Class 4A Hinsdale Central supersectional
West Aurora (25-5) vs. Proviso East (30-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Road to the sectional: West Aurora, the No. 4 seed in the East Aurora sectional, beat No. 13 Hinsdale South 59-36 and No. 12 Oswego 73-56 to win the Oswego regional. The Blackhawks defeated No. 1 Plainfield East 58-53 in overtime, and No. 3 Metea Valley 69-61 to win the sectional title.
Proviso East, the No. 1 seed in the Schaumburg sectional, beat No. 17 Hoffman Estates 68-43 and No. 8 Glenbard North 51-48 to win the Proviso East regional. The Pirates beat No. 5 Lake Park 73-52 and No. 3 Schaumburg 78-39 to claim the sectional title.
West Aurora Blackhawks Proviso East Pirates
Name Ht. Yr. PPG. Pos. Name Ht. Yr. PPG.
Jontrel Walker 6-0 So. 13.7 PG Keith Carter 6-1 Sr. 17.0
Jayquan Lee 6-0 Jr. 6.8 G Paris Lee 5-11 Jr. 12.0
Juwan Starks 6-3 Sr. 17.3 F/G Paris Burns 5-10 Sr. 16.0
Chandler Thomas 6-1 Jr. 6.3 F Sterling Brown 6-4 Jr. 14.0
Josh McAuley 6-6 Jr. 5.0 C Trashaun Carroll 6-5 Sr. 8.0
Outlook: To advance downstate for the first time since 2006, West Aurora must counterProviso East's quickness and defense. Lee and Burns each average 3 steals a game and St. Louis recruit Carter and Brown each average 2 steals. (West Aurora last faced Proviso East and Brown's older brother, Shannon, at the 2003 City-Suburban Shootout; West Aurora won 71-69 in overtime.) Coach Donnie Boyce -- with Michael Finley and Sherrell Ford one of the famed "Three Amigos" who helped the Pirates win 1991 AA championship -- will spring full-court defensive pressure in man-to-man or zone looks, and may continue to trap inside of halfcourt. Controlling the ball, finding the open spots on the floor when Proviso double-teams the ball-handler, is a key for West Aurora. Walker may not be as quick as the Proviso guards, but he is heady with a good sense of where safe spaces and teammates will be on the floor. Lee, who sat nearly all of the Blackhawks' win over Metea and the whole second half of the Plainfield East game with a back issue, remains the projected starter but if he can't play significant minutes either Spencer Thomas or Brandon Gossett, a pair of 6-foot forwards, will get the call. Particularly in the first quarter, when Proviso East seems to come out strong, limiting turnovers is essential to the Blackhawks' success since Proviso East turns defense to offense. West Aurora's own defense has been staunch, holding sectional teams Plainfield East and Metea Valley below 40 percent from the floor and also outrebounding each of them. West is a man-to-man defensive team, but a zone is not out of the question to contain the Pirates' ability to penetrate the lane, or simply go isolation with Carter or Burns. The Blackhawks, mainly Walker and Starks, also got to the foul line 33 times against Metea Valley; whatever they can do to control tempo will be a positive. Hall of Fame West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman said perimeter shooting may be one of the few advantages the Blackhawks hold with Starks, Walker, Lee, Gossett and Spencer Thomas all at 38 percent or better on 3's, though Carter, Lee and Burns hits at least 35 percent of theirs. Starks, West Aurora's single-season and career 3-point leader, will have to have a good night cutting tightly off screens to get open, sink his shots, and help Walker handle the ball. "We're going to have to be at the top of our game, I think, to be able to compete with them," Kerkman said.
Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 4A semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Carver Arena in the Peoria Civic Center. The Hinsdale Central supersectional winner will face the winner of Tuesday's Northern Illinois University supersectional between Warren (26-3) and Rockford Auburn (30-2).
-- Dave Oberhelman