By Michael O'Brien

November 2008 Archives

Football's Super 25, the final chapter for 2008

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Time to come in out of the cold and watch some basketball.
The Super 25 is a ranking of teams in the circulation area of the Chicago Sun-Times. To the fans of East St. Louis, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Bloomington Central Catholic, your teams all performed like champions and that's why they won championships, but to rank teams that are out of our area that we don't cover on a regular basis wouldn't be fair.
My own thoughts are that the IHSA should scrap the multiplier. I can understand football enrollment, which went away this year. The problem with the multiplier is that larger schools move up a class or two. But when small numbers are multiplied, thet still produce small numbers.
Was it fair that Immaculate Conception played in Class 2A when its schedule for the nine game regular season consisted of 4A and 5A schools, with one 6A (Marmion). Multiplying their enrollment might have moved them up from Class 1A, but football enrollment would have moved them up more.
And what about IC's opponent Casey. Three or four times an exchange of game films fell through. We held up our end of it every time," IC coach Bill Schmidt said.
With the multiplier, non-boundaried schools won four of the eight classes in football, a far higher percentage than the number of schools that have no attendance boundaries. And it wasn't that far-fetched to think that Mount Carmel or Brother Rice could have been in the Class 8A title game -- both lost on last minute field goals to Hinsdale Central -- or that St. Rita could have been in the 7A final, after all, the Mustangs had a 28-7 lead at East St. Louis. And the Flyers won the 7A championship.
In my opinion, the answer is simple, either have two or three non-boundaried school classes and five or six for public schools; or keep the current eight classes, can the multiplier and go to football enrollment.
My final word on the Catholic League vs. DVC debate -- this year's winner as the top conference goes to Suburban Catholic, which produced two state champions in St. Francis and IC. Funny thing, every preseason prediction I saw had Marian Central (before the Jon Budmayr injury), Driscoll and Montini as the top three teams in the SCC.
Even though Montini lost to St. Francis in a quarterfinal rematch, the Broncos beat three state champions -- Sacred Heart-Griffin, St. Francis and IC -- during the nine-game regular season.
The DVC had no team in the quarterfinals and the Catholic League had two teams in the semifinals, Mount Carmel and Providence, and they both lost. Funny thing, every preseason prediction I saw had Marian Central (before the Jon Budmayr injury), Driscoll and Montini as the top three teams in the SCC.
The Mount Carmel jinx continued. Only one team that defeated the Caravan in a state semifinal, Providence, has gone on to win the state title.
Now, it's time for football's second season, recruiting. Before long the seniors will have their colleges picked and it will be time to look at the juniors. Just wondering, does anyone have directions to Johnsburg?

Here are my final rankings of the season:

STEVE TUCKERĀ¹S FINAL SUPER 25
(Preseason ranking)

1. Maine South 14-0 (2)
2. Glenbard West 12-1 (21)
3. Hinsdale Central 11-3 (16)
4. Geneva 13-1 (12)
5. St. Rita 10-2 (4)
6. Mount Carmel 10-3 (1)
7. Bartlett 12-1 (NR)
8. Brother Rice 9-3 (15)
9. Naperville North 10-1 (7)
10. St. Francis 13-1 (NR)
11. Lemont 13-1 (NR)
12. Wheaton Warrenville South 8-2 (9)
13. Bolingbrook 10-1 (14)
14. Antioch 12-1 (NR)
15. Loyola 11-3 (NR)
16. Aurora Christian 13-1 (NR)
17. Providence 8-5 (NR)
18. Crystal Lake South 10-3 (NR)
19. Lincoln-Way East 9-2 (13)
20. Immaculate Conception 10-4 (NR)
21. Cary-Grove 11-1 (NR)
22. Carmel 10-2 (6)
23. Marist 9-3 (NR)
24. Montini 11-1 (NR)
25. Lane 11-3 (NR)


Illinois coach Bruce Weber watches Hill-Bey's debut

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Scott Powers just called in from the Lane Tournament. Illinois coach Bruce Weber is in attendance (most likely to see highly-regarded soph Tracy Abrams). For some reason Abrams did not start the game, but super-hyped freshman point guard Malcom Hill-Bey did. And he was impressive, scoring eight points to help the Caravan to a 37-16 halftime lead over Lane.

