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2021-22 basketball season preview and state football semifinal recaps

High School Sports Weekly
Thank you for subscribing to the High School Sports Weekly newsletter! Here’s the latest from our staff as football title games await and the basketball season tips off.
Good morning,
Joe Henricksen counted up the days. It’s been 620 days since that Simeon-Young sectional semifinal game at Lyons. It was the last real high school basketball game for both of us. 
I remember how the news of the NBA suspending the season whipped through the gym. Then it was Tom Hanks announcing he had COVID just as I headed down to do postgame interviews.
What a ride it has been for all of us since that day. We’ve lost so many members of the high school basketball community during the past two years that it is hard to process it all. 
I drove past Bogan on the way home from St. Rita on Saturday. It was the first time I’d seen the school since Arthur Goodwin died. It’s unthinkable to spend a season without Goodie. He and so many others will be terribly missed. This season is for all of them. They would be so thrilled with the return of the sport they loved and dedicated their lives to. 
Enjoy the week. And no complaining about sloppy Thanksgiving basketball! Or at least try to limit it.
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Basketball season preview
It’s almost here. The first real, complete basketball season in two years tips off today. There’s a full slate of Thanksgiving tournaments and holiday tournaments planned.
We’ll have conference showdowns and weekend shootouts again. Most importantly, the crowds will be back. Masks are currently still required, but that’s a small price to pay to get high school basketball back. Here’s the schedule of matchups for this week.
There’s a lot of season preview content for basketball fans to pour over. Above, you’ll see the story for my first Super 25 rankings of the season. There’s a ton more. Check out the rest below.
15 reasons to be excited about this season
Latest on the football playoffs
On the drive home from St. Rita last night I was assuming Joliet Catholic would ascend to the top spot in this week’s Super 25. Then this morning I was leaning towards Maine South, which beat Marist to earn a championship game spot.
My rankings philosophy values quality wins over everything else. The Hawks have the best resume of wins. Maine South has won at Warren, at Glenbrook South, at Neuqua Valley and at Marist. The problem is the Hawks also lost at Palatine.
Lockport’s only loss was at home against Lincoln-Way East. But starting quarterback Hayden Timosciek didn’t play. The Porters have several quality wins, although they aren’t as impressive as Maine South’s list. Lockport has won at Bolingbrook, vs. Glenbard West, at Glenbard North and at Loyola.
That brings us to Joliet Catholic, which is the only undefeated team in the bunch. The Hilltoppers also have the weakest resume. They won against Crete-Monee, at Brother Rice and at Cardinal Ritter.
Frankly, Wheaton North’s resume is currently stronger than Joliet Catholic’s. The Falcons won at Glenbard North, at Wheaton Warrenville South, at Willowbrook and vs. Brother Rice. Their only loss was at Batavia in overtime. That’s the best loss of any team being considered.
A case can also be made for unbeaten Cary-Grove. But I’m sticking with my philosophy and picking the team with the strongest overall resume. That’s Maine South.
Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school football rankings for Week 14
More high school sports news
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