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Class 4A East Aurora sectional final
No. 1 Benet (22-7) vs. No. 6 Geneva (25-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Road to the sectional final: Benet beat No. 16 Lemont, 81-36, and No. 8 Waubonsie Valley, 57-33, to win the Lemont regional. The Redwings beat No. 4 Hinsdale Central, 61-50, in the sectional semifinals. Geneva beat No. 10 Plainfield East, 64-58, and No. 3 Bolingbrook, 66-63, to win the Plainfield East regional. The Vikings beat No. 2 West Aurora, 70-68, in the sectional semifinals.
Outlook: Benet is playing its best basketball, and it's because of defense. While 6-foot-9 Xavier-bound Sean O'Mara roams the post, the Redwings play like defensive demons on the perimeter. Offensively, everything hinges on the Redwings' inside-outside game. Geneva, like Hinsdale Central, can throw 6-7 bodies at O'Mara. But will it matter? As one of the state's premier big men he's been near impossible to slow. He and guard Collin Pellettieri combined for 49 of 61 points in the semis. While you shouldn't expect that much of a two-man game, you get the idea. O'Mara has no problem dishing to his guards. Pellettieri, Colin Bonnett, Liam Nelligan and Dan Roemer all have the ability to devastate teams from the perimeter. Geneva seeks its first sectional title since 1963. The Vikings run patient offense and can play man defense, a 2-3 zone or a 1-3 with physical guard Pace Temple taking the best perimeter threat. Geneva is a smart, gutty team that entered the sectional making 48 percent of its field goals then went 25 of 40 against West Aurora. At the heart of the equal-opportunity offense is forward Nate Navigato. Already in Geneva's top five all-time scorers, Navigato is a matchup problem with a high basketball IQ who averages about 19 points, 6 rebounds and makes 40 percent of his 3-point shots. After beating the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds Geneva will feel no pressure.
Name Ht. Yr. Pos. Name Ht. Yr.
Sean O'Mara 6-9 Sr. C Loudon Vollbrecht 6-7 So.
Collin Pellettieri 5-11 Sr. G Pace Temple 6-2 Jr.
Josh Yesufu 5-10 Sr. G Cam Cook 5-10 Sr.
Colin Bonnett 6-3 Jr. F Chris Parrilli 6-2 Sr.
Liam Nelligan 6-4 Sr. F Nate Navigato 6-7 Jr.
Advancement: The winner advances to play Friday's Bartlett sectional title game winner between Glenbard North (23-5) and Morton (22-5) in Tuesday's Hinsdale Central supersectional.
-- Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit