2016-'17 Season Coverage
updated: 3/2/2017 8:04 PM

Scouting Friday's boys basketball regional finals

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  • Addision Trail, led by Colton Noel, hopes to win its first regional championship since 1980 when it plays Naperville North on Friday night at Batavia.

      Addision Trail, led by Colton Noel, hopes to win its first regional championship since 1980 when it plays Naperville North on Friday night at Batavia.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 

No. 3 Prospect (23-5) vs. No. 11 Lake Park (14-14)

Class 4A Prospect regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: After staging one upset with Wednesday's 50-48 semifinal win over No. 6 Buffalo Grove, the Lancers must pull off an even bigger upset to win their second regional title in three years. To topple the Knights -- one of the sectional favorites along with Fremd and Conant -- Lake Park must contend with standout guard Frankie Mack, who scored 27 points in Tuesday's win over Rolling Meadows. And the Lancers must do it on Prospect's home court. The Lancers are battle-tested, though, and Garrett Fant is among the sectional's top players. He had 20 points on Wednesday. Dan Spejcher came up big with 17 points for a Lake Park team getting contributions from several players, including Andrew Vega.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Wednesday Robert Morris University sectional semifinal against the winner of the Palatine regional final between No. 2 Conant and No. 11 McHenry.

No. 13 Neuqua Valley (15-15) vs. No. 5 West Aurora (20-8)

Class 4A Plainfield North regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Despite West Aurora's 62-45 win over Neuqua Valley way back in November, Neuqua's 47-39 victory over 21-win No. 4 seed Minooka indicates the Wildcats can contend for a ninth regional title. Defense, rebounding and minimizing West Aurora's free throws will again certainly help its cause. Neuqua senior Blaise Meredith plays defense and scores 16 points a game. Center Alex Filo, forward Nathan Scott and guard Noah Herdman may even have to improve upon solid marks against Minooka. West Aurora leaper Camron Donatlan's 16.5 points, 3.4 assists and 3 steals lead the Blackhawks. The Upstate Eight Valley winner also brings 6-4 shot-blocker Jared Crutcher and 6-3 senior forward Caleb Siler.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Tuesday Lincoln-Way East sectional semifinal against the winner of the Sandburg regional final between No. 1 Bolingbrook and No. 9 Lemont.

No. 1 Wheaton Warrenville South (28-1) vs. No. 9 Hinsdale Central (16-11)

Class 4A West Chicago regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: If the top-seeded Tigers win their first regional title since 2005, they'll match the program record for wins in a season set in 1985. WW South leans on Dillon Durrett, the DuPage Valley Conference's player of the year, but the Tigers showed the true strength of their team on Tuesday by beating Glenbard West with Durrett scoring 2 points before fouling out. Drew and Jake Healy, Parker Robinson, Chase Stebbins and Jake Ruggles give the Tigers plenty of options. Hinsdale Central beat one of the sectional's most talented teams by knocking out Downers South. The Red Devils' guard-heavy attack of Jack Hoiberg, Chris Eck, Trevor Hamilton and Michael Yaeger combined for 51 of their 54 points.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Tuesday Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal against the winner of the Batavia regional final between No. 4 Naperville North and No. 12 Addison Trail.

No. 4 Naperville North (22-5) vs. No. 12 Addison Trail (18-11)

Class 4A Batavia regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: One regional championship drought is coming to an end. While Naperville North seeks its first since 2006, the Blazers, appearing in their first regional final since 2001, aim for their first title since 1980. The Huskies' tandem of 6-foot-6 Mitch Lewis and 6-7 Chris Johnson is just the beginning of the matchup problems facing Addison Trail. Six-seven Tom Welch, Youcef Merabet and others also have double-digit scoring potential. Five Addison Trail players scored at least 10 in Wednesday's upset win over Willowbrook. With Jack Kalbas knocking down 3s, 6-6 Colton Noel controlling the post and Michael Williams on the wing, the Blazers present their own matchup problems for opponents.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Tuesday Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal against the winner of the West Chicago regional final between No. 1 Wheaton Warrenville South and No. 9 Hinsdale Central.

No. 2 Geneva (28-2) vs. No. 10 Hinsdale South (18-11) Class 4A Downers Grove North regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Geneva started the season 26-0 before losing back-to-back games to St. Charles North and Quincy. With two straight wins, including Tuesday's over Lyons Twp., the Vikings appear to be back on track. Six-foot-five forward Dom Navigato had a huge game in the semifinals, scoring 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Not only was he strong around the basket, but he also thrived on the perimeter. It presents an intriguing potential matchup with 6-5 Hornets junior Zion Griffin, who came up with his own double-double in Wednesday's win over Downers North. The Hornets are at their best when spreading the scoring -- especially when Karol Lipiszko is knocking down 3s.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Wednesday Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal against the winner of the York regional final between No. 3 Benet and No. 6 Wheaton North.

No. 3 Benet (23-6) vs. No. 6 Wheaton North (22-6)

Class 4A York regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: It'll be raining 3-pointers in Elmhurst. Both teams love their perimeter play, but both teams also flashed strong defense in the semifinals. Benet held York to 34 points while Wheaton North limited DeKalb to 45. Jack Nolan and Liam Lyman, returning starters from Benet's state runner-up team last season, combined for nine of the Redwings' 12 3-pointers on Tuesday. Luke Anthony and Rowan McGowen have combined for nearly 140 3s on the season. Those four players lead the way, but it could be the supporting cast deciding this one. For Benet, that means Justin Enochs or Matt Teglia. And for Wheaton North, Jack Bennett and Matt Brcka are among the many other options.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Wednesday Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal against the winner of the Downers Grove North regional final between No. 2 Geneva and No. 10 Hinsdale South.

No. 4 Glenbard South (13-14) vs. No. 1 Burlington Central (26-3)

Class 3A Marmion regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: Glenbard South seeks its second straight regional title. The Raiders will look inside and aim to control the ball and pace. Burlington Central point guard TaVontae Harris leads the Rockets with 3.5 steals a game. Joe Ratzek and Emmanuel Wells are right behind, translating to a high-scoring flow in which 6-1 senior Zach Schutta heads six players who average at least 5.7 points. Glenbard South's 6-6 Charlie Bair averages 17 points and 11 rebounds a game. Adding 6-2 leaper Peter Jeske and Billy Powers, sneaky inside at 6-1, the Raiders hope to win the paint. In order to do so, guards Kevin Enright, Ethan Sowl, Tavion Keith and Brandon Whiteside, who averages 15 points, must handle pressure.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Wednesday Genoa-Kingston sectional semifinal against the winner of the Richmond-Burton regional final between No. 2 Marengo and No. 3 Richmond-Burton.

-- Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

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