pre-season rankings

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL

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It's that time of the year where everyone provides their rankings of teams (schools), and well, we want to be a part of the fun too.

So, here is our 2011-12 observations...

NOTE: To review our current rankings, click here.

1. Bolingbrook (29-2)
Returning back-to-back-back State champions still have a rock solid roster with eight Division 1 recruits including Connecticut-bound 6'2" senior forward Morgan Tuck. Tuck is ranked 3 at her position on ESPNRISE and 15 overall for Class of 2012. The biggest question right now for our number 1 ranked Raiders is who will step up and fill the shoes of graduate and Tennessee freshman Ms. Everything - Ariel Massengale?

2. Marist (27-6)
With all five starters returning (Randyll Butler, Asianna Bey, JeTaun Rouse, Leah Bolton and Claire Ryan), the RedHawks are going to be a force to deal with this season.

3. *Whitney Young (26-4)
After losing a heartbreaker downstate last season in the semifinals (50-49), and graduates Chanise Jenkins (DePaul) and Kiana Johnson (Michigan State), the Lady Dolphins still are stacked. It's reported that coach Corry Irvin believes they have enough to take down Bolingbrook and they will do this with speed and size. Speed starts with 5'6" Kentucky-bound senior guard Janee Thompson and Linnae Harper. Thompson is ranked 6 at her position via ESPNRISE and 35 overall for the Class of 2012. And we can not forget out the presence of senior's 5'9" Alexis Lloyd and 5'11" Tessa Haldes.

4. Hillcrest (29-3)
Two years in a row going downstate only to come up short gives coach John Maniatis the necessary fire in his belly to energize his team. Not just any team either... he has four starters who are going to Division 1 schools (Shannise Heady, Seton Hall; Samirah Ali, Southern Mississippi; Jasmine Sanders, Chicago State; and Jahmia Phillips, Long Island).

5. Morgan Park (27-5)
Windy City South Conference champs are back and hungry. After dominating their conference and much of the city, the Mustangs got bumped by number 4 ranked Hillcrest in last years sectionals. Going into this season, the ball rotation goes through two of their top players: Kendyl Nunn (Toledo) and Gabrielle Richmond (St. Bonaventure).

  6. Homewood-Flossmoor (22-8)
The Vikings have a four-player punch consisting of Charnelle Reed (Western Illinois, 13ppg), Amena Brent (Stetson), Sydni Johnson and Lauren Parker that should cause lots of trouble for the SouthWest Suburban Blue conference.

7. Marian Catholic (30-5)
Just can't ignore coach Annie Byrne-Basics' ability to suit up the best possible players and have the compete at a high level even when unexpected things happen. The Spartans may have been ranked higher but with all of the graduates (Simone Law, Jamie Johnson and Jasmine Matthews), and the lost of Sarafina Handy for the season (ACL), the team will have to lean on Alanna Ferry, Megan Walsh and Amber Williams to hold things together.

8. Rich South (22-6)
In a word maturity! Coach Mays has a fast-paced, defensive-minded team that now has some experience under their belt that is catching the eyes of many, including us here at Amateur Sports. With the lost of graduate Jasmine Collins to Chicago State, the Stars will have to find some scoring but they do not have to look too far because senior guard Kiela Garner (14ppg) is more than able to carry that portion of the load. But she will not have to do it alone because she has "the twins..." CiErra (8 ppg, 31 steals) and DeAsia (11 ppg, 61 steals) Garrett are more than capable of scoring as well as providing the necessary spark on defense.
9. Rich Central (15-8)
The Olympians picked up some off-season scoring power in Ariel Sneed (Thornton) and Jessica Warren (Thornwood) to go along with senior forward sensation Chaz Duson who averaged 19.5 points per game and Alex Stanford (11.5) ppg). They should be very competitive in the Southland and we look forward to seeing them battle in the upcoming Thanksgiving tournaments.

10. Lincoln-Way East (25-6)
The Griffins snagged our tenth and final spot in our pre-season rankings over a couple of notables (Mother McAuley and Sandburg). This team will go as far as Loyola-bound senior Taylor Johnson (13 ppg) and Caitlin McMahon (12ppg, 9 boards) takes them. PERIOD!

CURRENT RANKINGS are going on right now... click here!

* even though this team is outside of our normal coverage area, you just can NOT ignore them.


1. *Simeon (30-3)
In a word, Jabari... whew, this team is stacked easily for the next two years. Not to mention, they are ranked number 1 in the country right now.

2. *Young (20-11)
Even with a young team, the Dolphins are set to battle... if not this season, mark our words - Young will be a force in the next two years!

3. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-6)
Now in the South Suburbs, we believe right now everything flows through H-F behind the play of 5'10" Tyrone Sherman and senior QB extraordinaire, Tim Williams. The squad has balance and experience... such a winning combination, but they have two big games in December that might set the table... Crane and Morgan Park.

4. Morgan Park (20-7)
Mac Irvin has assembled yet another quality team after losing Mr. Everything, Wayne Blackshear. The offense will run through junior point guard, DePaul recruit, Billy Garrett Jr. And don't forget up-and-coming 6'9" junior Xzavier Taylor, 6'9" and freshmen Kain Harris, the Mustangs should be a force to deal with

5. De La Salle (22-3)
This team will go as far as big man, Alex Foster can carry them. He does his 'Robin' in the form of Gavin Schilling, so be prepared for a powerful one-two punch in the Catholic League.

6. St. Rita (12-15)
Also in the Catholic League is the Mustangs... commonly known for Football, but this could be the year that the basketball team gets some love. Especially since Western Michigan recruit A.J. Avery is healthy and ready to go. And we just can't forget Tony Hicks, University of Penn guard into the equation.

7. Hillcrest (21-7)
It's been two years ago when the Hawks won the state title. Last year they came up a little short but the experience from last season should help them battle in the South Suburbs. Watch out for 6'5" forward Jalen Loving, who's a natural scorer.

8. Hales (29-4)
Yet another Catholic League team is in our top 10... This Class 2A team has a lot of hidden firepower and Division 1 hopeful, Eddie Alcantara, anything is possible. So keep an eye open for the Spartans.

Illinois-bound Michael Orris is one of the top guards in the Chicagoland area. Now that football is over, junior guard/forward, LaQuon Treadwell has his eyes set on the hardwood for the Warriors. In the Southland conference, they should battle pretty hard to be a factor.

and our final team is....

10. ANDREW (16-11)
The brothers Jawad and Jubril Adeloya should be able to carry the mail for this team and keep them in contension.

At the baseline...
Seton, Rich East, Bloom, Mount Carmel, Thornwood

* even though this team is outside of our normal coverage area, you just can NOT ignore them.

CURRENT RANKINGS are going on right now... click here!

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