The Sun-Times is counting down the 50 high school basketball programs with the most wins during the decade.
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. 35 Naperville North today and will add one program a day going forward.
35. NAPERVILLE NORTH 194-93
Decade’s biggest storyline: The memorable 2016-2017 grabbed headlines. As a No. 4 sectional seed, North went on a run that included a sectional title and a trip to the DeKalb Super where it lost to Bolingbrook. It was the first sectional title for the Huskies in 19 years and just the third in program history.
The highlight of the run was an upset over top sectional seed Wheaton-Warrenville South that left fans and the basketball world talking and dissecting. Coach Jeff Powers’ team deliberately fouled throughout the game, sending Wheaton South to the line rather than letting them shoot three-pointers. Wheaton South finished 21 of 36 from the line as Naperville North committed 32 fouls in the game.
Underrated highlight: Over the course of the decade, the program’s involvement with the Hoops for Healing Thanksgiving Tournament, along with Oswego, continued to build, progress and raise money for such a worthy cause.
The original purpose and goal of the tournament was to raise awareness for cancer research. Now the the funds that are raised go to support Camp Hope at Edward Cancer Center in Naperville, a unique support program for kids who have a parent or grandparent undergoing cancer treatment.
To date, Hoops for Healing has raised over $375,000 for cancer.
Player of the Decade: Tom Welch (2019)
All-Decade Team: Matt LaCosse (2011), Mitch Lewis (2017), Chris Johnson (2018), Jack Hill (2018) and Tom Welch (2019)
Other decade news and highlights:
–The Huskies won four DuPage Valley Conference championships in the decade, including 2011-12, 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The 2017-18 team went 26-3, won the DVC, earned the No. 1 sectional seed and claimed a regional championship before being upset in the sectional semifinal.
-Another highlight came when the Huskies stunned the No. 2 team in the state, Evanston, in the 2017 When Sides Collide Shootout.