Kind of a fun start to the season. Check back with YourSeason.com later tonight for coverage of all the best games in the area. By last count we will be covering about 20 games tonight.

LATE NIGHT UPDATE:

Check out the full game story on Mount Carmel here.

Weber was also at my game, Seton vs. St. Ignatius. Not sure who he was checking out in that one. Perhaps St. Ignatius center Nnanna Egwu. He's a 6-9 soph. He didn't play much. Looked slightly promising when he did.

Seton overall was a load. They are a runaway favorite to win Class 2A. St. Ignatius played well. They were without one of their top guys, Mario Knezovic, who was out with an injury.

Another freshman to watch: St. Rita's Deonte Johnson. I only caught the second half of the St. Rita-Northside Prep game, but Johnson was very fun to watch. He's a 5-8 ball of energy, whipping passes all over the court.

With nine games remaining, including the Prep Bowl of Friday. here's a llok at the Super 25 for Week 14

1 Maine South 13-0 1
Hinsdale Central in Class 8A an Saturday night in Champaign
Charlie Goro, Matt Perez and the offense score a lot of points. But the unheraldded defense has set this team apart. The Hawks have allowed just 14 points in their last three playoff games, and Bartlett's touchdown Saturday came very late.


2 Geneva 13-0 (3)
East St. Louis in Class 7A on Saturday in Champaign
The Vikings will be looking to avenge a 24-26 quarterfinal loss to the Flyers last year. East St. Louis is big and fast and strong and skilled. But Geneva RB Michael Ratay has found a way to win.

3 Hinsdale Central 12-2 (6)
Maine South in Class 8A on Saturday night in Champaign
David Lutz has tried three field goals in his career. The first one was blocked, the next two won state playoff games against Brother Rice and Mount Carmel.

4 Lemont 13-0 7
Sacred Heart-Griffin in Class 6A on Saturday in Champaign
Last year, the Indians learned the routine. That team depended on some big-timers. This team all 22 starters depend on each other. Sounds like a formula for success.

5 Glenbard West 12-1 (2)
Season is over
The Hilltoppers did everything but ring the bell against East St. Louis. Coach Chad Hetlet has dome an amazing job.

6 Mount Carmel 10-3 (5)
Season is over
An uncharacteristic three turnovers hurt the Caravan in a semifinal loss at Hinsdale. After a 2-2 start, a revamped offensive line helped make this one of Frank Lenti's best coaching jobs

7 St. Rita 10-2 (14)
Season is over

8 Bartlett 12-1 (4)
Season is over
The Hawks set a standard that future Bartlett teams will strive to equal. An unhearalded defense separated this team

9 Brother Rice 9-3 (15)
Season is over

10 Naperville North 10-1 (16)
Season is over

11 St. Francis 12-1 (11)
Metamora in Class 5A on Saturday in Champaign
Tought draw with the reigning state champions who really have hardly had to break a sweat. The Spartans will need to control the ball and the clock.

12 Aurora Christian 13-0 (12)
Bloomington Central Catholic in Class 4A on Friday night in Champaign
The Eagles have a coach who was on theams thagt went to six Super Bowls and a quarterback who set state records for career touchdown passes and yardage.

13 Wheaton Warrenville South 8-2 (17)
Season is over

14 Bolingbrook 10-1 (18)
Season is over

15 Antioch 12-1 (8)
Season is over
Talk about miracles, the Sequoits were 0-9 in 2006 and in the semifinals in 2008.

16 Loyola 10-3 (20)
Lane Friday at 11 a.m. in the Prep Bowl at Soldier Field
The state series draw didn't do the Ramblers any favors, first Glenbard North and as a reward, a trip to Maine South.

17 Providence 8-5 (9)
Season is over
From 2-4, the Celtics came a long way against a brutal schedule. How many teams have beaten Mount Carmel and Joliet Catholic in ths same season?

