The 2017 Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic is in the books. Here is what I learned:
· Tournaments are fun.
· Bolingbrook is very good.
· Lincoln Park is also very good.
· The newspaper rankings are pretty accurate—at least as to the highly ranked teams.
· DePaul Prep has not entered the top tier of teams in the City—yet.
· St. Rita rebounded from its early season struggles.
· Hinsdale Central Tournament is well run but could improve.
I immersed myself in the HCHC. I saw 11 of 32 games, most of the winner’s bracket games and parts of others. I saw 14 of the 16 teams. I enjoyed the adventure. Next year maybe Proviso or Pontiac. Or maybe take in some games at each tournament.
Bolingbrook can overpower you. But they are obviously not invincible.
Lincoln Park was a surprise. Tons of heart. Tons of talent. Good shooters. Very, very athletic.
Looking at the bracket, the ranked teams rose to the top—Bolingbrook, DePaul Prep, St. Rita and Lincoln Park. St. Rita is in that group because of its early season high rankings.
DePaul Prep came into the HCHC with an 9-1 record with quality wins over Notre Dame, Benet, St. Laurence and Leo. Rams had nice wins over quality Crete-Monee and Stevenson teams. St. Rita handled them. The Rams played with Lincoln Park just couldn’t make enough shots. The lopsided score was the product of late scoring by Lincoln Park when DePaul went to a trapping defense. Maybe the Rams youth caught up to them in the grind of a tournament. We will see how they rebound against Rita on Friday.
Congratulations to the St. Rita Mustangs on winning the tournament. They beat four very good teams, Westinghouse, Maine South, DePaul Prep and Bolingbrook, four days in a row after coming off a rough stretch to open the season. Now we will see how they can do in the Chicago Catholic League conference play with games left against DePaul, Brother Rice, Fenwick, Mt. Carmel, DeLaSalle, St. Joseph, and St. Ignatius.
Hinsdale Central runs a nice tournament. Well lite gym. Excellent program. Live stats. Live audio internet broadcast. Good concessions. If I might make one suggestion, it would be nice to have a couple of tables in the gym where reports and photographers could sit and work while games are going on. Just a thought.
391 words. Almost too many.