Jack Tosh Holiday Classic
Or: York High School
Favorite: Glenbard West is the state’s No. 1 ranked undefeated team. The Hilltoppers have size, experience, chemistry and one of the biggest differentiators in the sport right now with 6-11 Braden Huff. What they did defensively with their size and length in their 1-3-1 made it difficult for their opponents. The lack of depth during a five-day tournament is one to watch out for.
Top contenders: There are a handful of legitimate contenders, starting with an undefeated Bolingbrook side and a pair of star-led teams in Lake Forest and Rolling Meadows. This Bolingbrook team doesn’t have the big names, but the Raiders already have big wins against Marian Catholic and Thornton. Asa Thomas of Lake Forest and Cameron Christie of Rolling Meadows are the two top junior prospects in the state and have very strong supporting castings.
Sleepers: Despite the slow start, don’t forget St. Ignatius with seniors Kolby Gilles and AJ Redd and junior Richard Barron. With a powerful and balanced attack starring Joevonn McCottry, JP Hanley, Joe Gilhooley, Brady Vaia and Will Gonzalez, Riverside-Brookfield only lost to the highly ranked Curie by just two points.
Tournament scenario: This is a one-of-a-kind tournament with 32 teams, so it’s a different type of holiday tournament that plays five games in five days. Also, for the fans there are two games happening at the same time but in different gyms, so there is always something to watch.
But a team that can topple Glenbard West while leading a five-game winning streak through January will feel awfully good and be a major confidence factor.
The top five players to watch: Braden Huff, Glenbard West; Asa Thomas, Lake Forest; Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows; Nojus Indrusaitis, Lemont; Tavari Johnson, Lyon.
First round, December 27
Hinsdale South vs. Lake Forest, 8:30 a.m.
Tinley Park vs. Palatine, 10 a.m.
Timothy Christian vs. Lemont, 11:30 a.m.
Saint-Laurent vs. Rolling Meadows, 1
Stagg vs. Batavia, 3
Naperville North vs. Leo, 4:30
Minooka vs. Saint-Patrick, 6
Downers Grove South vs. Glenbard West, 7:30 a.m.
Wheaton North vs. Lyon, 9 a.m.
Conant vs. Saint Ignatius, 10:30 a.m.
Highland Park vs. Nazareth, noon
Sandburg vs. Riverside-Brookfield, 1:30
Schaumburg vs. Saint-François, 3:30
Providence v Bolingbrook, 5
Montini vs. Andrew, 6:30
Solorio vs. York, 8
Second round, December 28
Quarter-finals, December 29
Semi-finals, December 30
Championship, December 31