Scouting the West Suburban

  • Glenbard West's Bobby Durkin celebrates after a timeout was called during the Hilltoppers' 80-27 win over Glenbard South in their season opener Monday.

    Glenbard West's Bobby Durkin celebrates after a timeout was called during the Hilltoppers' 80-27 win over Glenbard South in their season opener Monday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Braden Huff dunks against Glenbard South in the Hilltoppers' season opener. Huff will play college basketball at Gonzaga.

    Glenbard West's Braden Huff dunks against Glenbard South in the Hilltoppers' season opener. Huff will play college basketball at Gonzaga. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/23/2021 9:28 AM

West Suburban Silver

Downers Grove NorthCoach: Jim Thomas (15th season)

 

Last season's record: 12-2, 5-1 WSS (co-champions)

Top returning player: Ryan Stopka, sr. (F, 6-5)

Top new players: Jacob Bozeman, jr. (G, 6-4); Max Haack, jr (G, 6-0); Ethan Thulin, jr. (G, 6-0); Jack Stanton, so. (G, 6-0); Jake Riemer, so. (F, 6-7); George Wolkow, so. (F, 6-7)

Worth noting: Downers Grove North was the lone team to defeat Glenbard West last season and that netted the team a share of the conference title...But the Trojans return a vastly different looking squad this winter after the graduation of nine seniors who played the majority of the minutes...Stopka saw some minutes as a junior and will be counted on heavily to supply leadership...Bozeman, Haack and Thulin move into major roles at the guard position after being main contributors on the sophomore team...The sophomore trio of Stanton, Reimer and Wolkow are also expected to contribute right away..."We anticipate a learning curve early," Thomas said, "but aim to be in midseason form with everything installed by our holiday tournament.

Glenbard WestCoach: Jason Opoka (third season)

Last season's record: 16-1, 5-1 WSS (co-champions)

Top returning players: Braden Huff, sr. (F/C, 6-11); Caden Pierce, sr. (G/F, 6-6); Paxton Warden, sr. (G, 6-4); Ryan Renfro, sr. (C, 6-8); Andrew Dauksas, sr. (G, 5-8); Jack Cardwell, sr. (G, 6-0), Louis Amabile, sr. (G, 6-0)

Top new players: Bobby Durkin, sr. (G/F, 6-7); Kent Buchholz, jr. (G/F, 6-4)

Worth noting: Coming off a nearly flawless last season and summer, Glenbard West is well-deserving of its top ranking in the state...The Hilltoppers are loaded, led by Gonzaga-recruit Huff, who averaged nearly 18 points and 7 rebounds as a junior...Also back are Pierce (11 ppg, 6 rpg) and Renfroe (8 pgg), headed to Princeton and Army respectively, and three-year starter Warden (10.5 ppg). Adding to the abundance of riches is Durkin (Army), a three-year varsity player at Hinsdale South who transferred in after averaging 17 points a game...Dauksas, Cardwell, Amabile and Buchholz are among others who will contribute on a team whose skill level is matched by their depth...They want to use their length on defense to get out in transition..."This group of seniors has played at a high level throughout their whole careers," Opolka said. "They are unselfish and sacrifice for the good of the team and they truly care about each other."

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Hinsdale CentralCoach: Nick Latorre (twelfth season)

Last season's record: 11-4

Top returning players: Jake Quast, sr. (G, 6-3); Ben Oosterbaan, jr. (G, 6-5); Chase Collignon, jr. (F, 6-5); John Engels, sr. (F, 6-4)

Top new players: Evan Phillips, jr. (G, 6-0); Emerson Eck, jr. (G, 6-3); Billy Cernugal, jr. (F, 6-3)

Worth noting: Hinsdale Central is coming off a successful shortened 2020-21 campaign and returns a very strong group to the court...The Red Devils are led by a pair of guards in Quast (10 ppg and 5 rpg) and Oosterbaan (12 ppg and 6 rpg) who each averaged in double-figures last season...Collignon and Engels are also back and they help form a core that should shoot the ball well while also playing solid defense...With Philllips, Eck and Cernugal entering the mix, which leaves the team with a nice blend of experience and youth, depth should certainly be a strength...Rebounding and sharing the ball will be keys in the rugged West Suburban Silver..."We are extremely happy and feel blessed to have the opportunity to have a full season after the past year or so," Latorre said.

