The Public League’s final 2016-17 basketball rankings

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Whitney Young junior guard Justin Boyd celebrates one of his five 3-pointers in the Class 4A state championship game.

The year-end rankings include teams’ final records and their preseason rankings. You can find the complete final standings here.

1. Whitney Young (27-7) 5

The Dolphins defeated Simeon in overtime to win the Class 4A state championship.

2. Simeon (30-4) 2

The Wolverines finished second in Class 4A. They edged Morgan Park 68-64 in the city championship game.

3. Morgan Park (26-6) 3

The Mustangs won the Class 3A state championship.

4. Orr (23-5) 8

The Spartans won the Class 2A state championship.

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The Public League’s basketball rankings (March 6, 2017)

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Collins guard Kamal Hill, who hit a buzzer-beater in the Class 2A Collins Sectional final.

1. Simeon (26-3) 1

The No. 1-seeded Wolverines beat Marian Catholic 56-43 to win the Class 4A Eisenhower Regional title. They will play No. 5 Marist on Tuesday night in the Thornwood Sectional semifinals.

2. Morgan Park (21-6) 2

The No. 1-seeded Mustangs defeated Butler Prep 81-64 to claim the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional championship. They will face No. 4 Brooks on Tuesday evening in the Class 3A St. Rita Sectional semifinals.

3. Curie (25-3) 3

The No. 1-seeded Condors blew out Proviso East to win the Class 4A Curie Regional championship. They will face No. 4 Oak Park-River Forest on Tuesday evening in the Class 4A Proviso East Sectional semifinals.

4. Whitney Young (22-7) 4

The Dolphins, the No. 2 seed in the Proviso East Sectional, beat Lincoln Park to win the Class 4A Whitney Young Regional title. They will play No. 3 Kenwood in the sectional semifinals on Wednesday night.

5. Orr (20-5) 5

The Spartans beat a talented DePaul Prep squad 64-54 to win the Class 2A Guerin Sectional. They will play Collins in the Joliet Central Supersectional on Tuesday evening. The winner advances to state.

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‘This is an incredible group’: Alcott, the Blue-North champions, has thrived despite facing obstacles

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Alcott coach Steve Johnson address his team during a recent practice.

By: Eric Van Dril | March 1, 2017

Basketball programs across the Chicago Public League often have to do more with less, but there is arguably no team that has done so better in the city this season than Alcott.

Let’s start with what Alcott doesn’t have.

The Wildcats don’t have depth. Their roster only had nine players for much of this season, but freshman guard Teryn Morrison moved to Nebraska the day after Alcott lost 71-70 to Westinghouse last month.

The Wildcats, who are 16-4 entering tonight’s state playoff game, now have just eight players.

They also don’t have a home gym that’s regulation size. Coach Steve Johnson’s squad practices on a small court located on the third floor of Alcott, which is in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. The court doesn’t have a three-point line. Its baskets are very close to the wall, making it difficult to do lay-ups at full speed.

The Wildcats also don’t have true home games.

They’ve had to go on the road constantly. They’ve only played two home games. Both were across the street from Alcott — at Hamlin Park — and they both took place in December.

“Everything’s against us,” senior captain Ramon Spires said. “We have a little gym. When the season was starting, we had (to share it with) the girls basketball team and volleyball. We couldn’t even get the gym as much as we wanted to. All the odds are against us, but we (overcame) the odds. We want to be the underdogs. People see us and think, ‘Oh, it’s Alcott? It’s an easy win.’ But … that’s not the case.”

That has been true all season long.

Alcott won all seven of its conference games, and then rolled through the Blue-North tournament. It won its 11 conference games by an average of 24.1 points, according to MaxPreps.

The Wildcats did so with a recipe that includes: extreme athleticism, a press defense that overwhelms many teams and excellent guard play.

Alcott is guard-dominant. Spires, junior Terrance Craft, senior Naz Davis and sophomore Khaleb Rouse can all knock down jumpers and get to the basket. They have been integral to the team’s success as interchangeable guards who can both score and defend effectively.

That’s not all.

“This is an incredible group,” Davis said. “We have a lot of chemistry. This is a small school (with an enrollment of approximately 300 students). We all know each other. We’re around each other more than we’re around our families. Playing with this group, it’s like my family. I think that the chemistry definitely has a strong affect on our success.”

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By | March 1st, 2017|Alcott, Basketball|