By Kevin Schmit
Class 4A Glenbard East sectional final
No. 2 Benet (26-4) vs. No. 5 Willowbrook (26-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Road to the sectional final: Benet beat No. 15 Downers Grove South 59-47, No. 7 Naperville Central 62-49 and No. 12 Bartlett 47-41. Willowbrook beat No. 11 Metea Valley 71-46, No. 4 Hinsdale South 61-56 and No. 1 Naperville North 47-43.
Name Ht. Yr. Pos. Name Ht. Yr.
Ben Cooney 5-10 Sr. G Neil Paxton Jr. 5-10 Sr.
Jacob Petrovic 6-2 Sr. G Matas Masys 6-1 Jr.
David Buh 6-4 Sr. F Sikander Zafar 6-4 Sr.
Will Engels 6-4 Jr. F Matthew Myers 6-4 Sr.
Colin Crothers 6-8 So. C Ethan Schuemer 6-6 Sr.
Outlook: The sectional championship will come down to dictating the pace. Willowbrook needs to speed up the game, similar to how the Warriors rallied to beat Naperville North in the semifinals. Benet won't slow the play, but the Redwings will try to make Willowbrook work for everything in the halfcourt instead of chasing in the fullcourt. Schuemer, averaging 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds, has been Willowbrook's leader for three seasons, and it'll be a tough post matchup for Crothers, averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds. Two of DuPage County's top defenders -- Cooney and Zafar -- are featured. Cooney could draw Masys, who's hit 67 3-pointers, while Zafar likely will guard Buh, Benet's leading scorer at 13 points a game. The benches could play a huge role. Guard Jake Ronneberg and 6-7 junior Noah Ferrell are key for Benet. Willowbrook goes a little deeper. Sophomore Everett Stubblefield III scored all 16 of his points in the second half while helping the Warriors rally against Naperville North. Big-game experience is on Benet's side. The Redwings have won three sectional titles since 2010. Willowbrook, which won its first regional title since 2004, seeks the first sectional title in program history.
Advancement: The winner advances to Tuesday's Class 4A Northern Illinois University supersectional in DeKalb to face Friday's winner of the Jacobs sectional title game between Larkin and Jefferson.
-- Kevin Schmit