Scouting Friday's DuPage County boys basketball games

  • Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty and his teammates will taken on Naperville North in a regional final on Friday night.

      Naperville Central's Cameron Dougherty and his teammates will taken on Naperville North in a regional final on Friday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 3/5/2020 8:36 PM

No. 4 Plainfield North (21-8) vs. No. 5 Neuqua Valley (24-8)

Class 4A Lincoln-Way West regional final

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Plainfield North beat Joliet Central 65-47 and Neuqua Valley beat Lockport 64-41.

Outlook: Avoiding the upset in this sectional of doom after three higher seeds bowed out, Neuqua Valley now faces a team it lost to 72-61 in overtime on Feb. 18. Cooper Bridges, 6-foot-8 Colin O'Rourke and Blake Ellinghaus -- yep, Neuqua football coach Bill Ellinghaus' son -- are among six players who've led the Tigers in scoring this season, coach Robert Krahulik said. For Neuqua that's usually John Poulakidas' job, but integral to the Wildcats' success is 6-4 Connor Davis, a complete player. Forward Nonso Obguefi is 18 of 20 from the floor his last three games.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Lockport sectional semifinals to play the winner between No. 1 Joliet West and No. 10 Romeoville at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 1 Lake Park (23-8) vs. No. 8 Hinsdale Central (14-16)

Class 4A Lake Park regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Lake Park beat Glenbard North 39-35 and Hinsdale Central beat Downers Grove North 35-32.

Outlook: Neither side created much offense in the semifinals, but which will awaken? Granted, Lake Park was struck out of rhythm by forward Trevor Montiel's cut above his eye that forced him in and out of the lineup. He and guard Luke Sgarbossa each scored 11 points, and the Lancers would like a similar -- but expanded -- inside-outside game from them and others. Hinsdale Central showed the ability to score with 6-foot-8 Ryan Isaacson, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half on Tuesday, or with quick drives to the basket by one of its many guards.

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Advancement: Winner advances to the Addison Trail sectional semifinals to play the winner between No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South and No. 6 Geneva at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South (20-11) vs. No. 6 Geneva (18-12)

Class 4A Geneva regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: WW South beat Downers Grove South 65-43 and Geneva beat Metea Valley 46-32.

Outlook: Without a single returning starter for a second straight year, WW South notched its fourth straight 20-win season by beating Downers South. While the Tigers displayed their typical frustrating defense, it was also one of their most-impressive offensive games. Parker Brown, Ben Bastian, Yonatan Algawerash and Tyler Fawcett each hit double-digit scoring. They'll face Geneva for a third time after splitting their DuKane Conference games. Six-foot-five forward Josh Preston scored 23 points in the semifinals for the defending sectional champion Vikings.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Addison Trail sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 1 Lake Park and No. 8 Hinsdale Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

No. 2 Glenbard East (21-9) vs. No. 7 Batavia (17-14)

Class 4A Willowbrook regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Glenbard East beat Willowbrook 75-70 in overtime and Batavia beat Glenbard West 59-46.

Outlook: Glenbard East is motivated to extend the season for retiring coach Scott Miller. Forward Jack Rivas did his part on a last-millisecond putback to send the Rams into overtime, then past Willowbrook. Upstate Eight player of the year DaRon Hall scored 31 in that one and averages about 22 points. Batavia -- under former Wheaton North coach Jim Nazos, who dueled Miller when both did their thing in the DuPage Valley -- offers all-DuKane senior shooter Jayden Johnson. We can only hope cat-quick Deon Cook is assigned to hound Johnson defensively.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Addison Trail sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 3 Naperville Central and No. 11 Naperville North at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 3 Naperville Central (21-10) vs. No. 11 Naperville North (14-16)

Class 4A Naperville Central regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Naperville Central beat Bartlett 53-39 and Naperville North beat Wheaton North 57-51.

Outlook: Naperville Central swept the Huskies in DuPage Valley Conference play but the second game was much closer than the first. That bodes well for Naperville North, which has improved tremendously the last month. Riley Thompson exploded for 21 points against Wheaton North behind four 3-pointers for the Huskies. With Grant Johnson and Myles Barry, Naperville North has reason to be confident. But can the Huskies slow Naperville Central's dynamic duo of Cam Dougherty and 6-foot-10 Chris Conway, who combined for 38 points against Bartlett?

Advancement: Winner advances to the Addison Trail sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Glenbard East and No. 7 Batavia at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 4 York (28-4) vs. No. 5 Morton (22-7)

Class 4A Morton regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: York beat Kennedy 62-39 and Morton beat Jones 66-38.

Outlook: Welcome back, Nate Shockey. After missing York's previous five games due to mononucleosis, the North Dakota-bound senior guard scored 20 points in about 20 minutes on Tuesday. That backcourt now looks pretty dangerous with Jeff Grace and Drew Kircher. If Nick Hesch gets hot from the perimeter, the Dukes will be in good shape to win their sixth regional title in eight years. Morton's explosive offense was on display in the semifinals. With Manny Rodriguez, Jesus Perez and Kendall Nichols, the Mustangs come at teams from all directions.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Lyons Twp. sectional semifinal to face the winner between No. 1 Curie and No. 8 Lyons Twp. at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 4 Riverside-Brookfield (21-10) vs. No. 5 Glenbard South (25-4)

Class 3A Riverside-Brookfield regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Riverside-Brookfield beat Goode STEM Academy 69-21 and Glenbard South beat Solorio 84-56.