18 Crystal Lake South 10-3 (10)
Season is over
Gators gave Geneva all it wanted in a Class 7A semifinal. "I give them props, They hit every single play," Geneva lineman Cory Hofstetter said.

19 Lincoln-Way East 9-2 (19)
Season is over

20 Cary Grove 11-1 (21)
Season is over

21 Carmel 10-2 (22)
Season is over

22 Marist 9-3 (23)
Season is over

23 Montini 11-1 (24)
Season is over

24 Immaculate Conception 9-4 (25)
Casey in Class 2A on Friday in Champaign
Diet of 4A and 5A opponents make IC a favorite over unbeaten Casey (unless a fast-pitch softball game breaks out)

25 Lane 11-2 (NR)
Loyola on Friday in the Prep Bowl at Soldier Field
Indians started the season at Soldier Field against Fenwick and will end it in the 75th Prep Bowl.

On the bubble: Kankakee, Barrington, Schaumburg, Downers Grove North,
Glenbard South, De La Salle, Hubbard, Simeon,Glenbrook South, Joliet
Catholic, Morris.


Football's Super 25 -- the latest playoff edition

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Now there are 32 teams left, the 32 that proved to be semi-tough.
Four teams in each of the Illinois High School Association's eight classes will battle in semifinals this weekend for berths in the state finals Thanksgiving weekend at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
I promise no one will make a living -- or more than likely not break even -- using my predictions, but all four the teams that I picked to win the four largest classes -- Maine South, East St. Louis, Lemont and Metamora -- are still alive.
There was no shortage of drama in the quarterfinals. In Class 7A, East Louis Louis rallied from a 28-7 deficit to knock off St. Rita and unbeaten Cary-Grove fell in overtime to a Crystal Lake South team it defeated 24-7 in a Fox Valley Valley game.
In Class 6A, Antioch eliminated Glenbard South 28-27 in overtime when an extra point went wide left. The shocker in Class 5A saw St. Francis, which lost to Montini 41-21 in the regular season, end the Broncos unbeaten campaign with a 28-14 upset to put the Spartans into the state semifinals for the first time.
But there probably wasn't a game around the state that sent out the shock waves that Aurora Christian did. The Eagles ended the season for seven-time reigning state champion Driscoll. The Highlanders, who have eight state titles including seven in a row, had a state-record playoff winning streak of 37 snapped on Saturday night.
Three area conferences sent two teams to the state semifinals -- the Catholic League Blue (Mount Carmel and Providence), the Suburban Catholic (St. Francis and Immaculate Conception) and the West Suburban Silver (Glenbard West and Hinsdale Central).


Here's a look at this week's Super 25:

1 Maine South (12-0) 1
Bartlett at Streamwood
Charlie Goro and coach Dave Inserra have talked about one game at a time since the season opener. Another one game and the Hawks will be back in Champaign. Goro has been like a surgeon in the playoffs as he dissects defenses.

2 Glenbard West (12-0) 2
Hosts East St. Louis on Saturday
The Hilltoppers defense prides itself on speed. It will need it against an East St. Louis team that would like nothing better than a track meet. The Flyers line play isn't what it was in the glory days, but the speed of the skill position players is sensational.

3 Geneva (12-0) 3
Hosts Crystal Lake South
Vikings and RB Michael Ratay have their eye on a first trip to the state finals. Geneva has scored 27 or more in every game except one -- a 14-7 Week 4 win against state quarterfinalist Glenbard South.

4 Bartlett (12-0) 4
Maine South at Streamwood
Can a defense that allowed 35 points to Schaumburg hold down Charlie Goro & Co? Can the offense do enough against a defense that shut out Barrington? It's going to take the Hawks best game to get to Champaign.

5 Mount Carmel (10-2) 6
At Hindale Central
The decision making of QB Jordan Lynch is what makes this team so good, according to coach Frank Lenti. Lynch's line has grown into a strength. The semifinal at Hinsdale figures to be a shootout.

