The Sectional Finals are coming up on Friday across the state of Illinois. Here we preview each game along with 5 key storylines in 3A! Top Part of Bracket St. Ignatius vs Fenwick (De La Salle Sectional) St. Ignatius is…
The Sectional Finals are coming up on Friday across the state of Illinois. Here we preview each game along with 5 key storylines in 3A!
Top Part of Bracket
St. Ignatius vs Fenwick (De La Salle Sectional)
St. Ignatius is clicking at the right time again. They still have some injured player who aren’t coming back, but if Richard Barron Richard Barron 6'5" | SF St. Ignatius | 2023 State IL and Phoenix Gill Phoenix Gill 6'2" | SG St. Ignatius | 2025 State IL keep bringing it they can make it to Champaign as they have blown out first three opponents. Fenwick upset De La Salle on their home floor. Led by Darshan Thomas Darshan Thomas 6'5" | SF Fenwick | 2024 State IL Fenwick has quite a few quality prospects, but we thought they were a year away with most being sophomores and juniors. Maybe not!
Lake Forest vs Grayslake Central (Grayslake Central Sectional)
One of the top seniors in the field has his squad in prime position to make a run as Clemson commit Asa Thomas Asa Thomas 6'6" | SF Lake Forest | 2023 State #91 Nation IL can carry his team. Tricky one here having to go to Grayslake Central.
Hillcrest vs Lemont (Hillcrest Sectional)
Hillcrest and Lemont are two of the best this season from the south suburbs. Stars all over the floor including seniors Darrion Baker Darrion Baker 6'8" | PF Hillcrest | 2023 State #227 Nation IL , Matas Castillo Matas Castillo 5'11" | PG Lemont | 2023 State IL , and Rokas Castillo Rokas Castillo 5'11" | PG Lemont | 2023 State IL . Hillcrest hasn’t really been tested yet winning all three by blowouts to this point. This will be their first real test. Lemont on the other hand has won each of their last two by a bucket each so they are battle tested. Should be a fun one!
Simeon vs Mt. Carmel (Glenbard South Sectional)
Two of the best teams in the Chicagoland area meet up in the sectional final. One from the Public League and the other from the Catholic League. Simeon is led by seniors all over the floor including recent Jacksonville commit Jalen Griffith Jalen Griffith 5'10" | PG Simeon | 2023 State IL at the point. He will matchup with Denver signee DeAndre Craig DeAndre Craig 5'11" | PG Mt. Carmel | 2023 State IL in a clash of two of the best floor generals in the senior class. The length and athleticism from the forward spot will be key as Simeon has Miles Rubin Miles Rubin 6'7" | PF Simeon | 2023 State #243 Nation IL , Wesley Rubin Wesley Rubin 6'8" | PF Simeon | 2023 State IL , and Sam Lewis Sam Lewis 6'5" | SF Simeon | 2023 State IL . Mt. Carmel counters with their 2024 top 20 duo of Lee Marks Lee Marks 6'5" | SF Mt. Carmel | 2024 State IL and Angelo Ciaravino Angelo Ciaravino 6'6" | SF Mt. Carmel | 2024 State IL .
Bottom Part of Bracket
Burlington Central vs Marmion Academy (Burlington Central Sectional)
Marmion Academy has a talented squad led by Anthony Jabe Haith Anthony Jabe Haith 6'4" | SG Marmion Academy | 2023 State IL who is a Lewis commit. They won at the buzzer to send them into the sectional final. Burlington Central has been impressive to date behind their star Belmont signee Drew Scharnowski Drew Scharnowski 6'7" | PF Burlington Central | 2023 State IL including scoring a 65-33 win over Rockford Boylan.
Peoria Richwoods vs Metamora (Galesburg Sectional)
Metamora scored a tight win over an upset minded Sterling team in the sectional semis only winning 72-70. Tyson Swanson Tyson Swanson 6'2" | SG Metamora | 2023 State IL and Drew Tucker are leading them right now. South Alabama commit Ethan Kizer Ethan Kizer 6'6" | SF Metamora | 2023 State IL is going to need to be a bigger factor in this one. We have seen Richwoods twice this post season and they have the balance to give Metamora a game here especially if star Artavious Smith is clicking.
