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By Marty Maciaszek
No. 1 Proviso East (29-0) vs. No. 3 Schaumburg (24-5)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Schaumburg High School
PROVISO EAST SCHAUMBURG
Coach: Donnie Boyce Coach: Matt Walsh
Name Ht. Yr. Avg. Pos. Name Ht. Yr. Avg.
Keith Carter 6-1 Sr. 17.0 G Joey Faleni 6-0 Sr. 4.2
Paris Lee 5-11 Jr. 13.0 G Kyle Bolger 6-2 Jr 10.0
Paris Burns 5-10 Sr. 16.0 G/F Christian Spandiary 6-3 Sr. 16.2
Sterling Brown 6-4 Jr. 14.0 F Michael Mallett 6-2 Sr. 7.4
Isaiah Grace 6-7 Sr. 4.0 C Jimmy Lundquist 6-5 Jr. 10.0
How they got here: No. 1 Proviso East d. No. 17 Hoffman Estates 68-43 and No. 8 Glenbard North 51-48 to win the Proviso East regional and d. No. 5 Lake Park 73-52 in the sectional semifinal; No. 3 Schaumburg d. No. 15 Proviso West 72-57 and No. 11 Conant 58-45 to win the Glenbard West regional and d. No. 2 Oak Park-River Forest 64-60 in the sectional semifinal.
Postseason history: Proviso East has won state titles in 1969, 1974, 1991 and 1992 and finished second in 1981. The last of the Pirates' 13 sectional titles was in 2006. Schaumburg lost in sectional finals the last two years to Waukegan and Niles North and has three sectional titles -- when it won the AA title in 2001, took fourth in 1999 and made the Elite Eight in 2006.
Outlook: Playing pressure-packed games is nothing new for Schaumburg. Now the Saxons have to handle the pressure defense that has made the Pirates one of the state's premier programs for nearly five decades. "Once again we have to worry about what it is we can control," Walsh said. That's having Bolger, Faleni and crew minimize the turnovers and damage as the Loyola-bound Carter, Brown, Burns and Lee can turn steals into points in a hurry. The Pirates did survive a regional-final scare when they built a big early lead on Glenbard North but did not have similar problems after racing to a 15-point lead after a quarter on Lake Park. "We're always looking to try to throw the first roundhouse to get the other team on its heels and feeling a little uncomfortable," said Boyce "The Lake Park game was typical of how we've played all year. We jump out and force teams to settle in and adjust, but by the end, typically it's too late for them to get back in the game." Boyce said he'll use up to 10 players and 6-5 senior Trashaun Carroll (8 ppg, 8 rpg) will come off the bench for the second straight game. Schaumburg has won 10 in a row and 15 of 16 since losing to Metea Valley in the Hinsdale South tourney title game. "They have very good shooters and we definitely have to make their shooters turn into drivers and make them do some things they aren't comfortable doing," Boyce said. "We have to box out and that's probably the most disappointing area for us this year. We try to use our athleticism too much and outjump people and this time of year you have to be fundamental."
Advancement: The winner plays in Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. Hinsdale Central supersectional against the East Aurora sectional winner between No. 3 Metea Valley (25-4) and No. 4 West Aurora (24-5).