Scouting Friday's DuPage County regional finals

 
Updated 2/28/2019 6:17 PM
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  • Glenbard South's Nick Plaso is fouled by Kaneland's Will Cushman in the Class 3A boys basketball regional semifinal game in Aurora.

      Glenbard South's Nick Plaso is fouled by Kaneland's Will Cushman in the Class 3A boys basketball regional semifinal game in Aurora. John Starks | Staff Photographer

By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

doberhelman@dailyherald.com

kschmit@dailyherald.com

No. 1 Geneva (29-1) vs. No. 8 WW South (20-11)

Class 4A Metea Valley regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: These teams met twice during DuKane Conference play. Geneva won both meetings in different ways -- the first by 3 points, the second by 19 points. Guard play will be critical, especially when it comes to Geneva's Jack McDonald, who scored 37 points in Tuesday's win over Hinsdale Central, and Mitch Mascari. WW South's ball-press defense is effective, but it needs to be elite against that duo. As for the Tigers' offense, it'll take something beyond Jeff Kratz' consistency -- 15.6 points a game and 90 3-pointers -- for them to pull an upset. WW South is deep with perimeter shooters: It's all hands on deck in this one. Matt Scherrman, Owen Struebing, Joe Ives, etc. must hit their 3s.

Advancement: Winner advances to Tuesday's Bartlett sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 4 Lyons Twp. and No. 6 Glenbard West.

No. 4 Lyons Twp. (22-9) vs. No. 6 Glenbard West (20-9) Class 4A Glenbard West regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: After splitting two WSC Silver meetings, this one is up for grabs. The Lions ride a six-game wining streak with an explosive offense that's hit the 70-point mark nine times behind Josh Berry, Grant Niego and Tyrese Shines. They've also shown the ability to lock down defensively, something they'll focus on against Glenbard West's Evan Taylor, a Southern Illinois recruit. The senior wing's carried the Hilltoppers this season while averaging 21.7 points and 10.4 rebounds. In the semifinal overtime win over Naperville North, though, it took five 3-pointers from Griffin Foster to push Glenbard West over the top. The home court of Biester Gymnasium might be a difference-maker.

Advancement: Winner advances to Tuesday's Bartlett sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 1 Geneva and No. 8 Wheaton Warrenville South.

No. 2 Benet (24-7) vs. No. 7 Lake Park (22-7)

Class 4A DeKalb regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Twenty-game winners for a 10th straight season, Benet's played its best basketball of the season against solid competition the last two weeks. Opponents have had a brutal time matching up with Benet's physical 6-foot-7 duo of Kendrick Tchoua and Colin Crothers, who combine to average 29.4 points and 15.3 rebounds. The Redwings, winners of six straight, held off Lake Park 47-41 in the WW South MLK Tournament in a game that was tied with three minutes left. Lake Park's moxie is fun to watch. Between Luke Sgarbossa, Trevor Montiel and Montrell Perry, the Lancers have plenty of playmakers. The trio averages 36 points from the perimeter, in the post and off the dribble.

Next week: Winner advances to Wednesday's Bartlett sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 3 Downers Grove South and No. 5 Downers Grove North.

No. 3 Downers Grove South (23-7) vs. No. 5 Downers Grove North (21-11)

Class 4A Downers Grove South regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Get ready for some dynamite backcourt play. Downers South's Justin Eagins and Wes Hooker combined for 48 points in the semifinals while the Trojans' Sema'j Henderson and Trey Boston had 37 points. Neither side expected this matchup but the IHSA had to switch around the seeds, and here we are with another cross-town game -- Downers South won the regular-season meeting, 46-42, on Dec. 15. If you're looking for wild cards beyond the obvious four names mentioned above, try the Mustangs' Timmeon Gamble, who had 18 points against Batavia, and Downers North's Collin Reed. Downers North last won a regional title in 2002. The Mustangs' previous title was in 2012.

