The Brother Rice-Marist boys basketball game is usually one of the most intense and exciting events of the season, whether the game lives up to the hype or not.
It did Tuesday.
The two teams battled in front of a loud crowd at Brother Rice and you would be hard pressed to find a more exciting atmosphere in games involving area teams. Brother Rice pulled off the 73-65 overtime win.
But Friday night…
I’m not sure too many events can top a Brother Rice-Marist game but this event will give it a run for its money.
Benet Academy is hosting a basketball doubleheader against Marist with the girls game starting at 6 p.m. and the boys scheduled to start right after that.
That’s a lot of excitement in Lisle. Better than a Rice-Marist matchup? It has the ingredients.
Some of these girls/boys doubleheaders have mixed matchups. You might have a really good potential battle followed by a dog. You might have a couple of dogs. You might have a couple of good games.
But this? I don’t know if I could hype this twinbill enough. All four teams are great and, while it’s just one game in the middle of a regular season, there are postseason seeds to plant.
Last year, Benet’s boys took second in the Illinois High School Association state tournament in Class 4A for the second time in three years.
Heading into this week’s action, Benet was 12-5 overall and 1-2 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and has no interest in falling back even further in the league. It nearly beat Simeon in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament finale in late Decmber.
Marist opened the week 19-0 and was tied with St. Patrick and St. Viator at 3-0 for the league lead.
If that enough isn’t enough of a storyline, Benet has a kid named Jack Nolan, who last Friday scored 35 points – 25 in the fourth quarter!!! – in a 76-73 loss to St. Patrick.
He is the nephew of Marist coach Gene Nolan.
Fun stuff? You bet.
On the girls side, Benet is the two-time defending Class 4A champion and is steamrolling through most opponents in winning 17 of its first 19 games.
Marist opened the season winning 12, losing three and entered this week with a seven-game winning streak.
It will also be interesting to see what the Benet fans will have in store when the RedHawks come to visit.
At last year’s boys game at Marist, a good chunk of RedWings fans game and some students were lifting one of the smaller students up and down.
A few years ago, I was at a game in Lisle when the preppy-dressed-themed students decided to mimic Marist coach Nolan’s moves.
If Nolan put his hand on his chin, hundreds of students put their hand on their chin. If he crossed his arms, they crossed their arms. I’m not sure if they do that for every visiting coach, but it provided some laughs.
So, if you plan on going to either or both games, plan on having a lot of fun.
Girls/boys basketball doubleheaders rarely get as good as this.