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Scouting Friday's boys basketball regional finals
 

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Scouting Friday's boys basketball regional finals
  • Mike Gruenthal, left and Josh McMillan, right, of Naperville Central defend as Darien Miskel of Neuqua Valley shoots the ball in boys Class 4A regional basketball action Wednesday in Naperville.

    Purchase Photo | Mike Gruenthal, left and Josh McMillan, right, of Naperville Central defend as Darien Miskel of Neuqua Valley shoots the ball in boys Class 4A regional basketball action Wednesday in Naperville. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

By Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

doberhelman@dailyherald.com

Story Continues Below

kschmit@dailyherald.com

Class 3A Wheaton Academy regional final

No. 8 St. Francis (18-7) vs. No. 1 Orr (21-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: St. Francis will take this as a challenge against a Chicago Public League foe with losses to Simeon, Farragut, North Lawndale and Indianapolis Tech. St. Francis must get back on defense against Orr (also the Spartans), whose guards Jamal McDowell, Treyshawn Jones and 3 ace Deshawn King run at any opening. Ball security by Nick Donati and rebounding by St. Francis' 6-6 Ryan Coyle, 6-7 Zach Roswold and 6-3 Brian Spahn is critical. Orr, with 6-6 forwards Tyquone Greer and Marquise Pryor, beat No. 16 Clark 75-56. St. Francis, behind Coyle's 23 points and 15 rebounds, beat No. 9 Wheaton Academy 52-44.

Class 4A Neuqua Valley regional final

No. 8 Neuqua Valley (18-11) vs. No. 1 Plainfield East (26-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Neuqua started like gangbusters in its 63-49 win over No. 9 Naperville Central. The Wildcats hit 12 of 16 first-quarter shots with shooting guard Tyler Sutton, the program's single-season leader in 3-pointers, scoring 12 of his 17 points. Neither Neuqua's players nor coach Todd Sutton, Tyler's father, were satisfied with the other three quarters. The Wildcats need 32 minutes of defensive fire against Plainfield East, which ended the regular season ranked No. 8 in 4A. Headed by 6-9 Brian Bennett and guard Jawan Straughter, the Bengals bounced No. 16 WW South 51-42 -- and took their sole loss to Larkin on Jan. 21.

Class 4A Downers Grove South regional final

No. 10 Hinsdale Central (17-9) vs. No. 2 Downers Grove South (22-5)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Considering these teams met a little more than a week ago -- a 71-56 Downers South win -- there shouldn't be any surprises. Certainly don't be surprised if you see 6-foot-6 Red Devils freshman Matt Rafferty on the court with two sophomores and a junior. Even with that youth, though, Hinsdale Central still leans on seniors Brad Anlauf, who scored 27 in the semis, and Tom Garvin. Few backcourts match Downers South's Jamall Millison, who tallied 28 points on Tuesday, and Jerron Wilbut. "Mr. Consistency" this season for the Mustangs has been 6-foot-5 Kevin Honn, who's also capable of big scoring games.

Class 4A Metea Valley regional final

No. 6 Benet (21-6) vs.

No. 3 Metea Valley (23-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Interesting matchups starting in the post with 6-8 Benet sophomore Sean O'Mara, the Redwings' leading scorer, and 6-2 Mustangs forward Sean Davis. Expect Benet to lean on O'Mara, but the 3-point shot remains vital. Defensively, few teams have been as good as Benet this season. Considering Metea Valley managed 45 points in its semifinal win over Geneva, the Mustangs need to ramp up the offense. Another interesting matchup might come to fruition if Benet's Pat McInerney guards Mustangs forward Kenny Obendorf, averaging 17.3 points. Four Metea Valley players have struck for 20 points this season.

Class 4A Lake Park regional final

No. 5 Lake Park (19-8) vs. No. 4 York (22-8)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Can anyone slow York junior guard David Cohn, who scored 21 points in the regional semis? The Lancers likely will give it a shot by turning to defensive stopper Dominique Spencer, who also leads the team in scoring, rebounds, steals, blocks and assists. Six-five post player Zach Wagner led the Lancers with 19 points against Bartlett, which presents a challenge to York's inside game. The Dukes counter with a relentless perimeter attack with 3-point threats Matt DiFrancesca and Jake Rzeszutko. While York seeks its first regional title since 2006, the Lancers aim for their first title since 2007.

Class 4A Proviso East regional final

No. 8 Glenbard North (15-11) vs. No. 1 Proviso East (27-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: You couldn't ask for a more difficult challenge as the Panthers vie for the program's first regional championship since reaching Peoria 10 years ago. Not only do they face the lone Class 4A unbeaten, they'll face the Pirates on their home court short-handed without starting guard Robin Paye and forward Ryan Krueger. Glenbard North showed tremendous balance in beating Glenbard East, but the Panthers need a big game from co-DuPage Valley Conference player of the year Josh Fleming. Proviso East is on fire with Sterling Brown and Keith Carter, who combined for 28 points in its semifinal win over Hoffman Estates.

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