(3-8-22) Over the past several years schools across the country have started that have decided to recruit players just like colleges do. These teams travel the country, they fly from one coast to another playing in tournaments, they have now formed a ‘super’ basketball school conference…that includes a TV deal with ESPN.

That has left many public schools with players being poached on a regular basis by these schools. That is why it is nice to see two premier public schools step into the limelight this year.

Glenbard West (Illinois) and Centerville (Ohio)

Warden, Durkin, Huff, Renfro and Pierce
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Last night Glenbard West won their IHSA 4A Super-Sectional title game to advance to the State Final 4 for the 1st time in school history this weekend.

Glenbard West beat Elgin Larkin for the 2nd time this season 60-34. The Hilltoppers were led in scoring by #34 Brandon Huff 7-9 from the floor with 15 points. # 33 Bobby Durkin chipped in with 14 points and led the Hilltoppers in rebounding with 6. Also, scoring in double figures was #24 Paxton Warden with 13 points while going 6-8 from the free throw line.

With the win Glenbard West is now 35-1, their only loss was on February 5th when they lost to one of those ‘super’ teams Sierra Canyon (Calif) 67-64.

The Hilltoppers have some quality wins including Chicago Whitney Young, who also advanced to the 4A Final 4 at Champaign after their win last night over Kenwood 75-62. Another key win came over another respected Chicago team Simeon who will play in the 3A Final 4 after their Super-Sectional win last night over Lemont.

The Chicago suburb team has made an impact on the Windy City. They are loaded with talent…

Glenbard West’s Braden Huff (6-11, F, Sr.) is the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year. Caden Pierce (6-6, G Sr) joined Huff on the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area team. They are teamed with All-Conference players Paxton Warden (6’3), Bobby Durkin (6’7) and Ryan Renfro (6’8).

The Hilltoppers will play Friday afternoon in the 4A State Final vs Bolingbrook.

Cupps, Rolf and House

In Ohio…Centerville has made a giant national impact. Their wins over ‘super’ teams Southern California Academy, Huntington Prep and Veritas Academy raised a lot of eyebrows this season.

The Elks, who were ranked asthe #1 D I team in Ohio, are headed to this week’s Regional play after breezing through District play and picking up their 4th consecutive District title beating Lakota West 80-53.

Senior Tom House hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points as Centerville led by as many as 35 points, 51-16, with 6:14 left in the third quarter.

Junior guard and Indiana University commit Gabe Cupps added 17 points and senior forward Rich Rolf added 10 for the Elks

Centerville (26-0) is scheduled to meet Fairmont in a regional semifinal on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.

Three Centerville players were recently named to the All-Southwest District 1st team, Gabe Cupps, also Player of the Year, Tom House Rich Rolf.

The Elks have won 42 consecutive games, including last season’s OHSAA D I State Title.

What a season it has been for these public school Super Powers…impressive.