Weekend Wrap — Williams thrives as Simeon moves on
Every week during the high school basketball season, recruiting blogger MATT DANIELS will give a wrap-up of how Illini commits and targets fared during the previous week's worth of games.
LERON BLACK, a senior forward from Memphis (Tenn.) White Station High School who signed with Illinois on Nov. 15 after committing on Sept. 1, and the Spartans saw their season end on Thursday one game shy of the state quarterfinals. White Station lost a 70-65 road game to Arlington (Tenn.) High School in a Class AAA sectional championship game. Black produced a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in his final high school game. Black helped the Spartans finish the season with a 30-3 record.
MICHAEL FINKE, a senior forward from Champaign (Ill.) Centennial High School who signed with Illinois on Nov. 13 after committing on Dec. 12, 2012, and the Chargers watched their season end with a 50-45 loss on Friday night to host Champaign (Ill.) Central High School in a Class 3A regional championship game. The defeat snapped a 15-game winning streak the Chargers were on. Finke had nine points and 11 rebounds in his final high school game. The loss Friday came after Centennial beat Urbana (Ill.) High School 80-60 last Tuesday night in a regional semifinal game at Champaign Central. Finke had 28 points in that game for Centennial, which wrapped up the season at 24-5.
AARON JORDAN, a junior shooting guard from Plainfield (Ill.) East High School who committed to Illinois on Jan. 4, and the Bengals saw their season end with a loss in a Class 4A regional semifinal game. Plainfield East lost 64-58 to Geneva (Ill.) High School last Wednesday night at home, with Jordan scoring 14 points. Prior to Wednesday, Jordan only had two points in a 53-40 win against Wheaton Warrenville South High School last Monday in a regional quarterfinal game. Jordan helped the Bengals compiled a 19-10 record this season.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a junior forward from Chicago Simeon High School who committed to Illinois on Nov. 5, and the Wolverines won a Class 4A regional title on Friday night. The Wolverines held off Palos Hills (Ill.) Stagg High School 47-45 at Palos Heights (Ill.) Shepard High School, with Williams scoring a game-high 18 points. Prior to Friday, Simeon beat Shepard 80-40 last Tuesday night in a regional semifinal game, and Williams scored 13 points. Simeon and the Wolverines (22-4) are slated to play Chicago Whitney Young High School at 7 p.m. this Wednesday in a Chicago Marist Sectional semifinal game.
CARLTON BRAGG, a junior power forward from Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, and the Vikings won a Division III district championship on Friday night. The Vikings beat Warrensville Heights (Ohio) High School 75-62 at Garfield Heights (Ohio) High School, with Bragg scoring 29 points. Prior to Friday, Villa Angela-St. Joseph beat Columbia Station (Ohio) High School 74-46 last Tuesday night in a district semifinal game at Garfield Heights, with Bragg scoring 14 points. Bragg, who has offers from Illinois, Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Connecticut, Dayton, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and the Vikings (19-7) will play Canton (Ohio) Central Catholic High School at 5:15 p.m. this Wednesday in a regional semifinal game at Canton Fieldhouse.
JALEN BRUNSON, a junior point guard from Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson High School, and the Patriots won a Class 4A regional title on Friday night. The Patriots beat Gurnee (Ill.) Warren High School 79-59 at McHenry (Ill.) High School, with Brunson scoring 25 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Prior to Friday, Stevenson beat McHenry 65-38 last Tuesday night in a regional semifinal game. Brunson had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists against McHenry. Brunson, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, Virginia and Xavier, and the Patriots (28-1) resume play at 7 p.m. this Tuesday in a sectional semifinal game at Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School against Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator High School.
NOJEL EASTERN, a freshman guard from Evanston (Ill.) High School, and the Wildkits won a Class 4A regional title on Friday night. Evanston beat Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame High School 52-45 at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Ill. Prior to Friday, Evanston beat Chicago Foreman High School 66-48 last Tuesday night in a regional semifinal game at Maine East. Eastern, who has interest from Illinois, Creighton, Duke, Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Xavier, among others, and the Wildkits (21-8) will play Maine South High School at 7 p.m. this Wednesday in a sectional semifinal game at Maine South.
