By Joe Henricksen

And the Class 4A picks are....

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By Joe Henricksen

Class 4A Final Four
Farragut over Zion-Benton and Homewood-Flossmoor over Batavia
Class 4A Championship
Homewood-Flossmoor over Farragut

Here's why
The toughest part of making picks in Class 4A is sorting out the deep and rugged Proviso East Sectional, where a team like 18-win Mt. Carmel is the No. 11 seed. And then think about a team like St. Ignatius.

Coach Rich Kehoe's club is 21-5 and the No. 7 seed. To reach Peoria here is a very possible scenario for the Wolfpack to get there, which in reality is impossible. First, beat the best No. 11 seed in the state in 18-win Mt. Carmel and legendary coach Mike Flaherty in the first game of the regional. Then beat Farragut and McDonald's All-American Mike Dunigan in the regional final. In the sectional, if the seeds hold true, Ignatius would face Catholic League champ DeLaSalle, which would come into that game sporting a 24-3 record. Then it would be loaded Whitney Young in the sectional final. With a win over Whitney Young, either New Trier or Evanston would be waiting for them in the supersectional.

While the sectional is loaded from top to bottom, the two premier teams are Farragut and Whitney Young. I chose Farragut, despite its lack of depth and at times some poor decision-making, for three reasons.

First, the Admirals are so big, athletic, strong and physical. Coach Wolf Nelson may have found something with this 1-3-1 zone defense. It's so difficult to attack with 6-9 Mike Dunigan in the middle and big, long, strong athletes on top and on the wings. You just can't get to the basket against it. It will be interesting to see how much man-to-man vs. the 1-3-1 zone Farragut uses -- and when they use it -- in the state tournament. Second, Farragut is a veteran and mature team. Starters Dunigan, Darius Stowers, Isiah Williams and Marvin Thigpen are all seniors. And both Karl Riley and James Deer off the bench are seniors as well. Troynell Adams, a crazy athlete, is the lone junior. Third, Farragut is playing well at the right time. Stowers has come of age in the backcourt, showcasing his power and strength with the ball. And Williams provides just enough perimeter shooting to spread defenses.

Batavia is a veteran group that has the star to fall back on in Nick Fruendt. While the road won't be easy for the Bulldogs, at least there isn't another state power in their way. And it's time for Zion-Benton to take the next step. They have an abundance of talent and are so difficult to stop when they get in transition.

That leaves us with Homewood-Flossmoor, the City/Suburban Hoops Report's No. 1 team and pick as 4A state champ. The Vikings have a very winnable sectional and would travel to Illinois State to face a downstate representative in the supersectional, likely either O'Fallon, Edwardsville or Alton. H-F would be favored in any state semifinal matchup. And then comes Farragut in the state title game.

Coach Jim McLaughlin's team has the size, athletes and toughness to match up against Farragut, with 6-4 Supo Sanni, 6-4 Russell Ellington and 6-6 junior Mike Buchanon being multi-sport stars in basketball and football. Then it comes down to guard play, where H-F has arguably the best in the state right now in point guard Kevin Dillard. The Southern Illinois recruit is averaging 25 points and over 5 assists a game. He's a difference-maker at a position that is all so important in state tournament play.

Look for the City/Suburban Hoops Report 3A picks in coming days.

For a complete state tournament preview and breakdown of each sectional in Class 3A and Class 4A, subscribe to the City/Suburban Hoops Report, now in its 13th year of publication. Call (630)-408-6709 or e-mail hoopsreport@yahoo.com

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15 Comments

IF FARRAGUT DOESN'T UTILIZE THE BIG MAN IN THE MIDDLE
THEY ARE A SUNK SHIP.
MARSHALL IS A GREAT TEAM BUT IF YOU HAVE A 6'10"
CENTER AND HE NEVER TOUCHES THE BALL ON THE OFFENSIVE
END AND YOU EXPECT HIM TO BE A HAPPY CAMPER, THAT IS
WHY THEY LOST THE CITY CHAMPIONSHIP, HOPEFULLY THEY
WILL LEARN FROM THIS LOSS AND HAVE A SUCCESSFUL STATE
RUN.
MICHAEL DUNIGAN HAS TO BE INVOLVED IN THEIR OFFENSE
ALOT MORE, AFTER ALL HE IS A MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICAN.

