Scouting the Barrington sectional
Who: Semifinals: No. 1 Rolling Meadows (25-4) vs. No. 4 Hersey (25-4); 6 p.m.; No. 2 Fremd (26-3) vs No. 11 Buffalo Grove (15-15)
How they got here: Rolling Meadows d. No. 8 Mundelein 83-29 in Rolling Meadows regional final; Hersey d. No. 12 Wheeling 58-51 in Waukegan regional final; Fremd d. No. 10 Conant 49-40 in Lake Forest regional final; Buffalo Grove d. No. 3 Prospect for Buffalo Grove regional final
Rolling Meadows vs. Hersey: Meadows won both MSL East contests against Hersey 58-45 and 73-47 en route to a 10-0 league record. The three-time defending MSL East champs have lost only to state-ranked teams this season (Whitney Young, Montini, Quincy Notre Dame and Fremd). Meadows is coming off its third regional crown in school history and second straight under second-year coach Ryan Kirkorsky. The Mustangs won their only sectional a year ago when they took second in the Class 4A tourney, losing in the final second to Marian Catholic. The Mustangs feature four future collegiate players — St. Louis recruits Jackie Kemph and Jenny Vliet, Northwestern-bound Alexis Glasgow and University of Indianapolis-bound Ashley Montanez. Hersey didn’t lose to any team outside the MSL East, winning the Hoffman Estates and Wheaton North tournaments. The Huskies lost twice to Rolling Meadows and Prospect. Senior Morgan Harris, junior Annie Korff, junior Juliette Vainisi, sophomore Maggie Berigan and freshmen Claire Gritt and Kelly Weyhrich have been prominent players for the Huskies in the tourney run. Senior Renee Poulos had played every game the past four years until suffering a broken wrist and missing the last three games. Coach Mary Fendley has guided the Huskies to a ninth sectional in her 16 seasons directing the program and 14th in school history.
Fremd vs. Buffalo Grove: Fremd coach Dave Yates has the state-ranked Vikings enjoying a banner season, with a Mid-Suburban League championship and regional title in the last two weeks. Haley Gorecki, a major D-I recruit, leads the way with seniors Erica Simios and Hannah LaBarge, who came up with a huge defensive effort in Fremd’s 49-42 victory over Rolling Meadows in the title game. Sophomore Bryana Hopkins and Brianna Lewis complete the Vikes’ starting five which has helped Fremd to its second regional title in four years and 17th in school history. The Vikings have a record-tying five straight MSL division titles under Yates, who is in his seventh season. The Vikes’ only losses are to Rolling Meadows (71-68 in their sixth game), Montini and Loyola. Buffalo Grove coach Steve Kolodziej has the Bison back in a sectional for the first time since 2008 and the 26th time in school history. The second-year coach has his girls playing their best basketball of the season, coming off back-to-back wins over higher-seed teams (No. 6 Zion-Benton and No 3 Prospect) in their own regional for a season-long five-game winning streak. Either sophomore Maddy Welter or junior Maddie Callahan have been in double figures in the last 7 games. Welter tied her career-high of 23 points against Zion Benton two game agos and Callahan scored her career-high 25 against Prospect for the regional crown. Along with the rest of the starters, the Bison bench has also provided key play. Nine different Bison have hit 3-pointers for BG, which has set a single-season record with 205.
— John Leusch