Patch sports reporter Ross Jacobson ranks the North Shore’s basketball teams.
December brings Christmas music, the real threat of snow flurries and, of course, conference games for high school basketball. New Trier remains on top after the girls team beat Maine South for their first victory in the CSL South, but the Trevians are far from invincible with the boys team losing to Warren. On the boys side, Evanston edged Maine South on a last-minute layup while Niles North and Niles West had another couple of entertaining games in their annual early-season rivalry series.
Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.
WEEK 3 RANKINGS
1. (1) – The boys lost their first game of the season against Warren -- ranked No. 2 in the state – but the girls team more than made up for it. They had a big victory in their conference opener, defeating Maine South 55-44 in a battle of unbeaten teams.
2. (3) – Glenbrook North’s boys won its only game of the week against Waukegan in a crossover matchup to remain undefeated. The girls edged Maine East in their first game in the CSL North to improve to 6-1.
3. (4) – Niles West swept rival Niles North in the annual Crosstown Classic. The girls team came back from a large halftime deficit while the boys team rallied in the fourth quarter. Jewell Loyd has the Wolves at 9-0 heading into conference play.
4. (2) – The Hawks lost two close games to close out a tough week. The girls had their first loss of the season on the road against New Trier and the boys lost on a last-minute layup to Evanston. We’ll see how both teams respond now that conference play has started.
5. (5) – The Titans went 1-1, defeating Maine West after falling to Grayslake Central earlier in the week. Jamie Nikitas had a big game and will have to develop into a go-to scorer for the Titans. The girls won their first conference game with a 42-27 win over Evanston.
6. (6) – The boys got a win in their conference opener, beating Maine South on Leonard Garron’s layup in the last minute. They remain undefeated at 7-0 while the girls struggled against Glenbrook South on a cold shooting night.
7. Loyola Academy (9) – The girls had two big wins to cap last week, defeating short-handed Fenwick and upsetting Benet Academy at home. With the return of Peter Pujals and Richie Wehman, Loyola went 1-1 over the weekend, beating Gordon Tech and losing to Benet.
8. (7) – Highland Park’s boys team won its only game of the week, beating Maine East at home and holding their opponent to only 31 points. The girls fell twice, losing to Maine West and Niles West in close games.
9. (10) – Maine West’s boys team fell in its only game of the week, losing to Glenbrook South on the road. At 2-3, Maine West hopes Cody Zimmerman, who played in his first game of the season, will help out. The girls got their first win of the season over Highland Park.
10. (8) – Niles North lost both games to Niles West this past week, but there is reason for optimism, especially on the boys side. The Vikings’ Malachi Nix returned from a sprained ankle and Mychael Henley played in his first game of the year against the Wolves.
11. (11) – Deerfield edged Niles North for its first conference victory of the season on Saturday after losing to Glenbrook South earlier in the week. The boys team hung with New Trier for a half, but the Trevians pulled away late, putting the Warriors at 2-3 on the year.
12. (12) – North Shore’s boys lost a tough game on the road to Northridge Prep 48-46 after cruising past Ida Crown earlier in the week. The girls beat Woodlands Academy and Ida Crown as the Raiders start play in the Independent School League.
(Covering the Patch communities of Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Niles, Highland Park, Glenview, Deerfield, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Northbrook.)