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 QuinnJalenQuinn6'3" | PGTuscola | 2022State#196NationIL 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 QuinnJalenQuinn6'3" | PGTuscola | 2022State#196NationIL 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 ProstCarsonProst6'1" | SGMt. Vernon | 2021StateIL bucket. The real story though was the battle of the big men. Mt. Vernon 2022 top 20 center NJ BensonNJBenson6'6" | PFMt. Vernon | 2022StateIL and Mt. Carmel’s Kaleb ApplebeyKalebApplebey6'8" | CMt. Carmel | 2021StateIL 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 ZurlieneLandonZurliene6'4" | SGFairfield | 2021StateIL 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 OgrodnikJamesOgrodnik6'7" | PFLincoln Way Central | 2021StateIL 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 TingleyNickTingley6'4" | SGLincoln Way Central | 2022IL 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 SlaterBennieSlater6'5" | SFSpringfield | 2021StateIL in almost a year. The top 30 senior has a great frame, plus athleticism, and can really pass. Shane MillerShaneMiller6'1" | PGSpringfield | 2021StateIL 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 GallerySeanGallery6'2" | SGMaine South | 2021StateIL 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 WellerBrennanWeller6'1" | SGEdwardsville | 2021StateIL Dominant in Edwardsville Road Win Edwarsville senior guard Brennan WellerBrennanWeller6'1" | SGEdwardsville | 2021StateIL 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 WilliamsTommieWilliams6'3" | SGBelleville West | 2021StateIL 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 EbubeScottieEbube6'7" | CMundelein | 2021State#247NationIL 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 John MalloyJohnMalloy6'4" | SFLake Forest | 2021StateIL made big plays early in the game showing his toughness getting 20 points. As the game went along top 5 sophomore Asa ThomasAsaThomas6'6" | SGLake Forest | 2023State#120NationIL (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 EnrightConorEnright6'1" | PGMundelein | 2021StateIL dropped 28 points while Trey BakerTreyBaker5'8" | PGMundelein | 2021StateIL 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 ChristieMaxChristie6'4" | SGRolling Meadows | 2021State#12NationIL 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 ChristieCameronChristie6'4" | SGRolling Meadows | 2023State#123NationIL 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 CraftKamCraft6'5" | SFBuffalo Grove | 2022State#246NationIL still put up 14 thanks to a late scoring outburst. John PoulakidasJohnPoulakidas6'5" | SFNeuqua Valley | 2021State#155NationIL Show Debuts as Senior Yale commit and #5 2021 recruit John PoulakidasJohnPoulakidas6'5" | SFNeuqua Valley | 2021State#155NationIL 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 DavisConnorDavis6'3" | SGNeuqua Valley | 2021StateIL who stuffed the stat sheet for 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 dimes. On the other side Illinois College commit Josh HarrisJoshHarris6'4" | SGTimothy Christian | 2021StateIL scored 17 points while top 20 junior Ben VanderWalBenVanderWal6'5" | SFTimothy Christian | 2022StateIL continues to see his stock rise with a 20 point outing.