By Marty Farmer
The 16th Annual Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout is one of the premier boys high school basketball events in Illinois. The two-day tournament showcases several of the best teams and players in the Chicago area, along with occasional out-of-state squads like perennial powerhouse St. Louis Vashon.
Top teams at this year's event included Chicago Public Schools' Simeon, Whitney Young, Morgan Park, Bogan and Curie. There was no shortage of elite players either, with West Aurora's Marquese Walker, Young's Tyler Beard and Uplift's Markese Jacobs headlining an impressive list of future college players.
"[Riverside-Brookfield head coach] Mike Reingruber runs a first-class tournament and has the best field of teams in the Midwest," OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. "This is an early barometer for our squad. It gives us an opportunity to assess what we need to build, polish and refine throughout June."
One very notable player was missing from the competition. Junior D.J. Steward, a consensus top 50 player in the class of 2020, recently left Fenwick. The Friars competed at the shootout without Steward and Damari Nixon (another talented junior), who are transferring out of Fenwick. Both players have not named the high school they'll be attending in the fall
While the loss of Steward and Nixon hurts the Friars' outlook for next season, new head coach Staunton Peck used the shootout to gauge the progress of the team's other notable returners and new additions on the varsity.
The same approach applied to Maloney.
"We evaluate what we need to teach both from a team perspective and an individual one," Maloney said. "We are not too concerned about the outcome at this stage, but want to figure out how we can improve in the month of June.
"We were pleased that we went 3-0 in our pool with wins over Uplift, Andrew and Loyola, but we lost a tight one to Marian Catholic who played for the state title last season."
In the second day of competition, Fenwick lost to St. Rita 67-48 in the championship game of the fourth-place bracket. The Friars beat Joliet West 39-37 and St. Joseph 59-45 in earlier games on Sunday. Overall, Fenwick finished 3-3 at the event.
Fenwick varsity returners Solomon Oraegbu, Lucas Kolovitz and Hopkins will take on increased roles next season, considering the departures of Steward, Nixon and a solid senior class.
Several Huskies showcased their skills at RBHS.
OPRF combo guard Dashon Enoch scored a personal-best 25 points against Uplift. He also played excellent defense against Kansas-bound Markese Jacobs. Charlie Hoehne scored a team-high 18 points against Marian Catholic and blocked seven shots against Uplift. Chase Robinson and Anthony Roberts contributed for the Huskies as well.
"Chase Robinson continued to show why he and Dashon will make one of the best backcourt tandems in the state next year," Maloney said. "Anthony Roberts continued his ability to score in a variety of ways."
Maloney mentioned Justin Cross, Josh Smith, Kyren Gardner and Isaiah Barnes as promising newcomers who will provide OPRF with considerable depth.
Answer Book 2018
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