Posted On: 02/7/21 12:00 PM
What did we see during the first week of the high school basketball season in Illinois? PHI dives into it here in Week 1: Game Recaps! We will have tons of detailed evaluations throughout the next few days.
Tuscola Puts Name on Map Statewide
In the first game of the year it was Tuscola that stole the show. They had the first night to themselves as they planned. Got the necessary practices in and the whole state was watching them online and on twitter. They didn’t disappoint as they put together a complete team effort led by their star Jalen Quinn Jalen Quinn 6'3" | PG Tuscola | 2022 State #136 Nation IL who dropped 18 points and 6 dimes. I was there in person a year ago during his sophomore year and it was cool to see this central Illinois town that is mostly known for its outlet mall get their name made across the state for their basketball program and star junior.
Battle of the Big Men in Mt. Carmel vs Mt. Vernon
This was a fun opening game for a couple of competitive southern Illinois squads. It was a close one that went to the final possession where Mt. Vernon won on a Jalen Quinn Jalen Quinn 6'3" | PG Tuscola | 2022 State #136 Nation IL who dropped 18 points and 6 dimes. I was there in person a year ago during his sophomore year and it was cool to see this central Illinois town that is mostly known for its outlet mall get their name made across the state for their basketball program and star junior. Battle of the Big Men in Mt. Carmel vs Mt. Vernon This was a fun opening game for a couple of competitive southern Illinois squads. It was a close one that went to the final possession where Mt. Vernon won on a Carson Prost Carson Prost 6'1" | SG Mt. Vernon | 2021 State IL bucket. The real story though was the battle of the big men. Mt. Vernon 2022 top 20 center NJ Benson NJ Benson 6'8" | C Mt. Vernon | 2022 State #238 Nation IL and Mt. Carmel’s Kaleb Applebey Kaleb Applebey 6'8" | C Mt. Carmel | 2021 State IL who is headed to Wabash Valley for baseball locked horns. The two strong bodied posts went at it all night with each having their moments. Benson had 12 points while Applebey scored 31 points. Fairfield Shoots Lights out in Opening Win The Mules began the season with a dominant performance against a Woodlawn team that only had six players. Fairfield shot it about as well as you can opening up 15-0 to begin the game. They start five seniors and they each hit at least one triple in the win. Brandon Lane, Colin Massie, Blake Pruitt, and Noah McElravy showed that this team can put points on the board! Their star Landon Zurliene Landon Zurliene 6'4" | SG Fairfield | 2021 State IL didn’t have to fully exert his will on the game, but still managed 15 points and 8 rebounds displaying his athleticism on both ends along with his shot making. Lincoln Way Central Wins Battle Against Rival Lincoln Way East LWC has a 1-2 punch that is going to allow them to win a lot of games in this shorted season. Senior power forward James Ogrodnik James Ogrodnik 6'7" | PF Lincoln Way Central | 2021 State IL will head to BigTyme Prep in Texas next season and be reclassifying to 2022. He is coming of a strong summer and the face up four kept that up by drilling a quartet of triples along with handling it for 18 points. His backcourt mate Nick Tingley Nick Tingley 6'4" | SG Lincoln Way Central | 2022 IL was great using his crisp handles getting in the lane for difficult finishes for his 21 points. Springfield Looks Dominant in Opener Springfield High School is a team we are excited to follow this year with several legit college prospects. They blew out North Mac in the opener and the talent discrepancy was enormous. Still got our first look at Springfield 2021 point forward Bennie Slater Bennie Slater 6'5" | SF Springfield | 2021 State IL in almost a year. The top 30 senior has a great frame, plus athleticism, and can really pass. Shane Miller Shane Miller 6'1" | PG Springfield | 2021 State IL did his thing at the point. The breakout name to watch was Mitch Logan. The junior is a lefty with freak athleticism. Maine South Picks Up Early Road Win Maine South has a schedule that looks like a baseball one playing over 