Monday, February 24, 2014

I redeemed myself somewhat...

...on Saturday night by attending the City-Suburban Showdown at Niles West. It featured four of the best teams and three of the best players in the state. I got to see Stevenson for the third time this year, Marian Catholic for the second, and Lake Forest and Simeon for the first.

In the opener I watched Evan Boudreaux (above) and Lake Forest win the first half and Tyler Ulis (Mr. Second Half?) and Marian Catholic win the game. Takeaways? Boudreaux must be one of the best juniors in the state. He reminds me a little of a shorter Sean O'Mara of Benet. Is there any chance those two could face each other in the playoffs? And as for Ulis, all I can say is: Wow! This kid scored 35 points in the second half, including three threes in a row, to pretty much single-handedly defeat the Scouts. My only question about the 5'9" guard is, can he really play at Kentucky?

(By the way, the guy in front of me, a Lake Forest fan, pointed out Boudreaux's mother to me at the half. OMG! If genes have anything to do with it, the 6'7" power forward could get even taller.)

In the nightcap, Stevenson got to avenge its loss to Simeon in the 4A finals last year by a convincing nine points. Takeaways? Well, first of all, the Wolverines are a really young team. I counted very few seniors on the court and even a freshman guard at one point. If Simeon doesn't go deep in the postseason this year they should in 2014-15. Coach Robert Smith is obviously laying the groundwork for a future powerhouse. And Stevenson? Well, I'd be really surprised if this squad doesn't go all the way to Peoria again. Between Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw, the Patriots have two of the best juniors in the state. Throw in another junior, Matt Johnson, and these guys could be headed to the finals in 2015 too.

P. S. That's a great picture of Evan Boudreaux at the top, isn't it? But if you look really hard, you can see me in a dark shirt just under the railing, behind and to the left of a guy in a dark vest. (He told me -- and I believed him -- that he'd been to about a thousand high school basketball games. I guess I have my work cut out for me!) When I showed this picture to my wife I said, "At least you know where I was on Saturday night."

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