Michael O’Brien’s high school basketball notebookon February 26, 2021 at 4:31 am

Here’s what Simeon coach Robert Smith had to say about the atmosphere at tonight’s game against Curie: “It’s just kind of weird. I know CPS is trying its best but these kids need some people in the gym with them. I mean, even if it’s just two people per kid on the home team. At least somebody in the gym so it could feel like a basketball game. This feels more like open gym.”

Smith is completely right, it was very strange. But I was so happy to have high-level Public League basketball played in front of me that I didn’t even realize until I was home. The game was absolutely fantastic. And other than me and maybe three or four Curie school employees, no one saw it at all.

I have a ton to say about Curie. Mike Oliver has done it again. This team is excellent and underrated. It’s going to have to be fully addressed on the next No Shot Clock. You can listen to this week’s right here…

Thursday’s top games

No. 11 Fenwick 73, St. Ignatius 61 OT: Another overtime game for the Friars. This time it was some heroics from Bryce Hopkins that sent the game to the extra period. Hopkins had a full court drive and layup at the buzzer. He finished with 31 points and Den Juette added 13. Richard Barron led the Wolfpack with 16. Another tough one for Fenwick tomorrow night, they are at Brother Rice.

No. 7 Hillcrest 71, Oak Forest 61: The Hawks pick up a big road win. Julius Rollins earned rave reviews and scored 26. Hamahrie Bowers had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Robbie Avila led the Spartans with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

King 69, Dunbar 39: The Jaguars improve to 2-0 behind nice games from Farron Jones (18 points) and David Abdullah (13 points, six assists).

No. 3 Young 66, No. 14 Homewood-Flossmoor 42: Check out that score. The Dolphins crushed the most-hyped team in the south suburbs.

Corliss 62, Bogan 56: The first interesting score of the Public League conference season. The Trojans are 3-0 and have been a consistent threat since Harvey Jones took over. Senior Jeffery Oakley had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Freddie Cooper added 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Hyde Park 69, Phillips 61: Lightning quick junior Davontae Hall had a game-high 16 points and five assists. Sophomore Cam Williford scored 15 and was 4 for 6 from three.

Shepard 49, Eisenhower 47: Cole Hermanson scored 23 and Myles Palmer had 16 to get the Astros a tight win.

Rich 68, Thornridge 24: Lopsided win for the Raptors. Antonio McCanns had 16 and Donovan Johnson added 14.

Fenger 57, South Shore 25: I hope you didn’t forget about Fenger. Remember that supersectional run last season? Lonell Strickland had 15 points and 11 rebounds. KeJuan Currie also scored 15 and Isaiah Hall added nine points and five assists.

No. 20 Kenwood 91, Morgan Park 68: JJ Taylor scored 37 and grabbed eight rebounds. What a start to the season for the sophomore.

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