Weekend Wrap — Brunson stays steady
Every week during the prep basketball season, IlliniHQ will give a wrap-up of how Illini commits and targets fared during the previous weekend's games. Here are a few notes from the week that was.
AUSTIN COLBERT, a senior forward/center from Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) School, had seven points, six rebounds and six blocked shots during the Knights' 56-36 win on Sunday against Lakewood (N.J.) High School as Gill St. Bernard's improved to 13-6. Colbert had 12 points and three blocked shots in Gill St. Bernard's 76-54 home win against Watchung Hills Regional (N.J.) High School on Thursday, which came after Colbert led all scorers with 24 points and 14 rebounds during a 77-63 win at Hillsborough (N.J.) High School last Tuesday. Gill St. Bernard's returns to the court this Tuesday against Montgomery (N.J.) High School in the quarterfinals of the Somerset (N.J.) County Tournament quarterfinals before playing at Ridge (N.J.) High School this Thursday.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, poured in 34 points to help the Lancers stave off host O'Fallon (Ill.) High School 67-61 in overtime on Friday night. The Lancers (21-3) and Hill are back in action this Friday night at Alton (Ill.) High School.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, contributed 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots during the Panthers' 92-56 win at Xenia (Ohio) High School. Morgan and the Panthers had their eight-game winning streak against Ohio opponents snapped last Tuesday during a 74-67 loss at Milford (Ohio) High School despite 30 points, eight rebounds and four assists from Morgan. Springboro, now 17-4, last lost to an Ohio opponent on Dec. 29 against Walnut Hills High School. The Panthers are set to end their regular season this Friday night at home against Lebanon (Ohio) High School.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, and the Wolverines advanced to the semifinals of the Chicago Public League playoffs after a 59-49 win against Chicago Bogan High School on Sunday at Chicago State University. Nunn had 12 points in the victory, which moved Simeon's record to 22-2. Prior to Sunday, Simeon beat Chicago Harlan 74-50 in second-round action on Thursday after opening up with 93-32 win last Tuesday night against Chicago Urban Prep West. Tate had 14 points and nine assists during the win against Harlan. Nunn scored 20 points while making eight steals and Tate had 16 points and eight assists in the win against Urban Prep West. If Simeon beats Morgan Park, the Wolverines would face either Chicago Whitney Young or Chicago Orr this Friday night in the championship game at Chicago State.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School who verbally committed on Dec. 12, and the Chargers lost twice last week. Centennial suffered a 70-66 home loss on Friday to Bloomington (Ill.) High School in which Finke had 11 points. Friday's setback came after Centennial lost 64-57 at home to Urbana (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night despite a game-high 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots from Finke. Centennial (18-7) and Finke resume play this Friday at Normal West (Ill.) High School.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and the Condors lost 60-58 to Chicago Morgan Park on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Chicago Public League playoffs. Alexander had 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Curie (17-7) beat Chicago North Lawndale 56-34 on Thursday in second-round action after opening up with a 57-52 win last Tuesday night against Chicago TEAM Englewood. Curie had 26 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots during the win against North Lawndale.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest, was off last week. The Lions (13-10) get back in action this Friday at Jacksonville (Ill.) High School and this Saturday night at Peoria Central (Ill.) High School.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis who has offers from llinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, scored 24 points, but the Panthers lost 45-41 to Broad Ripple (Ind.) High School on Saturday night. The loss came after Park Tudor won 46-32 at Scecina Memorial (Ind.) High School last Wednesday, with Bluiett supplying 27 of the Panthers' points. Park Tudor (17-2) and Bluiett return to the court this Tuesday at Lutheran High School of Indianapolis before playing at Bishop Chatard this Friday night.
