All 16 super sectional games were played on Monday night. I took in the action from Springfield! In 2A Bloomington Central Catholic vs Pontiac which saw the top uncommitted junior in Illinois advance to the final four. Then an epic…
All 16 super sectional games were played on Monday night. I took in the action from Springfield! In 2A Bloomington Central Catholic vs Pontiac which saw the top uncommitted junior in Illinois advance to the final four. Then an epic double OT classic between East St. Louis and Sacred Heart Griffin which was about as crazy as a high school game gets as the defending 3A champs fell. Time to evaluated it all in 10 Takeaways: Springfield Super Sectionals!
Bloomington Central Catholic vs Pontiac
Dynamic Inside/Outside 2024 Duo leads BCC to Champaign
Bloomington Central Catholic was in control for most of the night in this one while Pontiac hung around within striking distance. In the first quarter top junior wing Cole Certa Cole Certa 6'4" | SG Bloomington Central Catholic | 2024 #127 Nation FL was like a video game bombing in NBA range threes along with posting up smaller defenders for 11 of his game high 27 points. He was quiet relatively speaking the next two quarters, but in the fourth he lighted it up once again finishing inside, getting to the line, and hitting a key three. Also liked how he was gritty on the glass. State will get to see this star junior on Thursday in Champaign as he led BCC to 67-53 win over Pontiac. His running mate in 2024 Colin Hayes Colin Hayes 6'6" | PF Bloomington Central Catholic | 2024 State IL did his part as well. The junior four man was a force on the glass and scoring with efficiency on the interior. He had quick spin moves on the block with soft touch finishing with 15 points. Worth D2 consideration!
Unknown 2025 Steps Up Big for BCC
Have really liked how new underclassmen have stepped up in March for several teams. Bloomington Central Catholic’s Treyton Eller did just that. The 6’3” two guard made a pair of spot up threes and was tough around the hoop for 13 points. One to track later this week!
Bloomington Central Catholic’s Chances in Champaign?
I believe Bloomington Central Catholic has as good of a chance as anyone in the field to win the title on Saturday in 2A. First will be a tough Rockridge squad. Then Certa might have to go up against his Illinois Wolves teammates Payton Kamin Payton Kamin 6'8" | SG Worcester Academy | 2025 NLG and Jaylan McElroy Jaylan McElroy 6'7" | PF DePaul Prep | 2024 State IL in the championship if DePaul Prep also advances.
Pontiac 2024 Wing Duo to Track
There were a pair of 2024s who caught our attention for Pontiac. First is 6’3” lefty small forward Riley Weber. Good length and showcased his ability to put it on the deck. Also a good rebounder as he had 11 points. Kerr Bauman Kerr Bauman 6'2" | SG Pontiac | 2024 IL is a skilled shooting guard that won off the bounce, got to the line, and finished on straight line takes en route to 18 points.
Despite Loss Pontiac Lives Up to Preseason Hype
When you think of Pontiac it is the holiday tournament that every basketball fan knows! This year they had a group that wanted to make noise that they are more than just a tournament. They won their first round game in December at their famed tournament and made it to the elite 8 in March.
East St. Louis vs Sacred Heart Griffin
East St. Louis Wins Double OT Thriller
What a game! For one that started off very low scoring in the first half and kind of sloppy with turnovers this turned out to be an outstanding contest! Sacred Heart Griffin led for the majority of the game, but East St. Louis never relented. They were willed by Macaleab Rich Macaleab Rich 6'4" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State #261 Nation IL into OT. In the first OT it looked like SHG had it as Hawkinson scored on a sweeping drive followed by a pair of free throws from Jake Hamilton Jake Hamilton 6'3" | SG Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL . Rich missed the shot on the other end but D’Necco Rucker D’Necco Rucker 6'5" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State IL was in the right place at the right time as he got an offensive rebound and a 5 foot runner to send it to double OT. In the second OT as we will get into East St. Louis got turnovers and half of SHG’s team fouled out. East St Louis won 59-56.
Kansas State Commit Takes Over in Second Half and OTs
It was a very quiet first half for Macaleab Rich Macaleab Rich 6'4" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State #261 Nation IL as the Kansas State star only had four points. Then he went beast mode in the second half as the top 10 prospect in Illinois absolutely took over. It was an epic showing going to the rack over and over again. He either made them, got the rebound off his own miss, or went to the foul line. He was awesome at the line going 15-16 from the charity stripe on his way to 23 points and double digit boards. His passing can’t go unnoticed either as he dished it all over the floor on drive and kicks to his shooters. Superstars step up in big games and he did just that!
Flyers Role Players Do What They Do Well in Win
There was no single overwhelming performance by another Flyer, but they each played their roles. D’Necco Rucker D’Necco Rucker 6'5" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State IL hit the big shot at the end of OT, but the floor spacing senior wing also shot it well from distance connecting on three triples in a 11 point outing. Cal State Fullerton commit Antwan Robinson Antwan Robinson 6'5" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State IL also hit a pair of threes and came up with some clutch defense finishing with 7 points. Early on especially Cameron Boone Cameron Boone 6'8" | C East St. Louis | 2023 State IL was a difference maker inside for East St. Louis. The five man is a space eater that rebounds and alters shots and that he did swatting an array of them making it tough for SHG to score.
SHG 1-2 Senior Punch Give It Their All in Loss
What a career for Jake Hamilton Jake Hamilton 6'3" | SG Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL and Zack Hawkinson Zack Hawkinson 6'4" | PF Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL . They finish their career as legends at Sacred Heart Griffin. Quincy commit Jake Hamilton Jake Hamilton 6'3" | SG Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL had it working all night winning off the bounce for his crafty finishes along with splashing in triples. Such a fun player that plays on the move as he scored 21 points. Top uncommitted 2023 post Zack Hawkinson Zack Hawkinson 6'4" | PF Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL struggled in the first half as he only had 3 points in the first two quarters. Then he started to get aggressive carving out space inside, posting up, crashing the offensive glass, getting to the line, and taking his defenders off the bounce from the high post. Went for 21 points and double digit rebounds. High D2s should be making him a major priority!
Foul Outs and TO End SGH Hopes of Back to Back
SHG gave it everything as a defending state champion. After the Rucker shot they just ran out of gas. Everyone kept fouling out as ace defender Will Hamilton Will Hamilton 6'3" | SF Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL who slowed Rich down in the first half started the parade to the bench. Then Hawkinson followed by Keshon Singleton Keshon Singleton 6'2" | PG Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL who had a solid game as the Air Force football commit pushed in transition with his speed and power like always for 7 points. Late in the game they didn’t have the ball handlers on the floor they needed and turned it over time and time again.