Patch sports reporter Ross Jacobson ranks the North Shore’s basketball teams.
The boys season got started during Thanksgiving week and most North Shore teams got to play four or five games thanks to holiday tournaments. New Trier won its own tournament and Glenbrook North took home the championship at Niles West. New Trier, Maine South and Niles West all stayed undefeated on the girls side. It will be really fun to watch these three teams battle once CSL South games hit the schedule.
Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.
PATCH PRESEASON RANKINGS
1. (1) – Both teams captured tournament titles and remained undefeated on the young season. While the girls team has really been untested so far, the boys got a really nice victory over St. Ignatius in the finals of the New Trier / Loyola Thanksgiving Tournament.
2. (2) – Strong defensive efforts have buoyed the girls team to a 5-0 start and a tournament title at the Buffalo Grove Bison Classic. The boys are on a three-game winning streak after losing their opener to Libertyville.
3. (5) – Kurt Karis helped the Spartans win Niles West’s Billy Schnurr Tournament with a 55-39 win over the host Wolves. The boys are undefeated at 4-0 while the girls sit at 4-1 after finishing in third at their recent tournament.
4. (3) – The boys team is dealing with some injury issues are struggled in their Thanksgiving tournament, going 1-3 over four games. But the girls remained undefeated as Jewell Loyd and Dashae Shumate continue to dominate.
5. (4) – Glenbrook South went 1-3 in the New Trier / Loyola Thanksgiving Tournament, getting a big win over Rauner 77-35. The boys team was boosted by the return of Ose Ilenikhena, who had 14 points in the victory.
6. (8) – Even with a couple of new starters, Evanston is off to a quick 5-0 start, including a 46-35 win over Notre Dame. For the girls, Sinclair Cunningham made her presence felt immediately and scored 20 points in Evanston’s 55-29 win over Waukegan. The Wildkits are now 3-2 on the year.
7. (6) – It’s been an up-and-down start for the Giants on the boys side. Highland Park went 2-2 on the week -- losing on Saturday to Walter Lutheran 48-45 – and is still adjusting early in the year after losing 10 seniors from last year’s team.
8. (9) – Malachi Nix has been electrifying for the Vikings early on in the season. He has Niles North at 3-1 with its only loss coming against Waubonsie Valley when Nix sprained his ankle. Mariyah Henley scored her 1,000th career point in Niles North’s (2-2) win over Resurrection.
9. Loyola Academy (7) – The Ramblers went 2-2 to start the boys season, falling to New Trier and Hope Academy. With the football season finally coming to a close on Saturday, the addition of Peter Pujals should give Loyola a lift.
10. (11) – Maine West split four games at its own tournament, falling to Libertyville in the finals. The Warriors will get forward Cody Zimmerman back next week and that should take some of the scoring load off of Conor Hart.
11. (10) – The Warriors came away with two wins in four games at the Palatine Ed Molitor Classic. The boys got wins over Lake Zurich and Palatine, but fell to Waubonsie Valley and York. The girls beat Waukegan, but lost to Evanston early in the week.
12. (12) – North Shore’s boys will start the season off against Ida Crown on Nov. 29, looking to capture another regional championship. The girls were off last week, but will get back into action against Woodlands Academy.
(Covering the Patch communities of Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Niles, Highland Park, Glenview, Deerfield, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Northbrook.)