Lyons TownshipCoach: Tom Sloan (fourteenth season)

Last season's record: 11-6

Top returning players: Tavari Johnson, sr. (G, 6-0); Will Carroll, sr. (F, 6-4); Billy Bach, sr. (G/F, 6-4); Owen McManaman , sr. (G/F, sr.); Elliot Russell, sr. (F, 6-4)

Top new players: Nik Polonowski, jr. (G/F, 6-6); Jackson Niego, jr. (G, 6-0); Graham Smith, jr. (F, 6-5)

Worth noting: LT, which has posted an overall record of 55-25 over the past three seasons, has a talented crop of seniors back looking to build on that success... That group is led by Johnson, a West Suburban Silver all-conference performer who is committed to the University of Akron...Carroll, Bach, McManaman and Russell also all contributed as juniors...The incoming junior class, while light on experience is a competitive and unselfish bunch according to Sloan...Team chemistry is already high and depth is a strength; defense and rebounding will be the keys..."This is a very fun group to work with," Sloan said. "They have skill but they also have great chemistry and passion. Practices are competitive, intense and fun and we hope that translates to success in games."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

YorkCoach: Mike Dunn (second season)

Last season's record: 10-7, 3-3 WSS (third)

Top returning players: Nick Hesch, sr. (F, 6-6); Drew Kircher, sr. (G, 6-1); Alex Sherman, jr. (G, 6-0)

Top new players: Adam Hardek, jr. (F, 6-5); Braden Richardson, so. (F, 6-4); A.J. Levine, so. (G, 6-0); Aiden McGovern, sr. (F, 6-5)

Worth noting: A less experienced team than in recent years, York will lean heavily on Hesch and Kircher to lead the way with both seniors entering their third season on the varsity...They each averaged 7 points per game last season while Sherman led the team in 3-pointers as the sixth man...Having to replace three graduated starters, including four-year varsity player Jeffrey Grace, the trio of Hardek, Richardson and Levine should see significant minutes right away along with McGovern...As the Dukes gather valuable experience in the early going, they will rely on their defense "We are excited to have the opportunity to play this season," Dunn said, "and look for consistent improvement throughout the year."

West Suburban Gold

Addison TrailCoach: Brendan Lyons (fifteenth season)

Top returning players: Jacob Daniels, sr. (G, 6-0); Sammy Renc, sr. (G, 6-0); Amarie Stewart, sr. (G, 6-1); Nathan Johnson, sr. (F, 6-6)

Top new players: Matt Sobus, sr. (F, 6-1); Joey Morales, jr. (F, 6-3); Joey Verbena, jr. (G, 6-1); Luke Smith, fr. (G, 5-10); Charles Little Jr., jr. (G, 5-11)

Worth noting: The good news is Addison Trail returns four starters from a season ago, including three-year varsity players Daniels and Renc...The only downside, the Blazers must find a way to replace the production of graduated all-conference performer Robert Roskiewicz, who averaged 15 ppg...Helping to fill that void will be a deeper rotation, which could lead to a more up-tempo style on both ends...Smith is a freshman point guard who could make an immediate impact...With not a lot of size on the roster, rebounding will be a major key..."We return a lot of players who saw significant time during last year's shortened season," Lyons said. "On the offensive end, we will really have to commit to playing an unselfish style of basketball, extending possessions and taking care of the ball."