Outlook: R-B coach Mike Reingruber and Raiders coach Wade Hardtke both did yeoman work retooling their teams to win conference titles -- for R-B a share of the Metro Suburban Blue, the Raiders an outright Upstate Eight title. It may be the Bulldogs' court but Glenbard South, a 2019 sectional champion, certainly won't be dazzled, the smaller school in the majority of its games. The Raiders won their 14th straight on Wednesday with their highest total this season, sending Nick Plaso, Cade Hardtke, Brandon Malone, Aryton Temcio and Jacob Folkerts all into double figures.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Hinsdale South sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 1 Bogan and No. 8 St. Laurence at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 2 Hinsdale South (29-3) vs. No. 10 Kenwood (11-15)

Class 3A Kenwood regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Hinsdale South beat Noble/Comer 68-37 and Kenwood beat Hyde Park 85-80 in overtime.

Outlook: Hinsdale South's quartet of Billy and Bobby Durkin, James Ruzicka and 6-foot-8 Aaron Tims has been stellar this season, with each capable of carrying the team on a given night. The Hornets, however, suffered a big loss in last week's West Suburban Conference title game when starting guard and defensive standout Daeshawn Amy went down with a broken ankle. Despite its sub-. 500 record, Kenwood won't go down easy on its home court. The Broncos are toughened up from playing in the Chicago Public League Red-South/Central.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Hinsdale South sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 3 Benet and No. 6 De La Salle at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 3 Benet (23-9) vs. No. 6 De La Salle (16-12)

Class 3A Benet regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Benet beat Chicago Vocational 67-51 and De La Salle beat Lindblom 51-47.

Outlook: An early struggle turned into a convincing semifinal win for the Redwings, who didn't display one of their best defensive efforts. But they definitely had the offense rolling thanks to 6-foot-8 Colin Crothers, who had 24 points and 8 rebounds, and junior Tyler Van Eekeren, who added 19 points while continuing his recent scoring surge. With Benet's full lineup finally in place, expect to see the defense improve -- especially in the backcourt with Matt Reid and Sam Hennessy. The Redwings are vying for their seventh regional title in the last 11 seasons.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Hinsdale South sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Hinsdale South and No. 10 Kenwood at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 3 St. Viator (20-9) vs. No. 6 Fenton (21-11)

Class 3A Fenton regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: St. Viator beat Grayslake North 58-43 and Fenton beat Mather 40-39.

Outlook: St. Viator finished fifth in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, but that league is loaded. Scoring 31 points against Grayslake North, Lions guard Connor Kochera displayed his two-time all-ESCC form. He'll have to adjust to Fenton's 1-3-1 zone defense, which gets ballhawks Andre Reed and Ricky Lopez into passing lanes. Lopez's late free throw against Mather earned Fenton's 21st win, matching the 1975-76 team for program honors. To get No. 22, 6-3 Diamon King will work the paint and Reed will add to the 94 3-pointers he had entering the playoffs.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Grayslake North sectional semifinal to face the winner between No. 2 St. Patrick and No. 7 Grayslake Central at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 1 Burlington Central (23-9) vs. No. 5 St. Francis (19-13)

Class 3A Burlington Central regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Semifinals: Burlington Central beat Crystal Lake South 64-41 and St. Francis beat Sycamore 55-23.

Outlook: Both teams have won regionals as recently as 2018 with Burlington Central repeating in 2019. Like the Rockets, St. Francis dominated its first regional opponent, shooting 49 percent from the floor and outrebounding Sycamore 37-14. The Spartans' 6-foot-4 Robert Nocek and 6-8 Bryce Walker are a lot to contend with, but so too are Burlington Central's dynamic duo of 6-6 Josh Hudgens and 6-4 Jake Lenschow. St. Francis guard Brendan Yarusso made five 3s on Wednesday; teammates such as Sebastian Miller and Danny Blank can be equally deadly.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Rockford Boylan sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Wauconda and No. 3 Belvidere North at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

No. 1 Timothy Christian (26-5) vs. No. 1 Rockford Lutheran (26-8)

Class 2A Genoa-Kingston sectional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Road to the sectional final: Timothy Christian beat Montini 92-64 and St. Joseph 58-57 in overtime to win the St. Joseph regional, and beat Wheaton Academy 61-53 in a sectional semifinal. Rockford Lutheran beat Marian Central 89-58 and Genoa-Kingston 76-35 to win the Rockford Lutheran regional, and beat Northridge Prep 79-70 in a sectional semifinal.

Outlook: Kudos to Timothy Christian senior A.J. Vos, for the Trojans may not be here without his basket and shot block late in overtime against St. Joseph. Timothy certainly deserves to be seeking its fifth sectional title and first since 2010. Like Timothy, Rockford Lutheran will thrive in defensive-fueled transition and will go eight deep, but only Tyler Penny hits the 6-foot-2 mark for the Big Northern champ. That's good news for the uniformly taller Trojans, including 6-5 sophomore Ben VanderWal, who rang up a double-double against Wheaton Academy.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Class 2A Northern Illinois University supersectional to face the winner of the Princeton sectional between No. 1 Newman Central Catholic and No. 5 Fieldcrest at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

-- Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

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