By Joe Henricksen

IHSA sectional assignments are laughable--and sad

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By Joe Henricksen

Make no mistake about it, the City/Suburban Hoops Report has been a four-class basher since the mere thought of

expanding classes became a topic several years ago. Time passes and the distaste for four classes just continues

to grow. Breaking down the sectional assignments the IHSA recently released just adds fuel to the fire. Here

are some quick observations with more to follow in the future.

For starters, the premier sectional in the state--the Proviso East Sectional in Class 4A--makes little sense. In that

sectional you have powers from the city's north side in Lincoln Park and Foreman, powers from the

city's west side in Whitney Young and Farragut, powers from the city's south side in Mt. Carmel and DeLaSalle, and

powers from the near west suburbs in Proviso East, Oak Park and Fenwick. This sectional features three different

geographical areas (north, south and west side of the city)--and four if you count the near west suburbs. To make

matters worse the sectional is absolutely loaded with depth. There is no question it will be more difficult to win a

regional in this sectional complex this season with the four-class system than it was to win any regional in the two-

class system. And this makes sense?


If one didn't know better, you would get the feeling the IHSA was making sure schools with potential poor

Elite Eight attendance figures in Peoria would eliminate one another so that just one representative from that group

would make it. Word is quickly circulating within this sectional that there are several school officials that will be

outlining their concerns to the IHSA regarding the geographical assignments of this sectional.

In other absurd four-class news.... The majority of sectional sites have 21 or so teams assigned to a particular

sectional, with specific regional assignments to be determined and seeded at a later time. Meanwhile, there are

other sectionals that already have pre-determined teams assigned to four-team regionals, due mostly to travel

factors. Where is the equality and fairness in that? Those are completely different state tournament rules for

different teams in the same class.

A coach joked that they could have a video library on potential regional opponents knowing what the three regional

teams are as early as November. As an example, Minooka, Ottawa, Bradley-Bourbonnais and Normal have been

assigned to a four-team regional. Those four teams can scout one another for the next four months. For argument's

sake, lets say all four teams are sitting there in March with 10 or fewer wins. Meanwhile, Whitney Young could

play Farragut for a regional title.

And travel? The East Aurora Sectional winner, featuring schools in the far west suburbs, will have to play its

supersectional game at Chicago State University on the far south side of Chicago. That's a real nice drive for

Batavia fans in March. And how would you like to be O'Fallon? They will travel to East Moline United for their

sectional games, a nice 250-mile drive. Also in this across-the-state sectional is Pekin from central Illinois, a host of

schools from southern Illinois and schools from the Quad Cities.

Class 3A is a joke. There are a total of three teams in the Hoops Report preseason Top 25 that are in Class 3A.

Three! The Freeport Sectional and the Antioch Sectional are the two worst big school sectionals in state history.

Simeon's eyes must have popped out when looking at its sectional assignment. The two-time defending champs

must get by Englewood and .... well, just Englewood, really, to win its sectional. Simeon's second team may be one

of the state's top five teams in Class 3A.

In the end, it all goes back to the notion of why try to fix something that wasn't broken? Prep basketball in Illinois

was extremely healthy and popular. Now it's a mess with more concerns and questions to be answered than ever


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I dont understand why the IHSA would do something so stupid. Just look at our neighboring state Indiana. Four class basketball has ruined Indiana High School basketball and most of the schools and the state are losing money because of the class system, and most importantly they are losing fan and community support. I hope this does not happen in Illinois but it looks like it is going to.


I can't agree more about the state of Illinois High School Basketball. We can track its demise: First, the Elite 8 leaves Champaign. I understand that the city did alot on its own to ruin that for themselves in terms of price gauging, but I'm sorry, Assembly Hall is incredible and Peoria is a DUMP.

Second, the powers (or morons) that be in the IHSA decide to do away with having 1 Public league champion. Now there are Regional Host sites, 20 and 21 teams sectionals, everything is a mess. Regular season games are now meaningless if you can host a regional. Sectional seeds mean nothing.

Third, going from 2 class to 4 class basketball. Class 4A is now loaded, and 3A is joke. Look what this did to Indiana high school basketball. 21 team sectionals!?!?! Teams traveling all over creation. Look what simeon now has to do besides nothing to march all the way back to state. No more Sweet 16.


This whole 4 class thing smells of something funny. The Chicago State Sectional has teams in Class 4A that may have to travel over an hour to play, while they're sending schools like Mt. Carmel and Hyde Park to the other sites. Those two schools have to leave the city, when they're right up the road from schools like Vocational and not far from Marist, St. Rita and Morgan Park.

In the 3A class, yes...Simeon has a group of schools that don't seem to be a threat (over 5 charter schools), but the real issue is who will host that sectional? None of the schools have a facility to host and U-High (the place that makes sense) may not be able to get the University of Chicago's new facility. Plus, there will be a a lot of public schools knocking each other out there.

The big question I have for the people in Springfield is you all have maps?

I really think that the IHSA needs to re-think everything this is high sports the best in the world the kids should not have to suffer like this.It's sound like more of a business move more so than a competitive move. Yes I agree with putting smaller enrollment schools in their perspective classes,but having them travel all over the state is not good at all for high school sports nor for the parents who love to follow their kids and watch them play.let the colleges worry about revenue leave high school sports alone and let the kids decide who wins and who far as the state tournament being in peoria I don't like it one bit when I was there last year it didi not feel like basketball to me it felt like business,now champaign now thats where it should be period thats a basketball town,high school basketball!!! stop trying to change the game they are kids trying to compete and have fun.See you at the sectionals(O'H I don't know where I'm going).

This system is like "Little League Baseball" everyone gets a trophy. The only thing different is that the players and teams know where they are going to play. This four class system was built for someone to make money. The problem is who is making the money???? Maybe the school administrators should have read the proposal regarding this 4 class OR BETTER YET WHY HAS NOT ANYONE ASKED THE COACHES (OF BASKETBALL) . The would have been to easy and matbe the coaches would have voted against. Maybe we should have looked at what happen in the state of Indiana regarding this type of system? That would have have taken someones time to review and report.
Finally, with the cost of GASOLINE will the people come?????

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on November 25, 2007 5:51 PM.

Hoops Report rankings are out was the previous entry in this blog.

It's early, but Young-Hales still big is the next entry in this blog.

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