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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Ahead of schedule: How Foreman won its 1st regional since 2010

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Foreman sophomore Ramonte Walker plays defense during a recent practice.

By: Eric Van Dril | March 8, 2017

The plaque commemorating the Foreman basketball program’s 2010 regional title is hard to miss when you enter the school from its parking lot.

The plaque sits in the trophy case next to the security desk where visitors check in. It’s on the top shelf — near eye level for many.

Each day this winter, Foreman basketball coach Brian Rose has walked by the regional plaque. Until last week, it was the program’s only regional title, according to ihsa.org. It served as a reminder of what the young Hornets — a team with just one senior (athletic center Greg Kester) and one junior — were building toward.

Foreman proved to be ahead of schedule, however.

The Hornets won the Class 3A Ridgewood Regional championship last Friday night with a 42-29 upset of No. 2 Ridgewood. The senior-laden Rebels won a sectional title in 2016 with many of the same players No. 11 Foreman played against last week.

“Coach Rose said he thought we were going to win a regional title,” sophomore point guard Ramonte Walker said, “but he thought it was going to be when we were seniors or something (like that). To accomplish this, with how young we are, is really satisfying.”

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By | March 8th, 2017|Basketball, Foreman|

Catalyst-Maria benefits from playing difficult schedule; Foreman fights through growing pains

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Catalyst-Maria’s Jonathan Brundidge lays the ball up against Foreman.

Note: This story, which is over 675 words and includes sections on both Catalyst-Maria and Foreman, was free until 2 p.m. It is now available via a one-time payment of 47 cents or a subscription to The Public League. Each article/subscription purchased helps ensure that Chicago Public League football and boys basketball receive this type of coverage beyond the 2016-2017 academic year.

By: Eric Van Dril   |   Jan. 4, 2017

At the moment, Catalyst-Maria has played seven games against teams from either the Blue, White or Red conferences.

Each time, the Wolves have gotten excited to take on a team from a higher conference. The Green South-Central squad is eager to prove itself, to improve and to further make a name for the small charter school from the South Side.

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“It gives us more of a hype and confidence to play against higher competition,” forward Jonathan Brundidge said. “It makes us better, so we can beat the people in our conference.”

One of Catalyst-Maria’s biggest goals, at this point in the season, is to win the Green South-Central and move up to the Blue conference next season.

The Wolves, who are 2-0 in their conference, improved to 12-7 overall with a 16-point win over Foreman (from the White-North) and a 15-point win over Fenger (Blue-South) on the final two days of the Prosser Holiday Tournament.

Catalyst-Maria was extremely impressive when it beat Foreman 84-68 on Jan. 3. Its defense swarmed the Hornets throughout the game, forcing turnovers and tough shots that often led to fast-break opportunities. The Wolves also generated excellent looks on offense, including: lay-ups, open 3-pointers and second chances via offensive rebounds.

Brundidge finished with a career-high 35 points against Foreman. The 6-foot-4 junior also had 12 rebounds and five steals.

“I used to be on the bench,” Brundidge said, “but I had to work my way up and just do what my coach has been telling me — and keep it up.”

Brundidge added that the experience of playing teams like Foreman, Prosser and other squads from the higher conferences has been beneficial for Catalyst-Maria.

Lynell Ingram, the team’s head coach, agreed.

“We look forward to it because our school is just kind of rebuilding, so we’re trying to kind of get that image up,” Ingram said. “We get excited about every game, but especially if it’s a team from a higher conference. It lets us know where we are as a program, as we move forward.”

Brundidge scored 35 points against Foreman, but he’s by no means a one-man show.

Senior guard Aaron Washington, junior guard Isiah Gaston, freshman Darrin Johnson and senior Tyriss Bogan all played effectively against the Hornets. The Wolves played well together on both ends of the court, and dictated the tempo.

Together, they will try to achieve Catalyst-Maria’s goal of winning its conference and continuing to get the school’s name out there.

“We’re an up-and-coming (athletic) program — in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, soccer,” Ingram said. “We’re here to stay.”

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FOREMAN

The Hornets are very young this season. Their rotation includes one senior, one junior, four sophomores and one freshman.

At the moment, Foreman is experiencing the types of growing pains that one might expect from a squad with that type of youth. That was evident in Catalyst-Maria’s 84-68 win over Foreman on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The Hornets (6-9, 0-3 White-North) were able to generate enough offense to win, but things like their defense, rebounding and hitting free-throws were issues at times.

“We’re such a young program,” first-year coach Brian Rose said. “It’s consistency (at this point). It’s getting here an hour before the game, understanding other teams are going to go on a run. You can’t put your head down every time something doesn’t go your way. When we are good, we’re good. You saw it. There are some runs we make. But as soon as things start going down (hill), we put our heads down. … We’re young. I think we just have to learn (to deal with) that.”

Senior Greg Kester continued to fight and fight against Catalyst-Maria.

The 6-foot-6 forward never seemed to hang his head. He attacked the Wolves continuously en route to 24 points.

The hope, moving forward, is that the entire Foreman squad develops a similar mentality and applies it to all aspects of the game. That will help the Hornets avoid the lulls that helped Catalyst-Maria beat them double-digits on Jan. 3.

“I know we’re getting better, it’s just that consistency,” Rose said. “I’m still waiting for that moment where it clicks for four quarters — not just two and a half or three.”

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By | January 5th, 2017|Basketball, Catalyst-Maria, Foreman|