Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Jan. 16, 2022

Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Jan. 16, 2022

Simeon’s Jalen Griffith (2) controls the ball against Kenwood’s Edwon Duling (21). | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

The No. 1 spot was a tough decision this week and four new teams join the rankings.

It was an interesting week in the Super 25. I had a tough decision to make in the top spot. Glenbard West is obviously a strong No. 1. The Hilltoppers are undefeated and have been dominating ranked teams.

They smashed Larkin by 21 this week and dominated Rolling Meadows by 18 and Lyons by 32 over the holidays. The only close games Glenbard West has had all season were against Hillcrest and and Glenbrook South.

But Simeon’s performances in the Pontiac title game against Curie and at Kenwood on Tuesday were eye-openers. Glenbard West has only played one team in that elite class, Glenbrook South, and the Hilltoppers just squeaked by at a neutral site.

So at this point in the season it fair to say we have a 1A and a 1B.

Simeon’s players aren’t too concerned about the rankings.

“I don’t really care who is No. 1,” Wolverines senior Jaylen Drane said. “We like being the underdogs.”

Simeon guard Aviyon Morris is reserving judgement.

“We still have a lot to prove and a lot of work to do,” Morris said. “Check back with me when the city playoffs start.”

The When Sides Collide Shootout at Benet on Saturday could clear some things up. Glenbard West faces Young and Simeon plays Glenbrook South. Those should be highly competitive games that tell us a lot about all four teams.

St. Ignatius, Thornton, Yorkville Christian and Lemont all joined the rankings this week.

The Wolfpack is on a roll after a rough start, knocking off Bolingbrook, Mount Carmel and DePaul Prep recently.

Thornton has Illinois recruit Ty Rodgers healthy again and beat Homewood-Flossmoor.

Yorkville Christian is barely over .500 but almost knocked off Glenbrook South in Glenview on Saturday. The Mustangs have played a very challenging schedule. They’ve beaten Orr and Hyde Park while losing to Glenbard West, Oswego East and Burlington Central.

Lemont is a young, talented team that has ripped off five consecutive wins, including a nice victory against Lake Forest on Saturday. Sophomore Nojus Indrusaitis is one of the state’s top talents.

A group of talented teams drops out this week: Homewood-Flossmoor, Lake Forest, Orr and DePaul Prep. All will likely be back in the Super 25 sometime over the course of the season.

It’s fairly clear that the top six teams are a level above everyone else. The rankings are a bit muddy after that and changing significantly each week.

But there are an awful lot of teams I’m considering for the rankings every week. A solid group of 20 teams is competing for the final ten spots. That’s a healthier amount than in most seasons at this point, which should keep the season surprising and exciting.

New Trier’s gauntlet

New Trier took Simeon to the limit at Pontiac. The Trevians led most of the game before losing 69-66 in overtime. It was an impressive performance slightly marred by a collapse late in the game.

That’s left me a bit puzzled about where to slot New Trier, which was dominated by Glenbrook South at home back in early December.

It’s possible the Trevians are the seventh elite team in the area, but right now they lack a win to actually prove it.

New Trier will have a chance to prove it over the next two weeks. The Trevians next five games are against Bolingbrook, Benet, Yorkville Christian, Glenbrook South and Rolling Meadows.

Super 25 for Jan. 16, 2022

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Glenbard West (18-0) 1

Faces Young Saturday

2. Simeon (14-1) 3

Beat Kenwood

3. Kenwood (13-4) 2

Hosts Hyde Park Thursday

4. Glenbrook South (16-1) 4

Nick Martinelli is on fire

5. Curie (17-2) 5

Fell short vs. Kenwood

6. Young (11-6) 6

Big test vs. Glenbard West

7. Hillcrest (16-2) 12

Hosts Leo Tuesday

8. New Trier (16-2) 10

Very challenging week ahead

9. Hyde Park (12-4) 9

Lost to Simeon

10. Mount Carmel (17-1) 7

Winning streak is over

11. Wheaton Warrenville South (18-1) 11

No local losses

12. Rolling Meadows (18-2) 15

Beat Evanston, Prospect

13. Brother Rice (16-2) 13

Hosts Marist Tuesday

14. Leo (11-2) 14

Will be tested by Hillcrest

15. Larkin (18-2) 8

Couldn’t handle Glenbard West

16. Oswego East (20-1) 18

Beat Joliet West, Bolingbrook

17. Proviso East (13-3) 17

Three-win week

18. St. Ignatius (11-7) NR

Back on track

19. Thornton (10-4) NR

Ty Rodgers is healthy

20. Lyons (15-3) 20

Survived DeKalb

21. Burlington Central (17-2) 22

Faces Lyons on Monday

22. Yorkville Christian (11-10) NR

Impressing with rugged schedule

23. Riverside-Brookfield (12-2) 23

Handled Timothy Christian

24. Bloom (12-3) 24

Hosts H-F Saturday

25. Lemont (14-4) NR

Knocked off Lake Forest

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