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. 28 St. Viator today and will add one program a day going forward.
28. ST. VIATOR: 206-90
Decade’s biggest storyline: The biggest storyline of the decade was the level of success St. Viator achieved over the past 10 seasons. Overall, the basketball program took a significant step forward under coach Mike Howland and Quin Hayes in terms of success and the talent pool expanding.
The decade was by far the most successful run in program history with seven regional championships and six 20-win seasons. By comparison, St. Viator had just three regional titles and three 20-win seasons in program history prior to the start of the decade.
Underrated highlight: There was a ton of winning throughout the decade but the Cinderella run from an under-.500 team in 2016-17 stands out as an underrated highlight.
St. Viator entered postseason play with just an 11-16 record but won regional and sectional championships. The sectional title was just the second in school history. The dramatic 76-74 sectional title game victory over North Chicago came in overtime and included 28 lead changes. St. Viator lost to Fenwick in the super-sectional.
Player of the Decade: Ore Arogundade (2014)
All-Decade Team: Kevin Walsh (2012), Ore Arogundade (2014), Jeremiah Hernandez (2019), Treyvon Calvin (2019) and Connor Kochera (2020)
Other decade highlights:
-Ore Arogundade certainly left his mark on St. Viator basketball. The 6-2 guard went on to play at Drake after leaving as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
-There have been four conference titles in the history of the program and two came this past decade with unbeaten East Suburban Catholic Conference championships in 2011-12 and 2017-18.
-The 2018-19 team advanced to a sectional championship game, where it fell to DePaul Prep, en route to winning a school record 26 games.
-The past season 22-win St. Viator was still playing when the pandemic ended it all. The Lions won a 53-52 overtime thriller over conference rival St. Patrick in the sectional semifinal and was set to play top-seed Notre Dame in the sectional championship game.
-St. Viator produced 10 different college basketball players throughout the decade, including five Division I players.
-Mike Howland, a St. Viator grad who coached the Lions for three seasons and won three regional titles while compiling a 69-19 record, left for college coaching in 2014. He spent a year at Missouri State, four seasons at Winthrop and is now in his second season as an assistant coach at William & Mary.
-Quin Hayes, who led St. Viator to a 123-58 record in his six seasons, left this past year to take over the Glenbrook North basketball program.
-Michael O’Keefe, a 2007 St. Viator graduate who was the head coach at Wheeling the past five years, takes over the St. Viator program heading into the new decade.