East St. Louis vs Triad (Centralia Sectional)
ESL was impressive knocking off Centralia rather easily on the road in the semis 53-39. They have the most talent of any metro east team with Kansas State commit Macaleab Rich Macaleab Rich 6'4" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State #261 Nation IL and Cal State Fullerton signee Antwan Robinson Antwan Robinson 6'5" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State IL in addition to a ton of other college prospects. Triad has quietly had a very impressive season. 2025 Drew Winslow Drew Winslow 6'5" | SF Triad | 2025 State IL is emerging as a legit scoring wing and they have a senior who can take over in McGrady Noyes McGrady Noyes 6'5" | SF Triad | 2023 State IL .
Sacred Heart Griffin vs Decatur MacArthur (Decatur Macarthur Sectional)
This one might be the most intriguing game on the board. SHG is the defending state champs with everyone back including stars Zack Hawkinson Zack Hawkinson 6'4" | PF Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL and Quincy commit Jake Hamilton Jake Hamilton 6'3" | SG Sacred Heart Griffin | 2023 State IL . They haven’t been tested yet. Expect that to change Friday. We loved what we saw out of MacArthur in our viewings of them this season led by inside/outside senior duo Makhi Wright Makhi Wright 6'7" | C Decatur MacArthur | 2023 State IL and Azarion Richardson Azarion Richardson 6'3" | SG Decatur MacArthur | 2023 State IL . MacArthur lost both matchups this season. As the old saying goes it is hard to beat a good team 3 times in a season.
4 Hosts in Sectional Finals
Half of the 3A field will have home games on Friday night. Hillcrest and Burlington Central come in as the favorites in their games. Decatur MacArthur and Grayslake Central could get major boosts playing on their home floors in front of their fans. Never underestimate how much this matters in March!
Path Opens for St. Ignatius
Déjà vu? Just like last year St. Ignatius had the easiest path in 3A. It got a little easier not having to play top seeded De La Salle on their home floor in the sectional final. Fenwick is a tough CCL team that is well coached. Iggy has stars and after another up and down season sees they have a path the next two games to realistically make it back to Champaign.
Can Simeon Keep Rolling?
Without question Simeon is the story in 3A. Robert Smith’s last season at the helm with a team that has five D1 seniors. They will get a massive test against Mt. Carmel in the sectional final on a neutral site away from the city for both teams. Mt. Carmel has the size and athleticism to match up some with the Wolverines frontline.
Strong Group of State Contenders from Central and Southern Illinois
Unlike in the 4A field the 3A sweet 16 features many more teams from central and southern Illinois with real shots to win a state championship. They include East St. Louis, Metamora, Sacred Heart Griffin, and don’t count out Decatur MacArthur.
Top Prospects Remaining
Lake Forest star Asa Thomas Asa Thomas 6'6" | SF Lake Forest | 2023 State #91 Nation IL is the headliner as the Clemson commit checks in at #5 in the senior class. Simeon has it’s five D1 seniors in Miles Rubin Miles Rubin 6'7" | PF Simeon | 2023 State #243 Nation IL (Loyola), Wesley Rubin Wesley Rubin 6'8" | PF Simeon | 2023 State IL (Northern Iowa), Jalen Griffith Jalen Griffith 5'10" | PG Simeon | 2023 State IL (Jacksonville), Sam Lewis Sam Lewis 6'5" | SF Simeon | 2023 State IL (Toledo), and Kaiden Space Kaiden Space 6'2" | SG Simeon | 2023 State IL (Stony Brook). East St. Louis’ Macaleab Rich Macaleab Rich 6'4" | SF East St. Louis | 2023 State #261 Nation IL (Kansas State), Hillcrest’s Darrion Baker Darrion Baker 6'8" | PF Hillcrest | 2023 State #227 Nation IL (Akron), Mt. Carmel’s DeAndre Craig DeAndre Craig 5'11" | PG Mt. Carmel | 2023 State IL (Denver), St. Ignatius’ Richard Barron Richard Barron 6'5" | SF St. Ignatius | 2023 State IL (George Mason), and Burlington Central’s Drew Scharnowski Drew Scharnowski 6'7" | PF Burlington Central | 2023 State IL (Belmont) are all inside the top 25 of 2023. Mt. Carmel’s top 20 2024 forward duo of Angelo Ciaravino Angelo Ciaravino 6'6" | SF Mt. Carmel | 2024 State IL and Lee Marks Lee Marks 6'5" | SF Mt. Carmel | 2024 State IL are the clear top juniors to track. St. Ignatius’ top 5 sophomore Phoenix Gill Phoenix Gill 6'2" | SG St. Ignatius | 2025 State IL headlines the 2025 class.