Scouting Friday's DuPage County boys basketball games
By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit
No. 1 Naperville North (25-2) vs. No. 8 Geneva (19-12)
Class 4A Naperville North regional final
Outlook: The Huskies won their 10th straight game in a 69-50 semifinal victory over Hinsdale Central. They improved to 10-0 at home, so playing at the Madhouse on Mill is an obvious advantage. The Huskies' frontcourt tandem of 6-foot-7 Chris Johnson and 6-6 Tom Welch combined for 44 points and 14 rebounds on Tuesday. If Jack Hill gets hot on the perimeter, watch out. The focus for the defense will be on Geneva's perimeter game that knocked down 10 3-pointers in Wednesday's 62-44 win over Downers North. Mitch Mascari had six of them while scoring 20 points.
Advancement: The winner advances to Tuesday's Glenbard East sectional semifinals against the winner of the Hinsdale South regional final between Hinsdale South and Willowbrook.
No. 4 Hinsdale South (21-6) vs. No. 5 Willowbrook (24-5) Class 4A Hinsdale South regional final
Outlook: The third meeting between these West Suburban Gold rivals -- they split in the regular season -- will be must-see basketball. Willowbrook showed tremendous focus in a 71-44 semifinal win over Metea Valley. The Warriors attack teams in so many ways, from 6-foot-6 Ethan Schuemer in the post to 3-point artist Matas Masys. Hinsdale South's clear counter is 6-5 Iowa State-bound forward Zion Griffin, who had 39 points and 17 rebounds in the last meeting. The Hornets, 11-0 at home, edged DeKalb in the semifinals.
Advancement: The winner advances to Tuesday's Glenbard East sectional semifinals against the winner of the Naperville North regional final between Naperville North and Geneva.
No. 2 Benet (24-4) vs. No. 7 Naperville Central (20-9)
Class 4A Addison Trail regional final
Outlook: Benet has held 16 opponents under 45 points so far this season. Can Naperville Central's balanced offense break through? As tough as it'll be, the Redhawks have the ideal inside-outside approach with point guard Tyler O'Brien and 6-foot-8 Ben Wolf, committed to Northern Michigan. But the Redwings have answers to both with 6-8 sophomore Colin Crothers and two of the area's top perimeter defenders in leading scorer David Buh and Ben Cooney. Benet beat Downers South and Naperville Central held off Glenbard West in the semifinals.
Advancement: The winner advances to Wednesday's Glenbard East sectional semifinals against the winner of the Bartlett regional final between Wheaton Warrenville South and Bartlett.
No. 3 Wheaton Warrenville South (23-6) vs. No. 12 Bartlett (16-12)
Class 4A Bartlett regional final
Outlook: WW South was sharp in beating Wheaton North 53-37 in the semifinals. Play like that again with experienced seniors Jake Healy, Parker Robinson and Chase Stebbins leading the way, and the Tigers will win another regional title. Three-pointers from Matt Brodhead and Jeff Kratz make them even tougher to beat. Standing in the way, though, is an intriguing Bartlett team that upset No. 6 Batavia 42-37 on Wednesday. The Hawks played 12 games without leading scorer Ben Tompson, who was out with an ankle injury. This will be their 11th game with him.
Advancement: The winner advances to Wednesday's Glenbard East sectional semifinals against the winner of the Addison Trail regional final between Benet and Naperville Central.
No. 1 Burlington Central (26-3) vs. No. 4 Montini (17-10)
Class 3A Aurora Central Catholic regional final
Outlook: The top-seeded Rockets, unbeaten in the Kishwaukee River Conference, have won 23 of their last 24, including games of 101, 92 and 91 points. Long and fluid, they're led by pure-shooting 6-4 Patrick Mayfield and the program's top scorer, Zach Schutta, surely motivated by last year's regional final loss leaving them 26-4. Montini got bounced by Central 63-47 one game prior, no doubt fuel for power forward Matt Morrissey and pesky guard Scott West. Guard Anthony Thompson can get hot from the arc for the Broncos, who average 65 points themselves.
Advancement: The winner advances to Tuesday's Woodstock North sectional semifinals against the winner of the Marengo regional final between Johnsburg and Richmond-Burton.
No. 2 Wheaton Academy (20-6) vs. No. 3 St. Francis (14-15)
Class 3A St. Francis regional final
Outlook: If it's not a standing-room crowd there's something wrong in Wheaton. The host Spartans, hardened by the Chicago Catholic League, beat Wheaton Academy 58-43 on Dec. 16 but there's been a lot of ball since. Headed by big scorer Jayston Williams, do-it-all guard J.D. Gunn, 6-4 Marcus Bult and 3 ace Jack Dykema, Wheaton Academy can score a bunch. The Spartans counter with gritty Alex Rueth, Danny Blank, Mike Cascella and post defender John Detloff, who held Glenbard South to 7-of-33 shooting. Matt Cooney and Andrew Harvey bring the offense.
Advancement: The winner advances to Wednesday's Woodstock North sectional semifinals against the winner of the Belvidere regional final between Rockford Boylan and Rockford Lutheran.
No. 4 IC Catholic Prep (20-9) vs. No. 1 Orr (26-4)
Class 2A Timothy Christian sectional final
Outlook: Seeking its first sectional title, IC Catholic faces the defending 2A champion featuring Sun-Times' All-City first team forward Danny Smith and second-teamers Raekwon Drake and guard Chase Adams. Long odds only drive savvy ICCP seniors like Kevin Cheng, Alex Meurer and Kris Askew and strong forward brothers Nico and Dominic Gaudio. Junior Khali Saunders hoped to return, but the finger he dislocated Feb. 16 still looked a mess after ICCP's 61-51 semifinal win over Clark. On the Knights' side: 66-of-81 foul shooting the last two games.
Advancement: The winner advances to Tuesday's Joliet Central supersectional against the winner of the Collins sectional final between Marshall and Hope.
All games at 7 p.m. Friday.