Scouting DuPage County's boys basketball games

  • Neuqua Valley junior John Poulakidas tries to get a shot up over DeKalb senior Joseph Owens during their game Wednesday night at DeKalb High School.

    Neuqua Valley junior John Poulakidas tries to get a shot up over DeKalb senior Joseph Owens during their game Wednesday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/For Shaw Media Illinois

 
 
Updated 3/10/2020 1:02 PM

No. 1 Joliet West (28-4) vs. No. 5 Neuqua Valley (25-8)

Class 4A Lockport sectional semifinal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Game time: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Semifinals: Joliet West beat Plainfield South 66-57 and Romeoville 61-47. Neuqua Valley beat Lockport 64-41 and Plainfield North 63-50.

Outlook: It's their third straight year meeting in the playoffs. Joliet West eliminated the Wildcats in 2018, Neuqua returned the favor in 2019. Toledo recruit Jamere Hill averages about 18 points for the Tigers, who went 16-0 in the Southwest Prairie East. Freshman point guard Jeremy Fears Jr. already has four college offers. Neuqua junior John Poulakidas has a bunch of them. He scored 25 of 31 points in the second half to lift the Wildcats into the sectional, along with key 3s by Donovan Navarro. By far Neuqua's top season since 2014-15 when it reached a sectional final.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Lockport sectional final to play the winner between No. 9 East Aurora and No. 14 West Aurora at 7 p.m. Friday.

No. 1 Lake Park (24-8) vs. No. 6 Geneva (19-12)

Class 4A Addison Trail sectional semifinals

Game time: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Road to the sectional: Lake Park beat Glenbard North 39-35 and Hinsdale Central 55-43. Geneva beat Metea Valley 46-32 and Wheaton Warrenville South 50-35.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Outlook: Geneva's riding a five-game winning streak that started with a 48-39 win over the Lancers to sweep their DuKane Conference series. The Vikings also beat Lake Park 46-41 in January. Geneva will lean on the outside shooting of Nate Valentine and the inside game of Josh Preston to take a step closer to the program's second straight sectional title. Lake Park, regional champs for a second straight year, received a combined 33 points from Luke Sgarbossa and Trevor Montiel on Friday. The key to victory? The 22 points from the rest of the starting lineup.

Advancement: Winner advances to the sectional final to play Wednesday's winner between No. 2 Glenbard East (22-9) and No. 3 Naperville Central (22-10) at 7 p.m. Friday.

No. 2 Glenbard East (22-9) vs. No. 3 Naperville Central (22-10)

Class 4A Addison Trail sectional semifinals

Game time: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Road to the sectional: Glenbard East beat Willowbrook 75-70 in overtime and Batavia 81-79 in overtime. Naperville Central beat Bartlett 53-39 and Naperville North 45-32.

Outlook: Guard DaRon Hall, scoring 41 points, would not be denied in leading Glenbard East to its first regional title since 2013. His 3-pointer sent the Batavia game into overtime and another earned the win. He and Deon Cook scored 18 apiece in a 64-57 win over Naperville Central on Feb. 1. The Redhawks secured their first regional title since 2009 behind, who else, third-year starters Cam Dougherty and 6-foot-10 Chris Conway. They combined for 39 of the team's 45 points on Friday. If they get some help on the perimeter, the Redhawks will be tough to beat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Advancement: Winner advances to the sectional final to play Tuesday's winner between No. 1 Lake Park (24-8) and No. 6 Geneva (19-12) at 7 p.m. Friday.

No. 2 Hinsdale South (30-3) vs. No. 3 Benet (24-9)

Class 3A Hinsdale South sectional semifinals

Game time: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Road to the sectional: Hinsdale South beat Noble/Comer 68-37 and Kenwood 70-62. Benet beat Chicago Vocational 67-51 and De La Salle 57-43.

Outlook: Benet's defense is typically stout, but the Redwings will have their hands full contending with the Hornets' diverse attack. Six-foot-eight Aaron Tims scored 28 points on Friday, but Billy and Bobby Durkin combined for 25 points and James Ruzicka had 11 points. Benet's approach has been different. The Redwings rely on 6-8 Colin Crothers, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds on Friday, while banking on the perimeter shooting from a variety of players. From Jack Prock to Tyler Van Eekeren, Matt Reid and Sam Hennessy, guard play has been critical.

Advancement: Winner advances to the sectional final to play Tuesday's winner between No. 1 Bogan (27-3) and No. 4 Riverside-Brookfield (22-10) at 7 p.m. Friday.

No. 5 St. Francis (20-13) vs. No. 2 Wauconda (22-7)

Class 3A Rockford Boylan sectional semifinal

Game time: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Semifinals: St. Francis beat Sycamore 55-23 and Burlington Central 60-59. Wauconda beat Belvidere 52-22 and Belvidere North 54-41.

Outlook: Sebastian Miller's basket with five seconds left delivered St. Francis' second regional title in three seasons. The Spartans have the discipline and savvy to control tempo, handle the press and, with 6-foot-4 Robert Nocek and 6-8 Bryce Walker, own the backboards. This has been a landmark season for Wauconda, with a program wins record and its first conference title (Northern Lake County) in 41 years. The Bulldogs get much mileage from forwards Nick Bulgarelli, 6-4 Garrison Carter and senior guard Donovan Carter, whose 597 points are the program record.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Rockford Boylan sectional final to face the winner between No. 1 Rockford Boylan and No. 2 Hampshire at 7 p.m. Friday.

Timothy Christian (27-5) vs. Fieldcrest (27-6)

Class 2A Northern Illinois University supersectional

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb.

Road to the supersectional: Timothy Christian beat Montini 92-64 and St. Joseph 58-57 in overtime to win the St. Joseph regional. The Trojans beat Wheaton Academy 61-53 and Rockford Lutheran 89-78 to win the Genoa-Kingston sectional. Fieldcrest beat Bureau Valley 76-42, Illinois Valley Central 63-51 and Princeton 78-65 to win the Illinois Valley Central regional. The Knights beat Rockridge 52-41 and Newman Central Catholic 65-62 to win the Princeton sectional.

Outlook: It's hard to envision anyone slowing down Timothy Christian. Josh Harris scored 25 points, Matt Owens scored 23 with 10 assists, A.J. Vos scored 17 points and 6-foot-5 Ben VanderWal recorded his third double-double of the playoffs with 14 points, 11 rebounds. Seeking their first supersectional title in 40 years, the Trojans welcome an up-tempo pace. Fieldcrest averages 61 points, so Timothy might get that opportunity. Out of Minonk, Fieldcrest made up an 11-point first-half deficit to beat Newman Central Catholic, The Pantagraph reported. Five players reached double figures led by Bryce Nordstrom with 17, five 3s.

Advancement: Winner advances to the Class 2A semifinals to face the winner of the University of Illinois-Springfield supersectional between Sacred Heart-Griffin and Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Carver Arena, Peoria.

-- Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.