I saw the Marshall win too. They are very quick in transition, but if Farragut had purposely fed Mr. (and I do mean Mr.) Dunigan, not every other time but every time down court, half the Marshall team would have fouled out. I'm not saying that the McDonald's All Ammerican would be expected to take every shot, but the offense should deliberately go through his basketball I.Q. He's a pretty good passer and the three point line would come avaliable as the defense try to double and tripple team the big fella! It's not the Kevin and Rodney show, but close enough to take State! Yo-Nupe!

A sad reminder of our new system.....I was thinking, where are the quarterfinal match ups? HF looks like the only slam dunk, and that depends on how good the Southern Illinois contigent is. Please anybody but O' Fallon again.

everybody countin out the best player in illinois iman shumpert and his oak parrk and river forest huskies who might just be playin the best basketball in the state right now. they r comin off a big win in lyons township, where there other great player daniel barnes didnt even play, so watch out, and i guaruntee they make some noise this year.

simeon will win state again without derrick rose,tim flower,

KUDOS TO MARIAN CATHOLIC AND COACH MIKE TAYLOR ON THEIR
NEAR UPSET OF HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR HIGH SCHOOL.
THE REPORTS THAT MIKE TAYLOR IS NOT A GOOD COACH, CAN
BE PUT IN THE GARBAGE.
DON'T GET ME WRONG I AM A BIG FAN OF MR. SANNI AND
COMPANY, BUT I'M A BIGGER FAN OF THE UNDERDOG, IT'S
NOT THE SIZE OF THE DOG IN THE FIGHT, IT'S HOW MUCH
FIGHT IS IN THE DOG!
THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE STATE PLAY-OFFS SO GREAT, AND
THE GAME WAS PLAYED AT H-F!

Oh Boy H-f sure does sound good but The Bloom Township Blazing Trojans are Lurking and when they meet tuesday it won't be pretty.Bloom Township Gets the upset But only win by 1.

Bloom is dangerous and a scary opponent for H-F. A win over H-F would be the signature win Bloom and coach Jasper Williams have been in search of.

FIRST KEVIN GARNETT AND NOW MIKE DUNIGAN, MAYBE
WOLF NELSON CAN'T COACH BIG MEN!
FARRAGUT SINKS AT ST. IGNATIUS TO MT. CARMEL.
WORD ON THE STREET IS STEVE FILER SHUT DOWN
MIKE DUNIGAN.

farrgut is out, now who you think is gonna take there spot?

oh and where can i find a bracket at?

Neuqua Valley will take 2nd at state because of many reasons. They got the height ( 4 players 6'5 or taller in their playing rotation.) The got the best 3 pointer shooter in the Chicago Area and they have played one of the toughest opppenets in the State like Rocton Indians, Rockford Auburn, Bolingbrook, Morton, Waubonsie and ect... Also, Batativa lost to a crappy team called Bartlett who NEUQUA beat by 15+ points. Another thing they got a Starter named Dywane and he is 6'6 who is in 10 grade and is averaging 17 point per game and 9+ borders in the post season.

Nathanael ... Should have stuck with my gut in 4A and went with Whitney Young in that tough Proviso East Sectional. Never go with a team that couldn't get it done with Kevin Garnett and Ronnie Fields playing together. Farragut had upset written all over it. Also, the sites below will get you to a 4A and 3A bracket. Thanks for the post.

http://www.ihsa.org/activity/bkb/2007-08/4bracket.htm
http://www.ihsa.org/activity/bkb/2007-08/3bracket.htm

wow, once again another upset, h-f is out, what is going on Joe? this is an very interesting tournament so far, you think since the two power houses h-f and faragut are out zion chances increase greatly?

I'm fascinated by the diverse range of views and opinions. Who's your "go to" guy?

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on February 24, 2008 9:27 AM.

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