What a week of high school basketball. There ended up being fewer cancelations than expected and some to teams faced off in the later rounds of the tournament. Here are the 10 players of the week from the Holiday tournament week.
Bryce Shoto (5’8 PG, Plainfield Central 2023)
The undersized lead guard plays with a ton of heart. Shoto averaged around 17 points and four assists and won the tournament MVP while leading Plainfield Central. He’s jet quick and makes all kinds of floaters and flip shots in traffic. It was a complete week for Shoto.
Cole Certa (6’4 SG, Bloomington Central Catholic 2024)
How about hitting 10 threes in a single game? Certa erupted for 39 points with 30 coming from beyond the arc. Only a sophomore, he is so skilled at 6-foot-4. He was named all-tournament as well.
DeAndre Craig (6’1 PG, Mount Carmel 2023)
Craig was the spearhead of an undefeated week by creating off the dribble. His top performance was a 31-point day early in the week. He makes the game easier for teammates by breaking down pressure defense and creating open opportunities for others.
Ethan Marlowe (6’8 SF/PF, St. Charles North 2022)
Marlowe put on a show for the North Stars, with a 22 point, 13 rebound game against Danville and a 19 point, 13 rebound game against city powerhouse Curie. The multi-faceted forward can play inside and out, and is doing a better job as a rim protector as well. He was named All-Tournament at Pontiac.
Jaylen Drane (6’3 PG, Simeon 2022)
Drane was a big part of a comeback win over New Trier and helped the Wolverines to two massive wins against quality opponents. He’s the elder statesman of this team and brings leadership with his Division 1 talent. The creativity is noteworthy, showing well in his 22-point championship game.
Nick Martinelli (6’8 SG/SF, Glenbrook South 2022)
A walking mismatch, Martinelli had his way at the Wheeling tournament en route to being named MVP. He was over 20 points on multiple occasions but stuffed the statsheet with his rebounding, passing skill, and defensive presence. The Elon commit is having a special senior year.
NJ Benson (6’7 C, Mt. Vernon 2022)
Benson capped off a monster week with a 29 point, 21 rebound, five block game. The best senior big outside of the Chicago area, his activity and force are overwhelming for a lot of opponents. He won MVP of the tournament.
Orlando Thomas (6’4 SG, Rolling Meadows)
Winning third at the Jack Tosh tourney, Thomas shot a blistering 63 percent from three and averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. He just keeps getting better and has given Meadows a great 1-2 punch.
Rokas Castillo (6’0 PG, Lemont 2023)
Lemont’s energetic guard had a breakout week at the Jack Tosh tournament, scoring 33 points in one game and 22 in another. He shifts gears so well and has an innate playmaking feel. Castillo continues to prove to be a dynamic score and passer.
Trey Pettigrew (6’3 PG, Kenwood 2022)
Pettigrew has been on a tear, even with Darrin Ames out with injury this week. He had a 41 point performance and put up a team-high 21 points in a win over top-5 Whitney Young. He has been even better than his Nevada commitment status might suggest.