6 Hinsdale Central (10-2) 10
Hosts Mount Carmel
Out of the frying pan ... Red Devils junior QB John Whitelaw said that a 9-0 loss to Glenbard West in a driving rain (complete with a lightening delay) was a wake-up call. A matchup of the best senior and the best junior option QB should be a dandy in the semifinals.

7 Lemont (12-0) 11
Hosts Antioch
The Indians, who reached the title game in 2007, are versatile have a lot of weapons on both sides of the line. Their defense has been the difference all season.

8 Antioch (12-0) 13
At Lemont
No surprises from the Sequoits, they run and run and run. Not many have been able to catch RB-KR Cameron White, who also showed he can throw the ball in a win at Glenbard South.

9 Providence (8-4) 14
Hosts Sacred-Heart Griffin
Providence winning a playoff game against previously unbeaten Rock Island was not as big a surprise as the 38-0 margin. The Celtics were once 2-4, not they are two wins from a 10th state title.

10 Crystal Lake South (10-2) 24
At Geneva
A lot of demons were removed with the Gators overtime win against Cary-Grove. Can a defense that limited the Trojans to seven points slow down the Geneva juggernaut.

11 St. Francis (11-1) 25
Hosts Kankakee
Spartans avenged their only loss at Montini and now get to play a semifinal at home. After a stunning upset over Driscoll and a loss to Montini, the team regrouped but has flown under the radar.

12 Aurora Christian (12-0) NR
At Richmond-Burton
In ending Driscoll's 37-game playoff winning streak, coach Don Beebe's Eagles have answered a lot of questions about a weak schedule and a weak conference. Remember, the eye-popping stats are for 11 games since Luther North forfeited in Week 8.

13 Kankakee (9-3) NR
At St. Francis
Who are these guys? After knocking off 2007 state finalist Morris, a trip to Wheaton puts the Kays 48 minutes from a trip to Champaign.

14 St. Rita (10-2) 5
Season is over
Heartbreaking loss at East St. Louis for the overachieving Catholic League Blue champions, who had a 21-point second-half lead.

15 Brother Rice (9-3) 7
Season is over
Crusaders were opportunistic all night, but in the end, Hinsdale Central and junior QB John White were in the red zone one time too many.

16 Naperville North (10-1) 18
Season is over

17 Wheaton Warrenville South (8-2) 19
Season is over

18 Bolingbrook (10-1) 20
Season is over

19 Lincoln-Way East (9-2) 21
Season is over

20 Loyola (10-2) 22
Hosts De La Salle Saturday for Prep Bowl
Ramblers have been untouchable at home and that's bad news for De La Salle who head to Wilmette Saturday for the Catholic League championship game and a Prep Bowl berth.

21 Cary-Grove (11-1) 9
Season is over
Trojans offense never put many points up in the playoffs and this time, there was no game-winning field goal.

22 Carmel (10-2) 8
Season is over
Like 11 other teams, the Corsairs couldn't match Geneva's offensive output.

23 Marist (9-3) 15
Season is over
RedHawks owned the first 10 minutes against Mount Carmel but the Caravan's offense was too quick for the Marist defense.

24 Montini (11-1) 12
Season is over
No answers for St. Francis is the second half as surprising season ends.

25 Immaculate Conception (8-4) NR
At Clifton Central
The Knights are one game from a second trip to the championship game. Playing a steady diet of Class 5A and 4A teams has this squad well prepared for Class 2A.

On the bubble: Barrington, Schaumburg, Downers Grove North, Glenbard South, De La Salle, Morgan Park, Hubbard, Lane, Simeon


Calvin Davis responds...

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Two days ago in the basketball notes I asked why the Public League singled out Young coach Tyrone Slaughter and Von Steuben coach Vince Carter for recruiting Crandall Head. Here is Public League Sports Director Calvin Davis' response:

"I've been fair," Davis said. "The two people that received the suspension got it because there was compelling evidence and testimony. Give it to me on any other coach and I will do the same thing. Nobody was singled out and I'd be happy to investigate anybody else if any evidence is presented."

A visit to Simeon and some notes...

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It was good to be back in a gym today. I checked out the first day of practice at Simeon. You can check out the story here.

