When high school basketball fans think back to the 1980s, programs like Quincy, Providence St. Mel, East St. Louis Lincoln and the arrival of city powers King and Simeon are easy to think back on.
The 1990s brought us memorable basketball giants in Peoria Manual and Thornton, a few steamrolling Proviso East teams and the continued dominance of King.
The first 10 years of the 2000s included Glenbrook North, Peoria High and the beginning of a Simeon juggernaut.
Now, with the calendar inching closer to wrapping up an unforgettable 2020, the end of this month closes out another decade. And it’s another high school basketball time period to look back on.
This list is comprised of the 50 winningest programs over the past 10 years, starting with the 2010-11 season and concluding with the 2019-20 season. Every team in every class throughout the Chicago area will be broken down in a variety of ways. But total wins, with winning percentage used as tie-breaker, determined the rankings.
We present No. 47, a tie between St. Patrick and St. Charles East, today and will add one program a day going forward.
47. ST. CHARLES EAST: 182-109
Decade’s biggest storyline: The 2015-16 Saints were seeded fifth in their sub-sectional but beat Streamwood and then upset third-seeded Geneva and second-seeded Batavia to win the regional. The Cinderella run included pounding top-seeded Prairie Ridge in the sectional semifinal before finally losing to Rockford Auburn in the sectional championship.
Underrated decade highlight: Justin Hardy’s shot. You say those three words around St. Charles basketball fans over the past decade and they instantly know what they mean. But a whole lot of people outside of St. Charles do as well, thanks to Hardy’s 2018 dramatic buzzer-beater over rival St. Charles North reaching over a million hits on YouTube and Twitter while being highlighted by USA Today.
St. Charles North had possession of the basketball with 3.3 seconds remaining in a tie game. But in a wild three-plus seconds, a loose ball somehow ended up in Hardy’s hands who promptly turned and buried a three before the horn for a 53-50 win.
Oh, and this: Hardy hit two other buzzer-beaters the previous two years to beat rival St. Charles North.
Player of the Decade: Kendall Stephens (2013)
All-Decade Team: Kendall Stephens (2013), Dom Adduci (2014), AJ Washington (2014), Cole Gentry (2015) and Justin Hardy (2018)
Other decade news and highlights:
–The 2014-15 team won the second most games in school history with 24 wins while sharing the Upstate Eight River title with Geneva. Then last year’s team, with just one returning starter, matched that win total and grabbed a share of the DuKane Conference title.
-The Saints have won 18-plus games each season since 2013.
-Another memorable moment came in 2013 when Dom Aducci hit a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer to beat Glenbard East at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.
-Both Aducci and Hardy were 1,000-plus point career scorers during the decade.