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By: Eric Van Dril   |   Jan. 30, 2017

Curie’s Elijah Joiner vs. East St. Louis. Photo by Quinn Harris.

Standings   |    This week’s schedule

1. Curie (20-2) 3

The Condors continue to show that their two losses at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament were an aberration. They are the favorites, entering the city playoffs.

2. Simeon (19-2) 1

The Wolverines nearly rallied to beat Morgan Park last week, but a slow start and a rebounding deficit did them in. After the game, Simeon coach Robert Smith stressed the need for his team to play smarter.

3. Whitney Young (16-5) 2

The Dolphins rebounded very well from a 13-point loss to North Lawndale. They beat Marshall by 10 at home to move one victory away from winning the Red-West. The next day, Whitney Young beat highly-regarded Chaminade (MO) in St. Louis.

4. Morgan Park (15-3) 4

The Mustangs needed a signature win over a top-flight team and they got it against Simeon. Morgan Park will be very difficult to beat if it can win the battle of the boards decisively and if its shooting guards hit 3-pointers. Both things happened against the Wolverines.

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5. Uplift (19-4) 5

Everybody knows the Jacobs brothers, but the Titans’ supporting cast has been impressive all season long. Last week, sophomore guard Deion Jackson (13 points, 11 rebounds) stepped up in his team’s 11-point win over Taft.

6. North Lawndale (18-5) 7

The Phoenix, like Morgan Park, got a signature win over a top opponent last week when they beat Whitney Young on the road. Their deep roster played an important role in that game. North Lawndale followed its win over the Dolphins with a 79-72 victory over Farragut and a 19-point victory over highly-regarded Northeast (IA).

Senior guard Steven Ross scored at least 17 points in all three contests. He hit seven 3-pointers on Saturday.

7. Orr (13-4) 6

First-place Whitney Young owns the tiebreaker over Orr in the Red-West, but there is still a scenario in which the Spartans can win the conference. They need to beat North Lawndale at home on Wednesday and need Westinghouse to upset Whitney Young.

8. Bogan (15-6) 8

Looking for a darkhorse that could make a deep run in the city playoffs? The Bengals are an excellent candidate, but their road looks like it will be a difficult one. Bogan will play the winner of Kenwood-Collins in the second round of the playoffs, and could meet the Red-West champion in the third round.

9. Kenwood (15-6) 9

No team wants to lose to one of its rivals, but the way the Broncos fought on the road against Curie was encouraging.

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10. Hyde Park (13-7) 10

The Thunderbirds wrapped up conference play with a double-digit loss to Curie and a five-point win over Dunbar. They host Urban Prep-Englewood on Tuesday.

11. Brooks (13-9) 11

For the second time this season, the Eagles edged Vocational in a battle of unheralded Red-South squads. Brooks won 55-53 on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

12. Vocational (10-10) 12

The number of transfers in the Chicago Public League is often criticized, but Yah Bentzedek’s story is a positive example of why it can be necessary.

13. Lincoln Park (13-8) 15

The Lions host Uplift on Wednesday evening. The Titans have already clinched the Red-North, but this is a big game for Lincoln Park. It’s an opportunity to prove what the talented, relatively-inconsistent squad can accomplish in the city and state tournaments. A strong performance would bode well for the Lions chances to pull off upsets down the line.

14. Farragut (8-8) 13

The Admirals lost by seven to both Orr and North Lawndale last week.

15. Butler (12-3) 16

Uplift’s Demarius Jacobs and Markese Jacobs are unquestionably the state’s top set of brothers. The Nesbitt brothers might be No. 2.

Senior Marvin Nesbitt and sophomore Teon Nesbitt, who The Public League wrote about earlier this season, are having great years. On Jan. 28, Teon Nesbitt scored 29 points and Marvin Nesbitt had a triple-double. He finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.

16. Westinghouse (8-12) 14

The Warriors can play the role of spoilers in the Red-West title race when they host Whitney Young on Wednesday night.

17. Schurz (16-4) 17

The Bulldogs are one game away from winning the White-North. They must beat Foreman on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Schurz edged the Hornets 59-57 earlier this month, but the Bulldogs didn’t have senior point guard Malik Mables that night.

18. Collins (18-4) 19

Collins will lose Terwon Matthews and Kamal Hill, a pair of excellent guards, to graduation once this season ends. But sophomore Jaquan Embrey has star potential. The lightning-quick guard has played very well this year. He hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Raby last week — via a great pass by Hill.

19. Prosser (11-11) NR

The Falcons make their debut in the rankings after a week in which they lost to Uplift by eight and beat Von Steuben by four.

Prosser has one of the more diverse offenses in the city. At least five different players —- Devion Collins, Will Bynum, Justin Slowikowski, Jaquan Martin and Jakeenan Martin — can lead the Falcons in scoring on any given night. Bynum had 22 points against Taft. Collins scored 20 against Uplift.

20. Marshall (7-12) NR

The Commandos spent almost all season in last place in the Red-West, but they climbed out of it last week with a 64-57 win over Westinghouse. They have now a pair of really nice Red-West victories — over Farragut and Westinghouse. Marshall hosts the Admirals on Wednesday.

Five teams on the verge (no particular order): Phillips (11-9), Dunbar (6-8), Mather (10-7), Perspectives-Calumet (15-7) and Hubbard (12-0).