The Wolverines have some experience with Jeremy Jones, Brandon Orange and Brandon Spearman, but the present and future of the squad will be determined by a very talented group of sophomores (DeShawn Greer, Tywon Pickney, Rashawn McElroy) and Rob Robinson, who was very hyped heading into high school and should start living up to that billing as a junior this year.

Steve Walker should provide some strength in the post. According to Simeon coach Robert Smith, Walker is no longer committed to Northern Illinois and his recruitment is wide-open.

Smith also named a long list of schools that had interest in Spearman: Iowa State, Baylor, Bradley, Kansas, Miami, Indiana State and Illinois State.

And he also mentioned a conversation he had with Illinois assistant coach Jerrance Howard about Spearman.

"I told him that none of the guards he has coming in can do what Spearman does," Smith said. "They've got a bunch of guys that can score, but you need someone to step up and guard. Spearman is the guy that can guard the other team's best player."

-I saw some reports today that Young guard Chris Colvin added Connecticut to his final list of five (now six I guess) and that he is going to announce his decision tomorrow (Wednesday). That's not what Chris' father told me yesterday (said it would be announced at a press conference on the 19th). I guess we will find out tomorrow.

-Word is that Jacob Williams, who left St. Patrick last month, is going to play at Bartlett this year. Bartlett opens the season against Waukegan, so that could be a very interesting game.

-Expect Marshall coach Courtney Hargrays and Morgan Park coach Mandel Oliver, who were both involved in the paddling controversy, to hold on to their jobs. Nothing has been decided yet, but that is what I'm hearing.

-Isn't it strange that the Public League singled out Young coach Tyrone Slaughter and Von Steuben coach Vince Carter for recruiting Crandall Head? I think it's fairly common knowledge that almost every powerhouse program in the city was recruiting Head. Why were they the only ones punished?

Ben Wilson video...

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Found this link over on the ChicagoHoops.com message board. It's a must see.

The Super 25 playoff edition through Week 11

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Guess which area conference has been perfect in the state playoffs through two weeks.

No, it's not the Catholic League Blue, though 9-1 pretty impressive.

It's the Suburban Catholic, which is 8-0 with Montini, St. Francis, Driscoll and Immaculate Conception all still going.

Montini and St. Francis will face off Saturday in a Class 5A quarterfinal. Driscoll, which is shooting for an eighth consecutive state title, will play at Aurora Christian and record-setting quarterback Jordan Roberts in Class 4A, and I.C. will play at home in Class 2A.
Bolingbrook and Naperville North fell from the ranks of the unbeaten is the second round.
Bolingbrook's loss at Hinsdale Central shouldn't have been a shock. If you go back to the season opener, the Raiders beat Downers Grove South at home when a two-point conversion was intercepted in the last monute. In the playoff opener, the Red Devils pounded Downers South on the road.
Naperville North's loss was a lot harder to figure. It took two touchdowns in the closing minutes by Marist to send the game to overtime, where a field goal won it.
The DuPage Valley, which had a lot of good things happen to it in 2007 with three teams in the state championship games, had no luck in this post season. When is the last time the DVC was out of the state playoffs before the quarterfinals?

Better than advertised? -- My fave five are Bartlett, Lemont, Montini, Antioch and Aurora Christian. And they are all 11-0.

Here's a look at this week's Chicago Sun-Times Super 25:

1 Maine South (11-0) 1
At No. 16 Barrington
Loyola win showed that the ground game, and junior Matt Perez, makes this a whole different Maine South team

2 Glenbard West (11-0) 4
At No. 17 Downers Grove North
Chad Hetlet's team is firing on all cylanders. A potential semifinal against the St. Rita-East St. Louis winner will be in Glen Ellyn

3 Geneva (11-0) 5
Hosts No. 8 Carmel
This will be the Vikings' toughest test to date. So far, no one has had an answer for RB Michael Ratay. And the defense is stronger than people think.

4 Bartlett (11-0) 6
At No. 23 Schaumburg
Hawks just keep winning. The defense was the difference against Fremd as Bartlett continues it journey through the Mid-Suburban West.

