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.
Earlier this year we broke down the decade’s best teams and best players. Now, with every season of the past decade complete, it’s time to look at the Chicago area programs who won the most.
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. 49 today and will add one program a day going forward.
49. LAKE PARK: 181-117
Decade’s biggest storyline: The deepest postseason run in program history included the first and only sectional championship in 2015. The Lancers, who won 25 games and a DuPage Valley Conference title, beat Palatine and St. Viator in the sectional before falling to Geneva in double overtime in the super-sectional.
Underrated decade highlight: The program won holiday tournaments at Wheeling and Pekin, along with five regional titles and a sectional championship without producing a single scholarship player at the Division II or Division I level.
Player of the Decade: Dominique Spencer (2012)
All-Decade Team: Dominique Spencer (2012), Garrett Fant (2017), Marcus McDaniel (2015), Luke Sgarbossa (2020) and Trevor Montiel (2020)
Other decade news and highlights:
–The Lancers played the role of Cinderella well throughout the decade. In three of the five regional championships, the Lancers beat higher-seeded teams in the regional final: No. 7 Lake Park over No. 2 Benet in 2019; No. 11 Lake Park over Prospect in 2017; and No. 5 Lake Park over No. 4 York in 2012.
-The decade produced two of the top five scorers in school history as Dominique Spencer is third all-time with 1,096 points and Luke Sgarbossa is fifth with 1,053 points.
-The decade included a change at the top as Billy Pitcher, who had a successful run at Lake Zurich, took over as coach at Lake Park in 2018. He replaced Josh Virostko, who resigned following the 2017-18 season and after leading the Lancers to their first sectional title in 2015.
Winningest Chicago area high school basketball programs over the past decade:
49. Lake Park
48. Revealed tomorrow