The Sectional Finals are coming up on Friday across the state of Illinois. Here we preview each game along with 5 key storylines in 4A! Top Part of Bracket Libertyville vs Prospect (Barrington Sectional) Prospect is riding high after a…
The Sectional Finals are coming up on Friday across the state of Illinois. Here we preview each game along with 5 key storylines in 4A!
Top Part of Bracket
Libertyville vs Prospect (Barrington Sectional)
Prospect is riding high after a couple upsets knocking off #3 seed Palatine and #2 seed Stevenson. Now they go for the top dog in the bracket #1 seed Libertyville led by Aidyn Boone Aidyn Boone 6'5" | C Libertyville | 2023 State IL .
New Trier vs Glenbrook North (New Trier Sectional)
Both these teams had nail biters in the semis winning by two and one points respectively. New Trier has the homecourt advantage along with the best player on the floor in Jake Fiegen Jake Fiegen 6'3" | SG New Trier | 2023 State IL . Ryan Cohen Ryan Cohen 6'3" | SG Glenbrook North | 2023 State IL is looking to make a statement in this one for Glenbrook North. They split during the regular season.
Benet vs Geneva (Bartlett Sectional)
Benet has won their first three games by 34 points, 24 points, and 16 points. Geneva on the other hand has been tested winning by one and three in their last pair of games. Benet is the clear favorite here with their three headed monster of Nikola Abusara Nikola Abusara 6'5" | SF Benet | 2023 State IL , Brayden Fagbemi Brayden Fagbemi 5'11" | PG Benet | 2023 State IL , and Brady Kunka Brady Kunka 6'3" | SG Benet | 2023 State IL .
St. Charles East vs Rockford Auburn (Rockford Jefferson Sectional)
Both top seeds in this sectional are out. St. Charles East knocked off Huntley 65-59 to advance. Rockford Auburn has been rolling teams winning the last two by 9 points then 21 points.
Bottom Part of Bracket
Kenwood vs Brother Rice (St. Rita Sectional)
Many were anticipating the two most loaded college talented rosters in this one being Kenwood vs St. Rita. Niagara commit Ahmad Henderson Ahmad Henderson 5'10" | PG Brother Rice | 2023 State #291 Nation IL had other thoughts as he and Brother Rice knocked off Rita Wednesday. Now Henderson will get a huge test going head to head with fellow D1 senior guard Darrin Ames Darrin Ames 6'1" | PG Kenwood | 2023 State #99 Nation IL and a stacked Kenwood squad.
Hinsdale Central vs Downers Grove North (Hinsdale Central Sectional)
DGN pulled off the upset knocking top seeded Whitney Young out of the tournament. Hinsdale Central survived after a poor first half on Wednesday against Lyons. This should be another great atmosphere. Which star can carry their team to the supers Jack Stanton Jack Stanton 6'2" | SG Downers Grove North | 2024 State IL (DGN) or Ben Oosterbaan Ben Oosterbaan 6'6" | PF Hinsdale Central | 2023 State IL (Hinsdale Central)?
Joliet West vs Oswego East (Bolingbrook Sectional)
What a matchup in the sectional final as Joliet West (29-5) plays Oswego East (28-5). Two of the best teams in the state. Oswego East handled them at Joliet West earlier this year 72-59. Oswego East has a core six that can hang with anyone along with the star power of Towson commit Mekhi Lowery Mekhi Lowery 6'5" | SF Oswego East | 2023 State IL . Joliet West features top senior Jeremy Fears Jeremy Fears 6'1" | PG Joliet West | 2023 State #31 Nation IL and top sophomore Jeremiah Fears Jeremiah Fears 6'2" | PG Joliet West | 2025 State IL . The lethal 1-2 combo have been waiting for this opportunity for years. Underrated aspect will be the play inside.
Moline vs O’Fallon (Moline Sectional)
What a show Moline is putting on routing teams by 20 points, 32 points, and 17 points in their first three games. They are led by Iowa commits Owen Freeman Owen Freeman 6'10" | C Moline | 2023 State #179 Nation IL and Brock Harding Brock Harding 6'0" | PG Moline | 2023 State #222 Nation IL who are two of the premier seniors in the state and are clicking at the right time. O’Fallon got the narrow win in the regional semi over rival Belleville East. Then they pulled off an upset over Quincy in super impressive fashion 64-35. The Panthers core four has carried them and they will need them again in the semis especially Rini Harris Rini Harris 6'3" | SG O'Fallon | 2024 State IL and Koby Wilmoth Koby Wilmoth 6'8" | PF O'Fallon | 2023 State IL . If they have big games this could be close.
5 Key Storylines
3 Hosts in Sectional Finals
This is one we always look at. In the sectional finals three teams will host in Moline, Hinsdale Central, and New Trier. Each will be favored going into their matchups if it was a neutral court so they should be favorites playing with their fans and on home floor.
Bottom Half Loaded
The bottom part of the 4A bracket is completely stacked. Kenwood, Brother Rice, Hinsdale Central, Joliet West, Oswego East, and Moline are all teams that have been top teams in the state from start to finish this season. It is going to be a huge accomplishment for the team out of the bottom half of the bracket getting to the title game.
Benet Has Path to Final
On the other side of the bracket up top things have opened up very nicely for Benet. Not to say there are any easy wins in March, but they are by far and away the team to beat in that part of the bracket and we would be surprised if they were not playing the last game of the season.
Chicago Area Has Majority of 4A Sweet 16
In 4A almost every team is from the Chicago area or northern Illinois except for Moline and O’Fallon. One central Illinois team (Moline) and one southern Illinois team (O’Fallon) remain with one of them being done after sectional final.
Who are the top prospects remaining in the 4A field after several got knocked out earlier than expected? In the senior class you have Jeremy Fears Jeremy Fears 6'1" | PG Joliet West | 2023 State #31 Nation IL (Joliet West – Michigan State), Darrin Ames Darrin Ames 6'1" | PG Kenwood | 2023 State #99 Nation IL (Kenwood – Kansas State), Owen Freeman Owen Freeman 6'10" | C Moline | 2023 State #179 Nation IL (Moline – Iowa), Brock Harding Brock Harding 6'0" | PG Moline | 2023 State #222 Nation IL (Moline – Iowa), Mekhi Lowery Mekhi Lowery 6'5" | SF Oswego East | 2023 State IL (Oswego East – Towson), Ahmad Henderson Ahmad Henderson 5'10" | PG Brother Rice | 2023 State #291 Nation IL (Brother Rice – Niagara), Jake Fiegen Jake Fiegen 6'3" | SG New Trier | 2023 State IL (New Trier – Cornell), and Nikola Abusara Nikola Abusara 6'5" | SF Benet | 2023 State IL (Benet – Dartmouth) as the remaining top 25 2023s. The Kenwood quartet of top 20 2024s Chris Riddle Chris Riddle 6'5" | SF Kenwood | 2024 State #163 Nation IL , Calvin Robins Jr Calvin Robins Jr 6'5" | PF Kenwood | 2024 State IL , Jaden Smith Jaden Smith 6'9" | C Kenwood | 2024 State #249 Nation IL , and Isaiah Green Isaiah Green 6'0" | PG Kenwood | 2024 State IL are the junior headliners. Jeremiah Fears Jeremiah Fears 6'2" | PG Joliet West | 2025 State IL of Joliet West is the top sophomore and lone top 10 2025 remaining in 4A.