5 St. Rita (10-1) 8
At East St.Louis
Mustangs and the Flyers played back-to-back games to open the season in Ohio. You can bet that both coaches were paying attention.

6 Mount Carmel (9-2) 9
No.15 Marist Friday at Gately
Jordan Lynch is on a mission, and since the Week 5 turnaround, it looks like anything but mission impossible. Adonis Filer (yeah, Steve's brother) is a sophomore linebacker building an impressive resume.

7 Brother Rice (9-2) 10
Hosts No. 10 Hinsdale Central
Survived a road trip to Belleville. Now a rematch of a 2007 playoff game against a Hinsdale Central team that opened a lot of eyes against Bolingbrook.

8 Carmel (10-1) 12
At No. 3 Geneva
I keep hearing about how beat up coach Andy Bitto's Corsairs are. But they keep finding ways to win football games.

9 Cary-Grove (11-0) 13
At No. 24 Crystal Lake South
Can coach Bruce Kay's Trojans earn a second trip to the state finals? A field goal was the difference against St. Charles East.

10 Hinsdale Central (9-2) 14
At No. 7 Brother Rice
Rich Zajeski ran wild against Bolingbrook, and QB John Whitelaw might be the best of all the juniors at his position. But it was the defense that made the loudest statemment against Bolingbrook.

11 Lemont (11-0) 16
Hosts Grant
This team is loaded with talent and linebacker Ryan Fejedelem and the defense is playing with confidence gained from last year's state final appearance. The job that coach Eric Michaelsen has done is underrated.

12 Montini (11-0) 18
Hosts No. 25 St. Francis
All four Suburban Catholic playoff qualifiers are still alive. The Broncos have home field advantage for Saturday's quarterfinal matchup .

13 Antioch (11-0) 20
At Glenbard South
When the Sequoits were 4-0, they had played teams that had combined for zero wins. Now people need to take Cameron White & Co. seriously.

14 Providence (7-4) 20
Hosts Rock Island
From 2-4, the Celtics have come on like gangbusters and ended the season for Joliet Catholic, who many thought would win another state title. Unbeaten Rock Island comes to New Lenox this week.

15 Marist (9-2) 24
No. 6 Mount Carmel Friday at Gately
The RedHawks have been hard to figure. They looked like world beaters against Carmel, and were never really in the games against Joliet Catholic and Nazareth. A fourth quarter rally to knock off defending 8A champion Naperville North had them looking like the team that beat Carmel

16 Barrington (9-2) 22
Hosts No. 1 Maine South
Two close losses to Palatine and Fremd are all the separate the Broncos from a perfect season. They'll need more than the seven points they scored at New Trier to have a chance against the high-scoring Hawks.

17 Downers Grove North (7-4) 24
Hosts No. 2 Glenbard West
The last time the West Suburban Silver rivals met, the score wasn't close, but the game was a lot more even than the result. The Trojans beat Wheaton Warrenville South in the playoff opener so anything is possible.

18 Naperville North (10-1) 2
Season is over
Would a healthy Nick Mlady have made a difference down the stretch? A tough loss to Marist ended another great season for the DuPage Valley champions?

19 Wheaton Warrenville South (8-2) 19
Season is over

20 Bolingbrook (10-1) 3
Season is over
The Raiders made a living off turnovers all season. But Hinsdale turned the table with a 3-0 advantage in take aways.

21 Lincoln-Way East (9-2) 7
Season is over
Another fine season for coach Rob Zvonar's Griffins ends at home against Mount Carmel. Exra Thompson turned in a great performance of defense.

22 Loyola (9-2) 11
Regular season is over
The Ramblers were better than expected all season, and were unbeatable at home.

23 Schaumburg (7-4) NR
Hosts No. 4 Bartlett
Saxons' first-half offensive explosion was too much for Warren. The team puts up a lot of points and will be a dangerous opponent.

24 Crystal Lake South (9-2) NR
Hosts No. 9 Cary-Grove
Blowout win over Boylan in Rockford has the fans excited for a quarterfinal against an old rival.

