About Eric Van Dril

Eric Van Dril is the founder and editor of thepublicleague.com. He lives on Chicago’s Northwest side. He wrote extensively for Chicago Sun-Times Media and Chicago Tribune Media prior to launching thepublicleague.com.

You can reach him at thepublicleague@gmail.com, @thepublicleague on Twitter and at facebook.com/thepublicleague.

Red-West players stand out in CPLBCA all-star game, prove a point about West Side basketball

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Marshall’s Jarvae Tate throws down a slam in the CPLBCA all-star game.

By: Eric Van Dril   |   April 11, 2017

The Red-West’s list of accomplishments this past season is long and impressive. Its six teams won 108 total games, five regional titles and two state championships.

It was the deepest conference in Illinois.

But Westinghouse forward Dexter Reed and Orr seniors Alex Flute and Sam Williams all felt the same way on Saturday afternoon. They were eager to prove a point. They said they wanted to win the second of three CPLBCA all-star games — the one they all played in — in order to show that the West Side was the best side this season.

“We said we’re going to go out there, have fun and win,” Reed said, of his team’s mentality. “With us being from the Red-West, the best conference in the state, we wanted to prove it today.”

The North-West squad beat the South-Central 134-120 on April 8. It built a 17-point lead in the first half, but Vocational guard Marzell Tiffith (36 points, 9 rebounds) brought the South-Central back.

The North-West pulled away down the stretch of the second half, however.

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By | April 11th, 2017|Basketball, Marshall, North Lawndale, Orr, Westinghouse|

Hyde Park’s Shomari Tillett uses rebounding ability to stand out in CPLBCA all-star game

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Hyde Park’s Shomari Tillett goes up for a lay-up in the CPLBCA all-star game.

By: Eric Van Dril | April 10, 2017

Big men tend to be overlooked and underused in an all-star game full of talented guards like the CPLBCA’s third and final game was on Saturday afternoon.

But Hyde Park senior Shomari Tillett stood out in the South-Central’s 151-141 victory over the North-West on April 8. The 6-foot-7 power forward played a crucial role in the South-Central’s comeback. Tillett scored 23 points, which matched Curie all-state guard Elijah Joiner for the team high, and snared 17 rebounds.

Tillett starred, he explained afterward, because he understood what he had to do in order to make an impact on the game.

“I just had to get in where I fit in,” Tillett said. “Getting rebounds is something I’m pretty good at, so cleaning up on the offensive boards is where I make my points.”

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By | April 10th, 2017|Basketball, Hyde Park|

Madison Lowery arrives just in time to CPLBCA all-star game, then stars in it

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Simeon’s Madison Lowery during the CPLBCA all-star game on Saturday, April 8.

By: Eric Van Dril | April 10, 2017

The players who participated in the final CPLBCA all-star game on Saturday warmed up during the second half of the day’s second all-star game. As they did, Simeon senior forward Madison Lowery was still on his way to Whitney Young.

Lowery and the Wolverines’ baseball team played in Arlington Heights earlier in the day. The 6-foot-5 first baseman went 2-for-3 against Hersey. He helped Simeon beat the Huskies 7-3, and then he rushed to Whitney Young to try to make it in time for the tip-off of an all-star game that was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

“I was texting everybody, like, ‘Is it running late? Is it early? What time is it going to start?’” Lowery said. “When I got here, they’d just tipped off. I was really happy.”

Lowery was lacing up his shoes on the bench when the game began.

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By | April 10th, 2017|Basketball, Simeon|