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Boys Basketball: Previewing Fenwick, Lyons Township, Morton and Riverside-Brookfield

The boys basketball season tips off this coming week. Here are previews of area teams.


Coach: Staunton Peck

2017-18 record: 20-8



Ryan Jackson sr G

Bryce Hopkins so G/F

Solomon Oraegbu sr G/F

Lucas Kolovitz sr F

Trey Pettigrew fr G

Outlook: DJ Steward transferred to Young, but the Friars have a top Division I recruit in the 6-foot-4 Hopkins, who has been offered by four schools, including Nebraska. He and Oraegbu will be the team’s top playmakers and scorers, but there are plenty of options on offense. Peck said Kolovitz, a Purdue-Fort Wayne recruit for baseball, presents a matchup problem with his ability to post up as well as shoot from the perimeter.

Jackson, Charlie Westerman and Sean Walsh also can shoot from outside. Walsh and Pettigrew are the sons of assistant coaches Pat Walsh and Titcus Pettigrew.

“We are young, talented but inexperienced,” said Peck, who took over in April after Rick Malnati stepped down. “We will play fast on offense and use our depth as our strength.”

The Friars are coming off an undefeated run to the Catholic League Blue title and have won 38 straight conference games.

“I think we will contend for a CCL championship again this year,” Peck said. “This will be a young, fun group to coach with great senior leadership.”


Coach: Tom Sloan

2017-18 record: 11-16



Nolan Niego sr G

Tyrese Shines sr G

Josh Berry sr G

Matt Sloyan sr F

Jack Bloedorn sr F

Outlook: The Lions finished 2-10 in the West Suburban Silver last winter, but Sloan hopes they can compete for the league title. Niego, Shines and Berry are the only players who saw significant playing time last season, while Sloyan and Bloedorn had limited minutes. Senior forwards Will Bryant, Nate Vedok and Graham Sands will vie for time, as will junior guards Grant Niego and Michael Niedermeyer.


Coach: Anthony Martinucci

2017-18 record: 15-15



Latik Murphy sr. F

Jamajae Garner sr. C

Jeremiah Davis sr. F

Josiah Porter sr. G

Tyler Chandler sr. G

Outlook: Murphy, a talented 6-foot-3 all-conference pick, leads Morton's returning players. Garer, Davis, Porter and Chandler are others back. Top juniors include Orlando Cervantes, Manny Rodriguez, Trenton Nadowlski and Kendall Nichols. Other returning seniors include Darius Little, Jalen Hines and Charles Wilson. Other newcomers are Josh Willis, Jackson Downey and Kyle Kelley. Martinucci said that this is the strongest the West Suburban Gold has looked, top to bottom, in his 20 years.

"We would like to press and run this year because we should have a very deep bench," Martinucci said.


Coach: Mike Reingruber

2017-18 record: 19-11



Zach Vaia sr G

Andrew Veon sr F

Patrick Hanley sr G

Reggie Loury sr F

Charles Terry sr F

Ryan Cermak sr G

Sam Grivetti sr C

Outlook: The Bulldogs return three starters from a team that won 18 of its last 24 games and the Metro Suburban championship before losing to Curie 67-59 in the regional final. The seven seniors have played together in R-B’s feeder program since they were in fourth grade.

“They are a tight-knit group who knows how to win together,” Reingruber said. “Hopefully that continues this season. Our juniors were 21-3 last season as sophomores, winning their final 15 games.”

Vaia, who averaged 14 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 91 percent from the free-throw line, and the 6-foot-6 Veon, a 59 percent shooter, were all-conference selections last season. Hanley is the other returning starter, while Loury moves up from being the sixth man last season. Cermak, an Illinois State commit for baseball, and the 6-5 Grivetti saw limited minutes last year but their roles may increase.

The junior class includes guard Nate Schoditsch and forwards Daniel Sessler and Dylan Meehan.

“We are very versatile offensively and shoot the ball very well,” Reingruber said. “We have many interchangeable parts and can also go big if we want or play small ball, depending on matchups. We like to be the aggressor both offensive and defensively and play a fast, fun style.”

Reingruber, who is in his second year as head coach but 22nd year in the program, has loaded the schedule with traditional powers such as Oak Park, Morton, Marshall, Fenwick, De La Salle, Brother Rice and Richards. Metro Suburban newcomer Aurora Christian is coming off a 28-win season.

“We would love to win our conference and make some noise in the state tournament,” Reingruber said. “We want to be playing our best basketball by the end of the season.”

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