25 St. Francis (10-1) NR
At No. 12 Montini
Spartans can avenge the only blemish on their record. Not too mant people expected St. Francis to handle Nazreth they way they did, roaring to a 28-0 halftime lead.

On the bubble: Glenbard South, Morris, Driscoll. Aurora Christian, Grant, Kankakee, Immaculate Comception, Hubbard, Lane, Warren, St. Charles East, Thornton, Joliet Catholic, De La Salle, Glenbrook South.


More charges filed against Bloom basketball players...

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From the SouthtownStar....

Two Bloom High School basketball stars accused of robbing a couple Oct. 13 in Chicago Heights have been indicted on additional charges.

Rajsaun Thompson and Brian Conway, both 17, initially were charged with armed robbery, but a Cook County grand jury also has indicted them for felony kidnapping and unlawful restraint, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office said.

They are accused of attempting to rob a 35-year-old disabled woman and her 32-year-old male friend near a bank in the 200 block of Joe Orr Road.

The woman contends that Thompson and a third attacker, who has not been charged, planned to sexually assault her before they fled when police arrived at the scene, responding to a call of shots fired.

Both teens' families have insisted that they are innocent. Thompson and Conway are next due in court Nov. 18.

Is Indiana the leader for Tracy Abrams?

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According to Scout.com, Abrams recently visited Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. Abrams was especially impressed with the Hoosiers:

"Indiana stood out because of all the people that were there," Abrams told Scout.com. "When I went to the other places they had big football games, but at Indiana it was for basketball that they had so many people there."

But Abrams also told Scout that Illinois was attractive, because he knows so many of the players headed there in the next few seasons.

STEVE TUCKER'S SUPER 25

1 Maine South 10-0 1
Hosts No. 11 Loyola on Saturday
Home field will be an advantage for Charlie Goro and Co. against a tough Catholic League Blue team. Last year, Mount Carmel knocked the Hawks out of the playoffs.

2 Naperville NORTH 10-0 2
No. 24 Marist at Benedictine
Nick Mlady and Co. want another first-place trophy for bookends.

3 Bolingbrook 10-0 3
At No. 14 Hinsdale Central
Roosevelt Holliday and the Raiders defense will be tested by talented junior QB John Whitelaw

4 Glenbard West 10-0 4
Hosts Fenwick on Saturday
Hilltoppers have shutouts in three of their last four games -- Downers North, Hinsdale Central and Wheaton North -- all state playoff teams.

5 Geneva 10-0 5
At Hononegah
The defense doesn't get headlines, but Cory Hofstetter and Co.do get the job done

6 bartlett 10-0 7
No. 21 Fremd at Streamwood
On an off day, the Hawks survived and advanced and that's the name of the playoff game


7 Lincoln-Way EAST 9-1 8
Hosts No. 9 Mount Carmel
Same place as a memorable 2006 state semifinal. Griffins QB Spencer Stanek has put up some mind-boggling numbers

8 St. Rita 9-1 10
Hosts Thornton
Mustangs won't look ahead, but East St. Louis will be playing in the neighborhood at De La Salle this weekend.

9 Mount Carmel 8-2 11
At No. 7 Lincoln-Way East
Has coach Frank Lenti ever had a quarterback who ran the option with the smarts of Jordan Lynch?

10 Brother Rice 8-2 12
At Belleville East
Crusaders earn a long bus ride after demolishing Sandburg. QB Tom Gibson belongs in every discussion about the area's top signal callers

11 Loyola 8-2 13
At No. 1 Maine South on Saturday
The Ramblers defense has been special in Wilmette. It will need to be in top form Saturday in Park Ridge.

12 Carmel 9-1 14
At Woodstock
Corsairs got over some early bumps against Wheeling. Is a showdown with Geneva on the horizon?

13 Cary-Grove 10-0 15
Hosts No. 23 St. Charles East
Coach Bruce Kay's Trojans have quietly dominated opponents while staying under the radar.

