GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - For Brian Wardle and his coaching staff, many of their eyes have been south over the past week. Whether in person or from afar in Wisconsin, the Green Bay coaching staff is watching the Illinois State Tournament with keen interest, and Phoenix fans should be happy to know they like what they are seeing.
Green Bay has three signed recruits from the Chicago area that will suit up for the Phoenix in 2010-11, and two of them are looking to finish their high school careers as state champions.
Aaron Armstead, a 6-foot-4 guard at Hales Franciscan, has his team among the final four squads gunning for the 2A state championship. With 16 points on Tuesday, Armstead paced his team in a 67-35 win over Aurora Christian that captured the Joliet Central Supersectional. He has also had scoring efforts of 28 and 18 points during the Spartans' tournament run.
Armstead was named earlier in the week to the Associated Press 2A All-State First Team, and he will lead Hales against undefeated Rockford Christian Friday night at 6:30 p.m. in Peoria. Watch the game live by clicking here.
Meanwhile, in the 4A Illinois State Tournament, another Phoenix signee, Greg Mays of Crete-Monee, is helping his team make a similar run. Mays, an athletic 6-foot-9 forward, had eight points and 10 rebounds Wednesday night in a 53-37 win over Homewood-Flossmoor. Mays' play Wednesday night was praised by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Mays totaled 30 points earlier in the state tournament in a regional win over Eisenhower. Crete-Monee will play Thornton High School in the championship game of the Thornwood Sectional Friday night.
Both Crete-Monee (24-3) and Hales Franciscan (26-4) have been ranked in the state's top-10 for much of the season and have a combined record of 50-7.
The third Phoenix recruit, 5-foot-10 point guard Kiefer Sykes of Marshall High School, saw his season and prep career come to an end with a 60-54 loss to Chicago Orr in the regional semifinals last week. Sykes was named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League Second Team after a standout senior campaign.Needless to say, with three players joining the Phoenix with impressive individual and team resumes, Green Bay fans should like what they see for the next few years too.