Patch sports reporter Ross Jacobson ranks the North Shore’s basketball teams.
Basketball teams got their last games in before participating in holiday tournaments over the next two weeks. New Trier and Maine South have separated themselves so far as the two schools with above-average boys and girls teams, but the next four aren’t too far off. Glenbrook North, Evanston, Niles North and Deerfield all jumped two spots from last week while Highland Park had the biggest drop, going from seventh to 11th.
Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.
WEEK 5 RANKINGS
1. New Trier (1) – New Trier’s 54-53 win over Waukegan showed they have the ability to win tough games on the road. Yet Waukegan’s effort also means New Trier is anything but invincible. The girls easily defeated Deerfield in their only game of the week.
2. Maine South (2) – Back-to-back wins on the weekend gives the boys a 6-2 record heading into the holiday break. The girls continue to cruise and got a really nice win against Glenbrook South to tie for the lead atop the CSL South.
3. Glenbrook North (5) – The Spartans got terrible news when center Andrew McAuliffe fractured his patella and will miss more than a month of the season. It’s similar to the situation with New Trier and Austin Angel last season when the Trevians never seemed to gel until around playoff time.
4. Niles West (3) – The growing pains continue for the boys team that dropped another two games to Evanston and Notre Dame. Jewell Loyd put up 50 points against Maine West and the girls won their two games.
5. Glenbrook South (4) – Glenbrook South finally pulled out a close game with the boys beating Hersey in overtime. The girls lost their first conference game of the season to Maine South at home as the CSL South is proving to be a dogfight.
6. Loyola Academy (6) – Even in a loss, the girls team proved it can play with the best in the state by hanging with Marist at home. However, the boys are a different story, falling to St. Ignatius 64-41 for their first loss in conference.
7. Evanston (9) – The Wildkits got back on track with a tight win over Niles West and the girls nearly pulled off a big upset over Loyd’s Niles West team after dominating Glenbrook North. Evanston may not be considered as strong as the other CSL South girls teams, but they certainly can give them a scare on any given night.
8. Deerfield (10) – Michael Alfieri continues to impress, scoring 20 points to lead Deerfield to a win over Maine East. The girls team struggled with losses to New Trier and Carmel, but are looking forward to the holiday tournament at Warren.
9. Niles North (11) – Niles North had a much-needed rebound week, combining to go 3-1 before the holiday break. The boys swept Maine West and Sullivan while the girls also beat the Warriors and were edged by Glenbrook South.
10. Maine West (8) – Maine West was winless on the week in three games. The girls fell to Niles North and Niles West, two teams that possess big-time scorers while the boys couldn’t get things on track against the Vikings.
11. Highland Park (7) – Highland Park has seen better weeks for its basketball program. The two teams combined to go 0-5 last week, including a couple of league losses to Glenbrook North. The girls will look to rebound in the Mundelein Holiday Tournament.
12. North Shore Country Day (12) – North Shore squeaked by Yeshiva in a 49-47 victory at home and the girls took down Francis Parker. The girls team is off on break while the boys have one game next week before taking three weeks off.
(Covering the Patch communities of Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Niles, Highland Park, Glenview, Deerfield, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Northbrook.)