14 Hinsdale CentRAL 8-2 16
Hosts No. 3 Bolingbrook
Comparing scores, the Red Devils were a lot more successful against Downers South in Week 10 (46-12) than the Raiders were back in Week 1 (21-20). And the game is in Hisdale.

15 Joliet Catholic 8-2 17
At No. 20 Providence on Saturday
This might not be the best team the Hilltoppers have produced, but they get an opponent sure to bring out the best in them. JCA has the most state titles and Providence is third.

16 Lemont 10-0 19
Morgan Park at Gately Stadium
Lemont has been dominating, but physically, this will be the biggest challenge the Indians have faced.

17 Warren 9-1 20
At Schaumburg
Warren has got to be surprised that Schaumburg knocked out Glenbrook South. The Blue Devils only loss was back in Week 2 to Maine South and the game was competitive.

18 Montini 10-0 21
At Hillcrest
The Broncos face one of the three 6-4 teams reaming in their half of the 5A draw. A lot of eyes from Montini and Hillcrest will be on the Nazareth-St. Francis matchup.

19 WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH 8-2 6
Season is finished
Two losses by one point is a tough way to end the season

20 Providence 6-4 NR
Hosts No. 15 Joliet Catholic on Sat.
I would guess that this is the game that the Celtics' killer schedule was supposed to prepare them for.

21 Fremd 8-2 NR
No. 6 Bartlett at Streamwood
Viking won the battle of Palatine and have a lot better track record in the early rounds of the state playoffs.

22 Barrington 8-2 NR
At New Trier
Cody Seeger and Co. will test the Trevians defensive backfield. The winner will get the Maine South-Loyola winner next week.

23 St. Charles EAST 8-2 NR
At No. 13 Cary-Grove
Wes Allen knocked out defending 7A champion Lake Zurich and now will test Cary-Grove.

24 Marist 8-2 NR
No. 2 Naperville N. at Benedictine

RB Billy Seiler will need to bring his A game against the reigning Class 8A champions

25 Downers GROVE North 6-4 NR
Hosts Proviso East
The Trojans pulled off a shocker against WW South, now it would be a shocker if they can't knock off surprising Proviso East.

On the bubble: Morgan Park, Hubbard, Nazareth, St. Francis, Crystal Lake South, Thornton, De La Salle, Driscoll, Fenwick, Schaumburg


Who'd of thunk it ?

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Week One of the state football playoffs are in the book and there are more teams left from the Chicago Public League than the DuPage Valley
Public League teams advancing were Morgan Park and Hubbard
The powerful DVC, which landed three team in Champaign in title games last year was 1-4
Conference champion Naperville North won, But Glenbard North and WW South, the 2007 runners up in 8A and 7A as well as Naperville Central and Wheaton North are finished for this season

The Catholic League Blue, which sent all five of its teams to the playoffs was a perfect 5-0 and the Suburban Catholic was 4-0, while the West Suburban Silver was 3-1 with Downers Grove North, which upset WW South, unbeaten Glenbard West and Hinsdale Central, which put a hurt on Downers South, all advancing

Chicagoan who didn't watch the games on CBS College Sports back in August will get a first look at powerful East St, Louis Saturday afternoon at De La Salle

While Brother Rice will head to the St. Louis area and a date with Belleville East at a site to be determined since the Belleville field might not be playable

OK, so I know there were like a thousand records set at Huntley's 70-63 victory over Batavia.
My question is, with Nick Fruendt, the former Batavia basketball star now at Northwestern, would a Huntley-Batavia basketball game see as many points scored?
I doubt it

What I wish I had seen was a quote from the winning defensive coordinator from that game.

I think my friend Tim O'Halloran got it right when he told me that Geneva running back Michael Ratay "was a reincarnation of John Dergo."
Dergo led Morris to a state title and was the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year in 2005

I watched the Geneva-Rolling Meadows game. I saw 15 penalties called against Geneva. I just didn't see 15 infractions.

Joliet Catholic and Providence will play Saturday in New Lenox. The teams are first and third in state football championships. That game is a must see for me.
\and finally
The Kenny Rogers Award goes to Downers North coach John Wanderer -- This gambler "knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'en, ...


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