forget that Young was expected to be Glenbard West’s equal in November. Picking which team was the No. 1 pre-season was no easy task.
The Hilltoppers dominated from the start. Young struggled. Tyrone Slaughter’s team has struggled with injuries and missing players in key games, but that’s been the case for nearly every team in the state this season.
Young came into the city tournament with a resume that didn’t deserve to be ranked at all. The Dolphins best win was a 73-70 win over Proviso East and they were uncompetitive against Glenbard West. Young lost to St. Louis Vashon 58-50 on February 5. Joliet West, with one freshman and two sophomores making their college debuts, lost to Vashon by two runs on day two of the season.
Slaughter’s strategy over the past decade has been to travel the country, play against the best teams possible, and not worry too much about his team’s record. It is an extremely successful formula. But just a week ago, it didn’t seem like it was working with this group of players.
Things look different now. Young beat Kenwood, Curie and Hyde Park to win the City title. AJ Casey and Dalen Davis, two players who have faced tremendous criticism and doubt over the past two years, have a City Championship that cannot be denied. It was a sweet moment of redemption for the couple.
The City title win isn’t enough to break the suburbs’ hold on the top two spots, but it’s clear the Dolphins are a major threat in the Class 4A state tournament.
The brackets are set up to allow for a Young versus Glenbard West matchup in the State Championship. It would be a fantastic end to the season.
For most of the season, it appeared that Brother Rice, Mount Carmel and St. Rita were the best teams in the Catholic League. The Caravan and Crusaders amassed big win totals and the very young Mustangs had their ups and downs.
Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear Leo and DePaul Prep, two Class 2A schools, are there with the powers of the Catholic League. Leo won the league title this week, finishing with a perfect score of 13-0. DePaul, who has always looked up to the role, picked up wins over St. Rita and Brother Rice.
It’s as deep as the Catholic League has been in recent memory. Tom Livatino’s Loyola team doesn’t have its usual stellar record, but the Ramblers are still very dangerous. They knocked down Mount Carmel this week.
Slaughter took a moment to greet Curie second student Carlos Harris after the City title match.
“[Harris] is a player this state is going to have for years to come,” Slaughter said. “He’s a superstar in the making.”
Harris plays with Meanstreets, the club’s basketball team the Slaughter is affiliated with, but that doesn’t hurt him. Harris is one of the few sophomores to have had a major impact on a ranked team’s season. He is athletic, confident and fearless.
Super 25 of February 13, 2022
With last week’s record and ranking
1. West Glenbard (28-1)
Facing Simeon on Saturday
2. Glenbrook South (28-2) 2
At Deerfield on Wednesday
3. Young (20-9) 13
4. Simeon (23-4) 3
Will be pumped for Hilltoppers
5. Kenwood (22-7) 4
Hosts Thornton Wednesday
6. Hillcrest (24-3) 5
Isaiah Green is a force
7. Curies (24-6) 9
The future is bright
8. Leo (21-3) 7
Undefeated in CCL
9. New Trier (26-3) 6
At Maine East on Tuesday
10. Wheaton Warrenville South (28-2) 8
Manipulated Saint Francis
11. Rolling Grasslands (26-4) 10
In Barrington on Wednesday
12. Hyde Park (19-7) 11
I gave Young everything he could handle
13. East Oswego (29-1) 12
Earned the top seed
14. Thorton (20-9) 14
Can Ty Rodgers beat Kenwood?
15. Bolingbrook (24-6) 15
Defeat Lockport, Neuqua Valley
16. Homewood-Flossmoor (18-7) 16
Christian Meeks is a difference maker
17. Larkin (26-3) 17
Will be tough in the playoffs
18. Clark (19-4) 18
Took Curie to OT
19. Mount Carmel (24-4) 19
Defeat Brother Rice
20. Lyons (22-5) 20
Survived Hinsdale Central
21. DePaul Prep (20-4) NR
Defeat Brother Rice, Saint Rita
22. Brother Rice (21-6) 22
Struggle at the wrong time
23. Burlington Center (26-3) 23
Hosts Huntley Friday
24. Flowering (19-5) NR
Beat Marian Catholic
25. Yorkville Christian (15-13) 25
Host St. Ignatius Tuesday