Advancement: Winner advances to Wednesday's Bartlett sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Benet and No. 7 Lake Park.

No. 2 Waubonsie Valley (26-4) vs. No. 10 Plainfield North (15-15)

Class 4A Andrew regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Seeking its first regional crown since 2008, Waubonsie Valley will hope this goes as well as when it beat Plainfield North 58-49 on Feb. 12. Guard Eric Cannon and swingman Marcus Skeete each scored 20 points against the Tigers, Cannon raising for 4 of his 63 3s and Skeete going 11 of 13 from the foul line. They are the ringleaders, but guard Derrien Porter and lengthy 6-foot-4 forward Caymen Woods each scored in double figures against Lincoln-Way East. Forward Nikhil Khanna, shooter Ben Schwieger, guards Cole Gregorio and Mason Marinelli add depth. Plainfield North's strong 6-6 Carter Thurman anchors a cast of shooters, and 6-3 Cooper Bridges did not play when these two last met.

Advancement: Winner advances to Tuesday's East Aurora sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 3 Oswego East and No. 11 Lemont.

No. 3 York (28-4) at No. 6 Oak Park-River Forest (18-9)

Class 4A York regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Ever since the pairings were announced, both sides have been eyeing this three-match. Oak Park won both WSC Silver games, although the Dukes narrowed the margin from 29 points to 2 points on their home court. That's the lone loss for the Dukes in Campbell Gymnasium, and one York would love to avenge. A veteran Dukes group scores from all angles with Sam Walsh in the post and Erik Cohn, Nick Kosich, Nate Shockey and John Milling on the perimeter. York made 12 3-pointers in its semifinal win over Prosser. A similar effort will put tremendous pressure on Oak Park, which also boasts multiple scoring options. Anthony Roberts, Chase Robinson and Josh Smith all have hurt the Dukes.

Advancement: Winner advances to Wednesday's Proviso West sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Young and No. 10 Lane.

No. 1 Glenbard South (22-6) vs. No. 5 Montini (12-19)

Class 3A IMSA regional final

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Tempo may play a role. Point guard Kevin Enright and Glenbard South enjoys transition but favors half-court sets around 6-foot-8 Ryan Harrington, shooter Tommy Powers and power forward Cole Hardtke, off a personal-high 29 points against Kaneland. Guard Nick Plaso has excelled subbing for injured Tavion Keith. Only twice have the Raiders allowed 60 points or more. Montini can attack in fast-moving waves led by sophomore slasher Kai Evans, averaging 18 points, 3-shooting Julian Gatewood and Luke Morrill. Back healthy, intense guard Scott West and 6-4 Fred Stokes improve a team better than its record. The Broncos haven't won a regional since 1983, the Raiders recently in 2016, 2017.

Advancement: Winner advances to Wednesday's Marengo sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 2 Woodstock North and No. 6 Genoa-Kingston.

No. 2. Burlington Central (24-8)

vs. No. 3 Wheaton Academy (19-8)

Class 3A Wheaton Academy regional final

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Outlook: Certainly the cream of the regional's crop. Burlington Central led Sycamore by 31 at one point while Wheaton Academy broke open a close first quarter to ease past Marmion. Playing at the cozy Warrior Dome is a decided edge for the hosts, but Burlington Central and Patrick Mayfield, averaging 27 points, have a 2018 sectional final under their belt. (Wheaton Academy seeks its first regional title since 2011.) Marcus Bult, who hit six 3s against Marmion, leads the Warriors at 16 points a game with a cast including guards Jack Dykema, Gerald Blackmon and Tobi Sonuga who can turn defense to offense. The 6-foot-5 Mayfield is all that, aided ably by guards Jake Lenschow and Braden Seyller.

Next week: Winner advances to Tuesday's Marengo sectional semifinals to face the winner between No. 1 Johnsburg and No. 4 Rockford Lutheran.

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