2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/19/2014 5:40 PM

Time to award the best of a banner boys basketball season

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  • Craig Brueske called Geneva guard Pace Temple one of the most underrated players he saw this year.

      Craig Brueske called Geneva guard Pace Temple one of the most underrated players he saw this year.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer


Area boys basketball fans had plenty to cheer about this season.

Geneva (25-6), West Aurora (24-5), Kaneland (18-10), St. Charles East (18-12) and St. Charles North (16-10) combined for a 101-43 record (.701 winning percentage) and 3 regional championships.

Led by Nate Navigato and Chris Parrilli, the Vikings were the epitome of true team basketball as they captured their first regional title since 1963 with a come-from-behind 66-63 victory over Bolingbrook.

Here's a recap of the 2013-14 season:

Top games

Simeon 82, St. Charles North 74, 3 OT.

In December, the North Stars gave 4-time defending Class 4A state champion Simeon a scare during the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Senior guard Alec Goetz poured in a career-high 36 points with eight 3-pointers during the North Stars' triple-overtime defeat.

Simeon was 0-for-11 from beyond the arc until junior Jaycee Hillsman canned a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining in regulation to force the first extra session.

St. Joseph 71, St. Charles East 68, OT.

Junior guard Cole Gentry hit a pair of free throws with 1:19 left in the fourth quarter as the Saints tied St. Joseph during the St. Charles East/Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament. However, the state-ranked Chargers sank 8 of 10 free throws in overtime to earn the win and advance to the title game against St. Charles North.

Kaneland 62, Marmion 60

Two weeks ago, Kaneland earned its second 2-point victory of the season over Marmion as senior guard Drew David connected on a 2-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to propel the Knights to their second Class 3A regional title in 3 years.

Geneva 70, West Aurora 68

My apologies to Frankie Valli & and the Four Seasons but "O, What A Night" it was for Geneva, which advanced to the sectional championship game for the first time since 1963 with last week's hard-fought semifinal win over the Blackhawks at East Aurora.

Top Individual Performances

Geneva junior forward Nate Navigato scored a career-high 41 points during the Vikings' 61-57 victory over Bloomington. Navigato, who made 17 consecutive free throws, scored 33 points in a 12-minute stretch.

St. Charles East senior guard Dom Adduci poured in 32 of his career-high 40 points in the first half during the Saints' victory over Elgin. Adduci, who sat out the fourth quarter, single-handedly outscored the Maroons 32-27 in the opening half.

Kaneland senior Tyler Carlson scored 29 first-half points en route to a career-high 38 points during the Knights' 76-61 sectional semifinal loss to Rockford Lutheran.

West Aurora senior guard Jontrell Walker tallied 36 points against a Glenbard North team that claimed its first sectional title since 2002 last Friday night against Morton.

Alec Goetz's aforementioned 36-point performance in St. Charles North's triple-overtime loss to Simeon.


"Every game we have is gravy. I like gravy. I like getting extra helpings of gravy. This is a gravy game for us." -- Geneva coach Phil Ralston on facing Benet in the sectional finals.

"If he's making that many shots, there's no reason any of us need to shoot it." -- St. Charles East guard Cole Gentry on teammate Dom Adduci's 40-point effort against Elgin.

"He's a freak. That's what we say on our bench all the time. I've seen him do stuff athletically even I say he shouldn't have made that play or got that rebound." -- Marmion coach Ryan Paradise on junior guard Jordan Glasgow.

"He's very poised down low. When he catches the ball down low, he surveys the situation pretty well. Being 6-7, he can rise up and make mid-range shots but he can also maneuver inside and finish." -- Glenbard North coach Joe Larson on Geneva's Nate Navigato.

"Winning a regional title would be like winning a national title for us." -- Geneva coach Phil Ralston prior to the postseason tournament.

"I remember sitting in the small gym when he was a 3rd-grader at our summer camp. I was like, 'who is this tiny, little blond-haired kid?' He gets up and dribbles better than I ever could." -- St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin on senior guard Alec Goetz.

"There's a reason why he's able to find the basket like he does because he puts the time and effort in that a lot of kids don't." -- St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods on senior guard Dom Adduci.

Moose hunting

Congratulations to Mooseheart on capturing the school's first state championship with last Saturday's 63-47 victory over Heyworth in the Class 1A title game in Peoria.

Charity stripe

St. Charles East's basketball program presented a check for $10,000 for the Jim Valvano Foundation for Cancer Research as part of its Hoops for Homecoming fund-raising event this past season.

You think you've seen it all…

Englewood recorded what amounted to be an 8-point play in a November game against Kaneland.

First, Shartone Moore hit a 3-pointer from the corner. Then the Knights received a technical foul and Ray Rushing made a pair of free throws. Awarded possession of the ball, Moore's thunderous dunk led to a 3-point play. Four seconds = eight points.


A fire alarm sounded at the 2:37 mark of the first quarter when St. Charles North visited Batavia in February. Action resumed after a 48-minute delay and the North Stars went on to win 48-42.

Shut-down defense

West Aurora held St. Patrick scoreless throughout the entire first quarter of its 58-27 victory during Batavia's Night of Hoops in February.

Best two teams I saw

Stevenson and Benet squared off during Batavia's Night of Hoops. Junior guard Jalen Brunson scored 39 points in the Patriots' 77-64 triumph. The teams could meet again -- in Saturday's Class 4A state championship.

Playing with a heavy heart

About 24 hours after his older brother, Jarred, was killed in a head-on auto accident on Route 30 (and his older sister, Janella, was injured), Aurora Christian senior Johnathan Harrell scored 15 points with 7 assists and 5 rebounds during the Eagles' 64-45 loss to Ottawa at the Plano Christmas Classic.

The shot

Aurora Christian sophomore R.D. Lutze picked up a loose ball near midcourt and launched a 3-point half-court heave that banked off the backboard and fell through the net as time expired during the Eagles' dramatic 60-57 win over Marmion.

The shot II

Geneva senior guard Chris Parrilli calmly sank a 10-foot baseline jumper with 4 seconds remaining to lift the Vikings to a 70-68 sectional semifinal win over West Aurora.

The shot III

With the game tied at 60-60, Kaneland senior guard Drew David canned an 18-footer with 2 seconds left during the Knights' 62-60 regional championship triumph over Marmion.


Dom Adduci, St. Charles East; Tyler Carlson, Kaneland; Alec Goetz, St. Charles North; Johnathan Harrell, Aurora Christian; Chris Parrilli, Geneva; Jontrell Walker, West Aurora.


Jack Callaghan, St. Charles North; Cole Gentry, St. Charles East; Roland Griffin, West Aurora; Jake Ludwig, St. Charles North; R.D. Lutze, Aurora Christian; Nate Navigato, Geneva.


Jack Callaghan, St. Charles North; Jordan Glasgow, Marmion; Tucker Knox, Batavia; Michael Sheehan, Marmion; Pace Temple, Geneva; Mick Vyzral, St. Charles East.

All-Glass cleaners

Jack Callaghan, St. Charles North; Tyler Carlson, Kaneland; Roland Griffin, West Aurora; Nate Navigato, Geneva; A.J. Washington, St. Charles East.

First off the bench

Andy Czerak, Aurora Central Catholic; Jake Clodi, St. Charles East; Ryan Olson, Batavia; Dylan Vaca, Kaneland.

You can reach Craig Brueske at csb4k@hotmail.com

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