By Joe Henricksen

MVP Hill, Glenbard East impress at R-B

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By Joe Henricksen

A season removed from winning a school-record 27 games and reaching a sectional final, DuPage Valley Conference champion Glenbard East showed this past weekend there is plenty of gas left in the tank for another run next winter. The Rams captured the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout title Sunday with an overtime win over Downers Grove South.

In a shootout field loaded with talent and 32 teams, Glenbard East, behind tournament MVP Johnny Hill, was the only team to leave with a perfect 6-0 record from the two-day event. The Rams, which finished second a year ago at the R-B Shootout, walloped Homewood-Flossmoor on Saturday and finished 3-0 on the day. Glenbard East beat up on St. Patrick, leading by more than 20 points at one point in the quarterfinal matchup, knocked off St. Joseph in the semis and came from behind to stun Downers Grove South in the final.

Hill, an up-and-coming 6-3 talent and among the top 20 prospects in the Hoops Report's Class of 2011, was the story. In the semifinal win over St. Joe's he hit a trio of three-pointers and scored a game-high 25 points. In the final, Hill took over late in the game and led the Rams to a come-from-behind win. Downers Grove South led throughout the game and held a double-digit lead late. Glenbard East, however, chipped away in the final three minutes, with a Hill jumper at the buzzer sending the game into overtime. Trailing 66-64 with just 7 seconds to play, Hill then drilled a game-winning three-pointer for the win and finished with 30 points.

With Hill and veteran point guard Zach Miller, who was steady and solid all weekend running the team and knocking down shots, the Rams have the 1-2 punch that should make them the favorites in the DVC again next season. There is some young talent on the way from a sophomore team that went 22-3 last season. Plus, the emergence of 6-4 Kevin Priebe, who missed much of last season with injuries and illness, will be a huge boost. Priebe gives the Rams a third weapon on the offensive end with his versatility around the basket and stretching defenses with his three-point shooting.

Western Suburbs poised for big season
What the semifinals at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout showed was how strong the sectional featuring Glenbard East, Downers Grove South and Benet Academy will be next March. Yes, a lot can happen in the next eight months, but it's tough to imagine any other team in the sectional that could supplant these powers as the top three seeds.

Glenbard East, Benet Academy and Downers Grove South will be battling for that No. 1 seed all winter, with Glenbard East and Benet Academy meeting one another in the 14th annual High School Hoops Showdown at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates Jan. 22.

Benet Academy, which won the sectional a year ago, reached the semis at R-B but fell to Downers Grove South in the semifinals. The terrific trio of point guard David Sobolewski, improving big man Frank Kaminsky and shooter/defender Matt Parisi return and gained valuable March experience a year ago. Coach Gene Heidkamp, last season's City/Suburban Hoops Report's Coach of the Year, is hoping he can fill some holes, particularly the minutes from a couple of valuable role players from a year ago and finding another ballhandler to relieve some of the pressure off Sobolewski.

Downers Grove South, meanwhile, could evolve as this year's sleeper in the Chicago area. Although coach Jay Baum's club will still be relatively young, the Mustangs are talented and feature a difference-making type of talent in eye-opening junior Jerron Wilbut. The 6-2 athletic Wilbut can play the role of slasher, creator or shooter. He's a versatile player who already jumped into the Hoops Report's top 10 players in the Class of 2012 earlier this spring. The explosive Wilbut was sensational in a win over Benet Academy in the semifinals on Sunday.

In addition to Wilbut, 6-2 junior Jamal Millison is another talented piece who is coming off an impressive sophomore season. Millison is a shooter and scorer who, combined with Wilbut, gives Baum a dangerous perimeter pair. Unheralded Ziggy Riauka, a 6-7 small college prospect, provides size and skill inside, while 6-4 Kevin Honn is another solid junior who gained some experience a year ago. While perennial power Proviso East will be strong, DGS just may be the favorite in the West Suburban Gold heading into November.

