Can Maine West and Fremd become 'Super'?
How far can the Class 4A top-ranked Maine West girls basketball team and No. 3-ranked Fremd advance in the IHSA state tournament, which gets under way on Monday?
The only correct answer is that only one can get further than a supersectional.
That's because the two state powerhouses (combined record of 52-4) are the top seeds in the Evanston and Libertyville sectionals which feed into the Palatine supersectional on Feb. 25.
Maine West (28-0), which finshed third in Class 4A last year, kicks off play on Wednesday at the Lane Tech regional while Fremd (24-4) begins on Tuesday at the Mundelein regional.
In all, Northwest suburbs teams are in five different sectionals:
The Class 4A Evanston sectional will play both semifinals on Monday, Feb. 18. The Lane Tech regional champs will face the Niles North champs at 6 p.m. followed by the Loyola and Maine South regional champs at 7:30 p.m. The title is on Thursday Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
The Class 4A Libertyville sectional brings together Mundelein and Hersey regional champs on Monday Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the first semifinal. The second semi is on Tuesday, Feb 19 between the Lake Forest and Vernon Hills regional champs. The championship is Thursday, Feb 21 at 7 p.m.
The Class 4A Batavia sectional also stages both semifinals on Monday, Feb. 18. It's the Rolling Meadows regional champ against the York champ at 6 p.m. and the Geneva champ against the Bartlett champ at 7:30 p.m. The title is Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Class 4A Belvidere North sectional will conduct its semifinals on Tuesday, Feb 19, at 6 p.m. (Rockford Jefferson vs Elgin regional champs) and 7:30 p.m. (Cary-Grove vs. Rockton-Hononegah regional champs). The title is set for Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.
The Class 3A Carmel sectional will hold its semifinals on Monday, Feb. 18 featuring the St. Viator and Resurrection regional champs at 6 p.m. while the Woodstock and Grayslake Central regional champs meet at 7:30 p.m. The title game is Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.
Here is a look at the individual regionals:
Lane Tech regional: Top-seeded Maine West completed its third perfect regular season (1987-88 and 1988-89) in program history last week. The Warriors have won four straight Central Suburban North crowns and 72 of their last 75 games (all three losses to Geneva). West opens on Wednesday against the winner of Monday's play-in game between No. 14 Lane Tech and No. 17 Von Steuben. The championship is 7 p.m. on Friday.
Maine South regional: No. 15 Leyden faces No. 19 Lake View in Monday's play-in match at 7 p.m. The winner meets No. 3 Evanston in Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal while No. 6 Maine South and No. 12 Glenbrook North face off at 7:30 p.m. The title match is Friday at 7 p.m. Other top seeds in the sectional are No. 2 and regional host Loyola Academy and No. 4 New Trier (in the Niles North regional).
Vernon Hills regional: No. 18-seed Palatine (7-21) begins in a play-in game on Monday against No. 14 Highland Park at 6 p.m. The winner advances to Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 3 Libertyville and the championship is slated for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Hersey regional: Mid-Suburban East runner-up Hersey (18-9) and winners of six straight and eight of nine, gets to play on its home court with a No. 4 seed. The next highest seed is No. 5 Stevenson. The Huskies open on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Monday's playoff game between No. 13 Grant and No. 19 Grayslake North. The title match is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Mundelein regional: Ranked in the Class 4A top five all season, top-seeded Fremd (24-4) will kick off play in Tuesday's semifinal at 6 p.m. against the winner of Monday's play-in game between No. 16 Lakes and the host No. 20 Mustangs. Prospect (14-9), which tied for third in the MSL East, is the No. 8 seed and faces No. 9 Wauconda in the 7:30 p.m. semifinal. The title match is Thursday at 7 p.m.
Lake Forest regional: No. 8 Buffalo Grove (15-12), which posted wins over three of the top teams from the MSL East this season, kicks off play in Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 10 Lake Zurich. No. 15 Wheeling (11-17) faces No. 17 Warren in Monday's play-in match and the winner advances to Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Lake Forest. The championship is Thursday at 7 p.m.
York regional: The play-in game of this six-team event features a pair of teams from the MSL. On Monday at 6 p.m., No. 13 Conant (9-17) meets No. 20 Glenbard North followed by No. 12 Elk Grove (13-13) against No. 21 West Chicago at 7:30 p.m. On Tuesday at 6 p.m., No. 4 Wheaton North will face the winner of Monday's 6 p.m. while No. 8 York takes on the winner of Monday's second play-in at 7:30 p.m. The title game is Thursday at 7 p.m.
Geneva regional: No. 15 Hoffman Estates (10-19) meets No. 18 St. Charles East at 7 p.m. in Monday's play-in game. The winner goes on to play No. 2 Geneva in Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal while No. 6 Glenbard West meets No. 10 St. Charles North in the second semifinal. The championship is Thursday at 7 p.m.
Bartlett regional: No. 11 Schaumburg (12-14) begins play in Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 5 Wheaton North. The first semifinal at 6 p.m. features No. 3 Bartlett against the winner of Monday's play-in between No. 14 Addison Trail and No. 19 Glenbard East. The title is at 7 p.m. Friday.
Rolling Meadows regional: MSL East champ Rolling Meadows (19-7), the top seed in the sectional, opens play in its own regional in Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Monday's play-in match between No. 16 Fenton and No. 17 DeKalb. Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal matches No. 7 Lake Park against No. 9 Batavia. The title match is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Belvidere North sectional
Barrington, which took second place behind Fremd in the Mid-Suburban West, is the lone area representative in this sectional. The No. 3 seeded Fillies (11-17) will face No. 8 Larkin in the second semifinal on Wednesday Feb 13. No. 2 South Elgin plays in the 6 p.m. semifinal. The championship is Thursday at 7 p.m.
At St. Viator: The top-seeded Lions (19-8) open action on their home floor in Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal when they meet the winner of Monday's play-in game between No. 16 Intrinsic Charter (Chicago) vs No. 17 Harvard. No. 8 Richmond-Burton meets No. 9 Woodstock North in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. with the championship set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The rest of the top five seeds in the sectional are No. 2 Marengo, No. 3 Grayslake Central, No. 4 Johnsburg and No. 5 Carmel.