By Joe Henricksen
Yes, the games do have to be played in Class 3A despite the fact everyone from around the state fully expects Marshall and Simeon to advance to Peoria with relative ease. The Hoops Report takes a look at a few of the Class 3A sectionals on tap for this week.
North Chicago has won 20 games for the first time in over 25 years and just it's second regional title in that time. But coach Gerald Coleman's club, which is led by the perimeter trio of Keith Ford, DeShawn Chambliss and Kentrall Wilson, has its eyes set on a sectional title. The high-scoring Warhawks can put points on the board in a hurry and are the favorite and should take care of Senn in the semifinal and Grayslake Central in the title game.
HOOPS REPORT PICK: North Chicago over Grayslake Central
There is no sectional with a bigger favorite than Marshall at R-B. The Big Two of senior Ryan Hare and junior Darius Smith get the headlines, but the tandem of 6-5 junior Eriq Harris and senior Davaris Davis have been huge in recent weeks. The Commandos are playing awfully well, rolled through regional play and should have their way in the sectional semis against Aurora Central. Although many believe Crane will advance to the title game to face Marshall, don't overlook Wheaton St. Francis, which knocked off St. Joe's in the regional final. St. Francis has a couple of capable scorers in Brian McMahon and shooter Dan McCoy.
HOOPS REPORT PICK: Marshall over Crane
Rich South Sectional
T.F. North, the No. 2 seed, hopes to hold off a trio of Cinderella stories in No. 9 Crete Monee, No. 8 Seton Academy and No. 12 Tinley Park. Seton appears to be the biggest threat to T.F. North, having played a solid schedule and boasting a talented, young tandem in sophomore Kenny Stevenson and junior Tony Nixon. The Hoops Report is going to stick with the Cinderella story in this sectional.
HOOPS REPORT PICK: Seton Academy over T.F. North
Like Marshall, Simeon is a heavy favorite to win its sectional. In fact, it would be a shock if Simeon does not win this sectional. The Wolverines have size in 6-9 Stan Simpson and a strong backcourt with the underrated tandem of Lazeric Jones and Kenyon Smith. Simeon should roll past Hope and then get by Leo and guard James Pointer in the final.
HOOPS REPORT PICK: Simeon over Leo