After spending two days at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout, the Hoops Report will have another blog update early this week on all the action that took place. The event continues to be one of the best of the summer, with its combination of talent, facilities and organization. A lot of credit again goes to tournament organizer Mike Reingruber and the Riverside-Brookfield staff.

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Downers Grove South and GB East are loaded with quality depth. Add that they play so well together as a team. Both Schools will be top 10 Area schools.
Preseason top 10
Top 3 (Clearly above the rest)
YOUNG-Will be better than last year. Thompson's buzzer beater vs Neuqua Valley is why he's the best player in the STATE.
Simeon- Stae champs, enough said.
Morgan Park- This aint the Wayne show no more. They have talent pouring out left and right. 5+ D-1 prospects. Billy Garret might be the best pure shooter in the state.
#4-10 - No Order
Benet-If I'm a Mid-Major, I'm throwing myself to pick up David Sobolewski. We'll coached, Dem Suburban boys can hoop.
Downers Grove South - Jamal Millison, remember his name! Only a junior, 6-2 guard that can play D-1 ball. This team may go downstate.
GB East- They have some boys that look like ideal Offensive line man. Depth is there strength.
Curie- Soph's won city title. They are a young but a very talented group of kids. Parish is the best player in the city you've never hear of. Add a stud 6'8 Frosh, and the 6'10 transfer from the ATL. Watch out for the Condors!
H-Flossmor- Well coached and loaded with size, speed and talent. If you havent seen Jr. point guard Tyrone Sherman, you need too.
Warren- A team that returns everyone, by the way, they'll be returning everyone next year too. One of the youngest teams in the state last year, return for the junior season. 3-4 d-1 players.
De La Salle- Their big, their fast and can all play. Atleast 5+ D-1 prospects. Did you know their Sophomore team went undefeated last year. You will when you see the guard play they sport next year.

Joe, you hit it on the head with Benet. A big key to their wins last year were their 2 enforcers at 6'3" a piece. And Sobo is a great ball handler, but they need another. They have a young man who was a sophomore last year that kinda helps the lack of power....but another weakness is that Parisi is great at keeping someone from getting the ball, but his slight frame makes it hard for him to guard someone once they get the ball because he'll be overpowered. It will be interesting to see how the coach of the year in the ESCC (and definately deserved that title!) can work more magic to hide the bigger flaws this year. They'll still win the ESCC, especially with Joe's gone, but I'm looking forward to seeing the Sears Center match between them and GE. There are also other hidden gems in the Western Burbs that will appear. Another great year of basketball to come!

Hey Joe,
I've heard that St. Pats has some star freshman coming in that is about 6'6 and he's from Mississippi. Is there any truth to that?

Have to agree with Anon, there were some terrific players there this weekend. I love good teams that play well together and the two finalists fit that bill - Glenbard East and Downers Grove South. Both are well coached and really play effective and efficient basketball. Whitney Young and Morgan Park certainly are excellent teams as well. And both play a crazy fast game as was evidenced during Sunday's game that WY won.

Which brings me to Benet. Sobolewski is a very good guard. He is an excellent shooter, but seemed to have a hard time getting space to shoot against DGS. Especially when the referee's would not let him push off with his forearm. Agree that a mid-major will be happy to have him, but I hope they set a lot of picks for him.

The center for Benet, Kaminsky, is an enigma. Yes he is tall at 6'10, he can shoot a bit, rebound a bit, but did nothing against DGS in the semi's. Didn't catch the ball well, didn't pass well, looked out of step with his team mates, just not playing at the same speed and his interior foot work looked off. There were times when it looked like his team mates were reluctant to pass to him. Some college will take him because he is 6'10, but he will have to go to a school with patience. He will need time to mature as a college player. Hopefully some of the work he needs will take place this summer.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on June 6, 2010 9:53 PM.

Transfers, NIU recruiting and a busy 2013 star was the previous entry in this blog.

Riverside-Brookfield recap is the next entry in this blog.

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