1. Oak Forest shows heart. The Bengals responded from their loss to Reavis with a convincing 58-34 win Friday over Shepard. The Bengals have won five of their first seven. In Tom Shute, Kyle Flanagan, Jason Roland and David Gray, Oak Forest has four players capable of filling the basket. Is it enough to snap Hillcrest’s 25-year conference winning streak? Time will tell.
2. Don’t count out Crete-Monee. Bloom may be the favorite in the Southland Conference, but don’t hand the Blazing Trojans the trophy just yet. Crete-Monee won five of its first seven, including a 71-64 win Sunday over Clemente. The Warriors were expected to endure some growing pains with pretty much a new starting lineup. But Brandon Johnson, Bobby Parker and Tyler Williams look to have Crete-Monee in position to compete for conference supremacy.
3. Thornridge is struggling. Once one of the most respected and feared programs in the Southland, the Wildcats are now a shadow of their former selves. This is a program that developed the likes of the late Kevin Duckworth and Townsend Orr. A 58-48 loss to Brooks on Sunday, which included 20 turnovers, dropped T-ridge to 1-8. Consider from 1984 to 2006 under Mike Flaherty, the Falcons finished below .500 once, back in 1995. My how the mighty have fallen.