Scouting the Class 4A Sears Centre supersectional: Stevenson vs. Evanston
Class 4A Sears Centre supersectional
Who: Evanston Wildkits (30-4) vs. Stevenson Patriots (27-5)
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Sears Centre Arena, Hoffman Estates
Evanston's road to the super: The winner of the Niles North sectional as the No. 1 seed, Evanston got wins in the Evanston regional over Elk Grove (67-52) and Notre Dame (80-68). In the sectional, Evanston defeated Glenbrook South (68-60) and then Loyola for the championship (56-42).
Stevenson's road to the super: The winner of the Waukegan sectional as the No. 1 seed, Stevenson got wins in the Lake Forest regional over Highland Park (49-37) and Hersey (56-44). In the sectional, Stevenson defeated Deerfield (35-29) and then Waukegan for the championship (56-41).
Coaches: Mike Ellis (Evanston) and Pat Ambrose (Stevenson)
Evanston skinny: Evanston is on a mission to finish some unfinished business from last year. After winning the Sears Centre supersectional, the Wildkits lost their semifinal in the state finals against Whitney Young and then won the third-place game over Larkin. Evanston is looking to not only return to the state finals, but to take the next step in Peoria. The hungry Wildkits, with plenty of players back from last year, won their third straight sectional title after winning the brutal Central Suburban League South with a 9-1 record. They are led by senior guard Lance Jones, who will be playing at Southern Illinois next year. Against Loyola in the sectional championship, the Wildcats got off to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Jaylin Gibson, a sophomore guard, scored a game-high 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Jaheim Holden added 12 points and Louis Lesmond added 9 points off the bench.
Stevenson skinny: Stevenson hit a snag to end the regular season, dropping back-to-back games to Benet and Lake Forest. The Lake Forest loss denied Stevenson the outright North Suburban Conference championship. The Patriots (12-2 NSC) finished in a tie for first place with Waukegan, but defeated Waukegan three times on the season, including the icing on the cake victory in the sectional championship. In that game, which yielded Stevenson its first sectional title since its state championship run in 2015, John Ittounas scored a team-high 15 points and Matt Kaznilkov added 12 points. The Patriots, who never trailed against Waukegan, also got 13 points on three 3-pointers from Matthew Ambrose, who sat part of the season with a broken hand. Luke Chieng, Stevenson's only senior starter, is also a big threat from 3-point range.
Winner gets: A berth in the Class 4A state finals in the 5:30 p.m. semifinal on Friday in Peoria against the winner of the NIU supersectional between Geneva and Rockford East.