HYRON EDWARDS, a junior point guard at East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School, and the Cardinals lost in a Class 4A sectional semifinal game on Friday night to end their season. St. John (Ind.) Lake Central High School defeated East Chicago Central 70-57 on the Cardinals' home court. Edwards had 19 points in the season-ending loss, which came after East Chicago Central opened the postseason with a 68-44 win against Gary (Ind.) West Side High School last Wednesday. Edwards, who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, helped the Cardinals finish 12-10 this season.
KAIN HARRIS, a junior shooting guard at Chicago Morgan Park High School, and the Mustangs won a Class 3A regional title on Friday night. The Mustangs beat Country Club Hills (Ill.) Hillcrest High School 63-61 at Dolton (Ill.) Thornridge High School, with Harris scoring 10 points. Prior to Friday, the Mustangs beat Olympia Fields (Ill.) Rich Central High School 83-55 last Wednesday night in a regional semifinal game at Thornridge. Harris, who has offers from Bradley, DePaul, Minnesota, South Carolina and West Virginia, along with interest from Illinois, Creighton, Iowa State, SMU and Tennessee, and the Mustangs (19-6) are slated to play Park Forest (Ill.) Rich East High School at 7 p.m. this Tuesday in a Rich East Sectional semifinal game.
LUWANE PIPKINS, a junior guard at Chicago Bogan High School, and the Bengals won a Class 3A regional title on Friday night. Bogan easily beat Chicago Lindblom High School 73-35 at Burbank (Ill.) St. Laurence High School, with Pipkins scoring 17 points, handing out five assists and making three steals. Prior to Friday, Bogan defeated St. Laurence 78-50 in a regional semifinal game in Burbank, with Pipkins scoring 16 points. Pipkins, who has offers from Bradley, Illinois-Chicago, Massachusetts and Northern Illinois, along with interest from Illinois, Creighton, DePaul, Indiana State, LaSalle and Valparaiso, and the Bengals (26-4) are scheduled to play Chicago University High School at 7 p.m. this Tuesday in a sectional semifinal game at Chicago Vocational.
NICK RAKOCEVIC, a sophomore forward at Westschester (Ill.) St. Joseph High School, and the Chargers won a Class 3A regional title on Friday night. The Chargers beat Elmhurst (Ill.) Timothy Christian High School 51-42 on Friday night on their home court. Rakocevic produced 16 points and eight rebounds in the win. Rakocevic had 22 points to carry St. Joseph past Chicago Little Village 76-53 last Tuesday night in a regional semifinal game in Westchester. Rakocevic, who has offers from Illinois, Creighton, Miami (Fla.) and Northern Illinois, and the Chargers (23-6) are slated to play Oak Park (Ill.) Fenwick High School at 7 p.m. this Wednesday in a Chicago Westinghouse Sectional semifinal game.
DIAMOND STONE, a junior center at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican High School, and the Green Knights have advanced to the Division 4 state semifinals. Dominican beat Oshkosh (Wis.) Lourdes Academy xx-xx on Saturday in a sectional championship at Germantown (Wis.) High School. Stone scored 22 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and distributed five assists in Saturday's win. Prior to Saturday, Dominican defeated Racine (Wis.) St. Catherine's High School 65-55 on Thursday night in a sectional semifinal game at Milwaukee South High School and Stone scored 25 points. Stone, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin, and the Green Knights (22-3 before Lourdes Academy game) are scheduled to play Brillion (Wis.) High School at 6:35 p.m. this Thursday in a state semifinal game at the Kohl Center in Madison.
JAYSON TATUM, a sophomore forward at St. Louis Chaminade College Prep School, and the Red Devils lost 61-58 to St. Louis Ladue Horton Watkins on Friday night in a Class 5, District 8 championship game at St. Louis University High School to conclude their season. Tatum scored 16 points in the loss. Prior to Friday, Chaminade beat St. Louis Ritenour High School 85-67 last Tuesday night at St. Louis University High School, with Tatum scoring 30 points in the district semifinal game. Tatum, who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Missouri and St. Louis, helped the Red Devils finish 24-3 this season.
JEREMIAH TILMON, a freshman forward at East St. Louis (Ill.) High School, and the Flyers saw their season end with a 58-50 loss last Wednesday night against Belleville (Ill.) East High School in a Class 4A Belleville (Ill.) West Regional semifinal game. Tilmon, who has interest from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and St. Louis, among others, helped the Flyers finished with a 17-8 record.