CARLTON BRAGG, a sophomore forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) High School who has interest from Illinois, Dayton, Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, Texas and Xavier, scored 11 points during an 88-75 home win against Cleveland Central Catholic (Ohio) High School on Friday night. In Thursday's 86-79 home win against St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) High School, Bragg had 13 points against LeBron James' alma mater. Bragg and the Vikings (15-2) return to the court this Friday at home against St. Peter Chanel (Ohio) High School before playing at St. Ignatius (Ohio) High School this Saturday.
JALEN BRUNSON, a sophomore point guard from Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) High School who has offers from Illinois, DePaul, Southern Methodist and Xavier, along with interest from Indiana and Iowa, and the Patriots are on a 10-game winning streak after winning 62-49 on Saturday night at Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School, with Brunson scoring 16 points. Stevenson picked up a 59-50 home win against Lake Forest (Ill.) High School on Friday night, with Brunson supplying 24 points. During a 66-49 home win against Waukegan (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night, Brunson scored 18 points. Stevenson (20-4) and Brunson are back in action this Tuesday night at home against Evanston (Ill.) High School before hosting Mundelein (Ill.) High School this Friday night.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals are on a four-game losing streak after a 58-57 loss on Saturday night at home to South Bend Adams (Ind.) High School and after a 72-65 loss at Lake Central (Ind.) High School last Tuesday night. East Chicago Central (8-9) and Edwards return to the court this Friday night at Hammond Noll (Ind.) High School.
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Xavier, along with interest from Arizona, Duke, Florida and UCLA, had 30 points, but fouled out in overtime during an eventual 89-86 home loss against Castle (Ind.) High School on Thursday night. Lyle and Bosse (14-4) are slated to play next this Tuesday night at home against Evansville Harrison (Ind.) High School before playing at Evansville Mater Dei (Ind.) High School this Thursday.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs ended a brief two-game losing streak with an 85-48 home win on Friday against Chicago St. Francis de Sales. Matthews — who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist — had 13 points, six assists and four steals for St. Rita. The Mustangs (14-7) and Matthews get back in action this Tuesday night at home against Chicago's Brother Rice High School before hosting Seton (Ill.) Academy this Friday.
SEAN O'MARA, a junior forward from Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., who has offers from Illinois, Boston College, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Virginia, among others, had a game-high 23 points during Benet's 54-47 win at Chicago St. Patrick High School on Friday night. The Redwings (21-4) and O'Mara are due back on the court this Tuesday at Wheaton (Ill.) Academy before hosting Chicago Marist this Friday night.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young, along with junior teammates PAUL WHITE and L.J. PEAK, advanced to the semifinals of the Chicago Public League playoffs and get a rematch with Chicago Orr after beating Chicago Foreman 72-41 in the quarterfinals on Sunday at Chicago State University. The Dolphins, now 21-3, beat Chicago Marshall 100-75 on Thursday night in second-round action after routing Chicago Harper 100-45 last Tuesday night in a first-round game. White, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others, had 21 points and seven rebounds in Sunday's win. Okafor, who has offers from Arkansas, DePaul, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina and Ohio State, among others, had 15 points. Peak, who has interest from Illinois along with offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, among others, had 10 points. If Young beats Orr, it will face either Chicago Simeon or Chicago Morgan Park this Friday for the championship game of the CPL playoffs.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU, and the 22-2 Wolverines are back in action Wednesday after winning their first three games of the Chicago Public League playoffs and advancing to the semifinals. Williams had 10 points off the bench during Simeon's 93-32 win against Urban Prep West last Tuesday in first-round action.
KEVIN ZABO, a junior point guard out of Wolfeboro Brewster (N.H.) Academy who has offers from Illinois, George Washington, Iowa State and West Virginia with interest from Connecticut, Marquette and Ohio State, among others, helped the Bobcats beat Lee (Maine) Academy 71-65 last Wednesday before the winter storms that hit the Northeast this weekend cancled the Hoop Dreams Magazine Prep Classic Wolfeboro was scheduled to play in. Zabo and Wolfeboro (22-5) are set to take part in the New Hampton (N.H.) School Tournament this Friday and Saturday.