Downers Grove SouthCoach: Zach Miller (first season)

Last season's record: 5-10

Top returning players: Nate Waterman, sr. (F, 6-8); Harold Dismukes, sr. (G, 5-11); Nick Terry, sr. (F, 6-4)

Top new players: Charles Shaw, sr. (F, 6-3); Ryan Enger, jr. (G, 5-10); Justin Waterman, jr. (G, 6-0); Will Potter, so. (G, 5-10)

Worth noting: Once a standout player at Glenbard East, Miller has replaced Kris Olson on the bench for Downers Grove South after being an assistant there...With his dad and former Rams head coach Scott helping out, he takes over a Mustangs team that lost just four players to graduation and returns eight seniors to the court...Leading the way is Nate Waterman, a three-year varsity player and one of many on the roster with good size...Point guard Dismukes also brings valuable experience, having been on varsity since midway through his sophomore year...Using their length and athleticism, the plan is to get out and defend and pressure teams, with their defense leading to easy offense..."We've got some good pieces," Miller said. "Based on our record the last couple of years, nobody is expecting much from us this year. That's one of things we keep going back to and that is motivating us, exceeding those expectations."

Hinsdale SouthCoach: Ashraf Amaya (first season)

Top returning players: Garrett Bolte, sr. (F, 6-7); Deon Bomar, sr. (G, 6-0); Lucas Duffy, sr. (G, 5-11)

Top new players: Elijah Fields, jr. (G, 5-11); Brendan Savage, so. (G/F, 6-0)

Worth noting: Hinsdale South has undergone some big changes since last season, first and foremost Amaya taking over the reins of the program from Brett Moore....While he inherits a program that had won the conference title three of the last four years prior to the shortened 2020-21 season, he has a team that doesn't return three-year varsity starter Bobby Durkin, who is now at Glenbard West...But that doesn't mean the Hornets don't have high expectations despite the return of just four players...Bolte, Bomar and Duffy all are back while Fields has transferred in from St. Rita. The roster features eight juniors while Savage should be an immediate contributor in his sophomore campaign.

MortonCoach: Tony Martinucci (22nd season)

Last season's record: 5-2

Top returning players: Eliseo Gonzalez, sr. (G, 5-10); Dakari Durham, jr. (F, 6-6); Victor Garrett, jr. (F, 6-7); Adrian Anderson, jr. (G, 5-10); Armani Flowers, sr. (F, 6-2); Aaron Miromontes, jr. (C, 6-4)

Top new player: Jamari Ball, jr. (F, 6-3)

Worth noting: Morton returns seven players who received valuable minutes last season, led by Gonzalez, a three-year varsity player...The Mustangs did lose standout point guard Jesus Perez to graduation; Anderson though is back and looks to help fill those shoes while the quartet of Durham, Garrett, Flowers and Miromentes give the Mustangs size and athleticism upfront...This is not only a competitive group but also a very tall one, with four players 6-3 and taller coming off the bench as well...The team has a nice mix of senior leaders and underclassmen looking to step in and fill roles with the goal of competing for a West Suburban Gold conference championship.

WillowbrookCoach: Chris Perkins (10th season)

Last season's record: 3-10

Top returning players: Marquel Saleek, sr. (G, 6-0); Noah Campbell, jr. (G, 5-9); Terrel Walker, sr. (G/F, 6-4); Evan Stubblefield, sr. (G/F, 6-0)

Top new player: Joey Tumilty, jr. (G, 5-7)

Worth noting: Optimism is high for an improved season from Willowbrook, which returns its top three scorers from last season in Saleek, Campbell and Walker...Tumilty is the third in his family to come through the program in recent years, following Scott and Sam, and should play a major role while Stubblefield in the younger brother of former Warriors' standout Everett...This group is one of the more balanced and deeper teams during Perkins' tenure, with the coach saying as many as 10 may contribute on a nightly basis...With that, the leading scorer could change on a game-by-game basis..."From what I saw in the summer and fall," Perkins said, "we should be able to make a lot of noise with this group and surprise some people. We are flying under the radar which is cool."

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