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Joliet West's Morris Dunnigan moves past Homewood-Flossmoor's Jason Scott. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
The Public League’s Red South and Red West may feature the top three teams in the area (Simeon, Young and Morgan Park) and the most high-level prospects, but there won’t be a more entertaining or competitive conference race to watch than the East Suburban Catholic.
Currently, the ESCC’s top five teams have a combined record of 25-3, with four of those teams—Marist, Benet, Marian Catholic and Notre Dame—ranked in this week’s Super Top 25, and St. Viator knocking on the door. The ESCC also boasts marquee non-conference wins, with victories over Curie, Hillcrest, Joliet West and Zion-Benton.
Through two weeks, there is no question the biggest story of the young season is what has become of St. Ignatius after losing its top eight players from a year ago.
Well, unheralded coach Rich Kehoe remains the face of the program, and stunningly the Wolfpack are 5-0 with impressive wins over New Trier and Catholic League favorite St. Rita. They don’t have size, experience or a single big name, but Kehoe’s teams are always disciplined and rarely ever beat themselves. Plus, diminutive junior guard Lester Larry has put a charge in this young Ignatius team that features three freshmen and three sophomores.
Morris Dunnigan is making his presence felt once again. The Joliet West senior was regarded as one of the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2013 as a freshman three years ago. Since then there has been an ACL injury and an up-and-down couple of years.
While he may not be quite the prospect he once was, the 6-2 guard is playing at a high level—he pumped in 31 points in a win over Bolingbrook and 22 more in a loss to H-F last week—and has regained the burst and athleticism that once opened eyes.
“He has a confidence and presence about him this year that he has not had since his freshman year,” says Joliet West coach Luke Yaklich. “The greatest change is his leadership. He is a vocal leader in practice and his work ethic and approach to the game now matches his talent.”