The end of the holiday basketball tournaments marks the unofficial midway point in the boys basketball season.
Many of the area teams will not resume play until next week when school is back in session, so it's a good time to reflect on all the extra pounds many basketball junkies put on at holiday tournaments, and in between games at the hospitality rooms at Wheeling and York.
One team that continues to feast is Fremd. The Vikings made the most of their third year at Wheeling, blasting through foes to claim their first title and remain unbeaten.
"The guys have a good attitude," Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. "We are going to keep doing our stuff and work to get better."
The Vikings (13-0), who have played just one home game so far, have been able to throw depth charges at their opponents. Widlowski has been able to put together a lineup that goes 10 deep and is led by Riley Glassmann, Ben Carlson and Matt Ochoa.
St. Viator (12-2) was much improved from the start of the season. And despite the loss to Fremd in the title game at Wheeling, the Lions could be poised to make a run in the state playoffs.
"We are only halfway through the season," St. Viator coach Mike Howland said. "Hopefully we can get another chance at them."
Roosevelt Smart showed that he has been able to fit into the Lions offensive and defensive schemes. Ore Arogundade was able to play many different roles for the Liosn thus far. He may be able to move away from the point position when Mark Falotico returns from a broken foot.
Prospect finished fourth at the Wheeling tournament, but would not have got out of the first round had they not received a pair of long-range 3hree-pointers. Kyle Beyak hit from halfcourt while Grant Miller's shot of nearly 70 feet can be seen online at youtube.
The Knights (8-6, 3-0) led the MSL East at the break. They hope to continue to get good play from Beyak, Danny Thomas and Bobby Frasco.
Wheeling (6-7) looks as though it can go as far as Jeremy Stephani can take them. Stephani, who had 27 and 34 points in the Wildcats' two wins in their tournament, was limited to 12 points in the consolation title game.
Hoffman Estates might have been the most surprising area team in all the tournaments. The Hawks (7-6) lost in the title game to host Glenbard West. Hoffman Estates got all-tournament honors for sophomore guard Jorden Thornton and Jordan Robinson
Buffalo Grove (5-8), the lone remaining area team in the Elgin tournament, was able to turn things around a bit. Led by Andrew Apel and Joe Domingo, the Bison were able to finish third in the consolation bracket. They also picked up an extra win when St. Francis deSales forfeited.
Palatine (6-6) won its first two games in the expanded York tournament. The Pirates slipped in their final two games but still got strong performances from Chris Macahon and Nolan Gavin.
Conant (9-4) went on a scoring rampage at York. The Cougars scored a season-best 91 points in their final game and averaged 59.7 points in their previous three games. Conant, which went 3-1 in the tournament, got strong play from Danny Sotos, Joe Ranallo and D'Angelo McBride.
Elk Grove, Schaumburg and Rolling Meadows each were making their first appearance at York.
Elk Grove lost to Palatine but beat Schaumburg in the final round of the tournament to go 2-2. The Grenadiers (8-5) got strong play from Scott Furlong and Tyler Ingebrigtsen while Anthony Bianchini continued to impress.
Schaumburg had a rough inaugural voyage into the York field. The Saxons got off to a good start, thanks to the play of Brendan Parker and Johnny Flynn. But the Saxons (5-9) dropped their last three games of the tourney.
Rolling Meadows was looking to its their fortune. After a tough start in which the Mustangs lost their first two games, Meadows was able to end the tournament on a high note with victories in the final two contests. Matt Dolan paced the Mustangs (5-8), scoring 20 and 24 point in those wins.
After going winless in pool play at Jacobs, Barrington was able to recover to win its final two games and claim the consolation title. The Broncos (6-9), who host Grant on Friday, were led by Rapolas Ivanauskas and Austin Madrzyk.
Hersey (4-9) went to Pekin and came away with one win their 4 games. After losing to the host Dragons, the Huskies pulled out a 1-point win and then followed with a loss to Lake Zurich and a 2-point loss in the third place game of the consolation bracket. Alex Mueller and Mike Fuerst were keys for the Huskies.
After watching a 15-point lead evaporate in their opening round loss to Prospect, Maine West (4-8) was able to bounce back and win 1 of its 4 games at Wheeling. The Warriors got strong play from Joel Ferraren, Jamal Sherman and Anthony Dones.
Leyden (4-5) won 3 of 4 games at the Glenbard West tournament and finished third in the tournament. The Eagles' only loss was to eventual tourney champ Glenbard West.