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, and his Knights lost 69-56 on Saturday during the Somerset County Tournament championship game. Colbert had seven points. Prior to Saturday, Gill St. Bernard's won 61-47 at Watchung Hills Regional (N.J.) High School last Tuesday, with Colbert scoring a game-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. Gill St. Bernard's (17-7) and Colbert return to the court this Wednesday against St. Joseph (N.J.) High School to kick off Non-Public, Group B postseason play.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, helped the Lancers (24-3) close out the regular season a 52-47 win at Granite City (Ill.) High School on Friday and a 55-42 home win last Tuesday against Collinsville (Ill.) High School. Hill poured in 30 points during the win against Granite City, which came after Hill had 14 points during the win against Collinsville. He went past the 2,000-point plateau in his career during the game against Collinsville. Hill has 2,043 career points heading into Belleville East's Class 4A postseason opener this Tuesday against O'Fallon (Ill.) High School in an O'Fallon Regional semifinal game.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, and the Panthers opened their Division I postseason with a bang after a 72-38 win against Edgewood (Ohio) High School on Saturday at Butler High School. Morgan scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. Springboro (19-4) and Morgan continue the postseason this Wednesday against Riverside Stebbins (Ohio) High School.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, and the Wolverines cruised to a 69-43 win on Saturday night against Chicago Marist during the City-Suburban Showdown in Chicago. Nunn and Tate were big reasons why Simeon improved to 23-3. Nunn scored 21 points while Tate contributed 10 points and 11 assists. Simeon begins its journey for a fourth straight Class 4A state championship on Tuesday night against either Chicago Mt. Carmel or Chicago South Shore.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School who verbally committed on Dec. 12, and the Chargers closed out the regular season with a 56-47 home win against Kankakee (Ill.) High School last Tuesday. Finke and Centennial (19-8) start Class 3A postseason play this Tuesday when the top-seeded Chargers take on either Rantoul (Ill.) High School or Champaign Central (Ill.) High School in a regional semifinal game.
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, along with interest from Ohio State and North Carolina State, and the 17-7 Condors had the week off before they start Class 4A postseason play this Tuesday night against either Oak Lawn Richards (Ill.) High School or Summit Argo (Ill.) High School.
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, finished with six points for the Lions during a 48-39 home loss to Lincoln (Ill.) High School on Friday. The Lions (15-11) and Austin start Class 3A postseason play with a Jacksonville Regional quarterfinal game against Chatham-Glenwood (Ill.) High School on Monday.
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, hadd 22 points as the Panthers won 65-36 last Tuesday at home against Howe (Ind.) High School to close out the regular season. Bluiett and Park Tudor (20-2) will strive to win its third straight Class 2A state championship on Tuesday against Indianapolis Shortridge in a sectional quarterfinal game at Broad Ripple High School.
CARLTON BRAGG, a sophomore forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) High School who has interest from Illinois, Dayton, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Texas and Xavier, along with offers from Missouri and Ohio State, closed out the regular season by helping the Vikings to a 110-55 home win against Holy Name (Ohio) High School on Friday. Bragg led all scorers with 24 points. Prior to Friday, Bragg and Villa Angela-St. Joseph suffered a 68-66 loss at Shaker Heights (Ohio) High School last Tuesday. Bragg finished with 24 points in the loss. Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Bragg start postseason play in Ohio's Division IV this Friday. The Vikings (18-4) will play either Elyria Open Door Christian or North Ridgeville Lake Ridge Academy in a second-round district game at Garfield Heights High School.
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 ran their winning streak to 13 games after a 73-58 home win last Wednesday against North Chicago (Ill.) High School. Brunson was a big reason why. He dropped a career-high 32 points on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Stevenson (23-4) and Brunson open Class 4A postseason play on Tuesday against either Grayslake North High School or Grant High School in a regional semifinal game.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals take a 10-10 record into the start of this week's Class 4A postseason. East Chicago Central won 71-62 at home against South Bend Washington (Ind.) High School on Friday, which came after a narrow 61-60 loss at Bowman (Ind.) Academy in which Edwards scored 17 points. Edwards and East Chicago Central will play Munster High School in a 4A sectional quarterfinal game at Gary West Side High School on Tuesday.
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, returned from a two-game suspension to lift Bosse during two wins last week to end the regular season. Lyle dropped in a career-high 41 points and added 19 rebounds during Bosse's 87-82 overtime win on Friday at Evansville Reitz (Ind.) High School, which came after Lyle scored 20 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and had five assists during the Bulldogs' 73-59 home win last Tuesday against Mount Vernon Posey (Ind.) High School. Lyle and Bosse (17-5) start Class 3A postseason play this Friday in a sectional semifinal game against either Princeton High School or Evansville Memorial High School.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist, and the Mustangs will take a five-game winning streak into the start of the postseason. Matthews scored 13 points during St. Rita's 55-50 win at Westchester St. Joseph (Ill.) High School on Friday, which came after a 61-54 home win against Chicago Mt. Carmel last Tuesday. Matthews and the Mustangs (18-7) begin Class 4A postseason play at home against either Chicago Kenwood or Chicago Kennedy on Tuesday night.
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, and the Redwings lost 61-46 on Saturday to Chicago Whitney Young as part of the City-Suburban Showdown in Chicago. O'Mara had 10 points. Prior to Saturday, Benet edged Nazareth (Ill.) Academy 48-47 last Wednesday, with O'Mara scoring 12 points. The Redwings (24-5) will host a Class 4A regional and start with a regional semifinal game on Tuesday against either Plainfield North High School or Downers Grove North High School.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young, along with junior teammates PAUL WHITE and L.J. PEAK, led the Dolphins to a 61-46 win against Benet Academy on Saturday at the City-Suburban Showdown in Chicago. Okafor, who has offers from Arkansas, DePaul, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina and Ohio State, among others, supplied 21 points and eight rebounds during the win. Peak, who has garnered Illinois interest along with offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, among others, chipped in 11 points. Whitney Young (24-3) return to the court Tuesday night in a Class 4A regional semifinal game at Chicago King High School against either Burbank Reavis High School or Chicago King.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU, and the 23-3 start the Class 4A postseason on Tuesday night at the Chicago Mt. Carmel Regional.
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, and the Bobcats are 27-5 after running their winning streak to 14 games after three victories last week. Brewster closed out the regular season with a 107-48 home win against Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep on Friday, a 99-58 home win against Bridgton (Maine) Academy last Wednesday and an 80-78 win at Tilton (N.H.) School last Monday. Zabo and the Bobcats (27-5) open play in the New England Prepatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Tournament on Wednesday at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.