20+ games in 5 weeks. They got off to a good start with a W at Loyola. It was the Sean Gallery Sean Gallery 6'2" | SG Maine South | 2021 State IL show as their senior guard took over in the second half leading his team to the win with 17 points. For Loyola they are still trying to find their go to guy. Jalen Axibal scored 10 points and was the most intriguing prospect to us of their seniors. Peoria Notre Dame Among Best in State The depth and cohesiveness of Peoria Notre Dame was very impressive in their blowout win over Plano. Junior Nelson Reynolds shot lights out from three in their win recording 16 points while his brother Noah Reynolds was more in set up mode. Lots of quality role players on this squad in Colin Schuler, Matt Williams, David Williams, and more. The future is bright for this program as well with dominant inside 2024 duo Lathan Sommerville and Cooper Koch who each shined. Brennan Weller Brennan Weller 6'1" | SG Edwardsville | 2021 State IL Dominant in Edwardsville Road Win Edwarsville senior guard Brennan Weller Brennan Weller 6'1" | SG Edwardsville | 2021 State IL put on a clinic in Edwardsville’s first game of the year in a victory over Belleville West. The crafty left handed guard drilled threes and made a living at the foul line recording 27 points in the Tigers win. On the other side Tommie Williams Tommie Williams 6'3" | SG Belleville West | 2021 State IL struggled but still managed 11 points doing most of his damage in the second half. Lake Forest Protects Home Floor in Upset of Mundelein With Scottie Ebube Scottie Ebube 6'7" | C Mundelein | 2021 State #247 Nation IL out for Mundelein they were upset by Lake Forest on Saturday night. It was a collective effort for Lake Forest that did the job. Senior Jack Malloy Jack Malloy 6'4" | SF Lake Forest | 2021 State IL made big plays early in the game showing his toughness getting 20 points. As the game went along top 5 sophomore Asa Thomas Asa Thomas 6'6" | SG Lake Forest | 2023 State #114 Nation IL (15 points) and Hillsdale commit Walt Mattingly (16 points) got it rolling. Mundelein’s backcourt tried to do everything, but didn’t get much help. Drake signee Conor Enright Conor Enright 6'1" | PG Mundelein | 2021 State IL dropped 28 points while Trey Baker Trey Baker 5'8" | PG Mundelein | 2021 State IL had 23 points. Christie Brothers Lead Way in Rolling Meadows Win over Buffalo Grove This year it will be the Christie show at Rolling Meadows! They delivered on opening night. Michigan State commit and #1 senior Max Christie Max Christie 6'4" | SG Rolling Meadows | 2021 State #12 Nation IL hit from deep early and then got to the foul line recording 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 blocks in the win. His younger brother and top 10 sophomore Cameron Christie Cameron Christie 6'4" | SG Rolling Meadows | 2023 State #116 Nation IL hit several feathery jumpers of his own for 14 points. Orlando Thomas is a junior that will play off this duo in the backcourt as he recorded 11 points. Despite being the focus of Rolling Meadows defense all night with a diamond and 1 Buffalo Grove star Kam Craft Kam Craft 6'5" | SF TSF | 2022 #54 Nation GA still put up 14 thanks to a late scoring outburst. John Poulakidas John Poulakidas 6'5" | SF Neuqua Valley | 2021 State #155 Nation IL Show Debuts as Senior Yale commit and #5 2021 recruit John Poulakidas John Poulakidas 6'5" | SF Neuqua Valley | 2021 State #155 Nation IL is one of the most lethal scorers in the state. The lefty small forward can get buckets in so many different ways. He had it all in his bag against Timothy Christian netting 28 points on threes, step backs, nifty drives, and capped it off with a dunk late. Was also helped out by his long time running mate Connor Davis Connor Davis 6'3" | SG Neuqua Valley | 2021 State IL who stuffed the stat sheet for 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 dimes. On the other side Illinois College commit Josh Harris Josh Harris 6'4" | SG Timothy Christian | 2021 State IL scored 17 points while top 20 junior Ben VanderWal Ben VanderWal 6'5" | SF Timothy Christian | 2022 State #201 Nation IL continues to see his stock rise with a 20 point outing.