Previewing the Class 3A and 4A Supersectionals

Previewing the Class 3A and 4A Supersectionals
March 18, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Scott Phillips

It's Super Tuesday in the state of Illinois as Class 3A and Class 4A Supersectionals go down all over the state tonight as eight teams -- four from each class -- will move on to Friday's Final Four in Peoria. Here's a look at all eight supersectional matchups from around the state.

Class 3A

Rockford Lutheran vs. Peoria Notre Dame - Rockford Lutheran (29-2) has made a solid run after winning the Hampshire Sectional as a No. 1 regional seed, but Peoria Notre Dame (21-12) is one of the better stories of this year's IHSA state playoffs after winning the Peoria Sectional as a No. 4 seed in its regional. Rockford Lutheran is led by senior guard Thomas Kopelman, who is capable of playing both guard spots and scoring from nearly anywhere on the floor. James Robinson and Nate Wieting have both had solid playoff performances as well as those three leading Rockford Lutheran past Sycamore for the Sectional title. Peoria Notre Dame will counter with senior guard Shea Feehan, who is one of the better unsigned seniors in the state of Illinois. Peoria Notre Dame also has 6-foot-3 wing Demarco Washington and 6-foot-7 forward Peter Hanley, as they've both stepped up in the playoffs.

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Cahokia vs. Lincoln - A lot of talent on the floor in this one when Cahokia (25-10) battles with Lincoln (32-2). These two teams faced each other earlier in the season with Lincoln coming out on top with a 49-38 win in November. Since handing Springfield Lanphier its first loss of the season to end the regular season, Lincoln has been rolling and they're one of the major favorites in Class 3A thanks to the play of senior Max Cook and junior Gavin Block. Cahokia is very talented in their own right. They're led by senior forward Darius Austin, a UMKC commit and senior guard C.J. Rivers, a Drake commit. 

Morgan Park vs. Bogan - This will be the fourth time this season that these two teams have met as this is quickly becoming one of the best rivalries in the area. Bogan (25-5) swept Morgan Park (20-6) in Red-South play during the regular season to help the Bengals capture the conference title, but the Mustangs own a tournament win over Bogan in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament semifinals. Bogan junior Luwane Pipkins is scoring the ball at a high level lately, including a 45-point performance in a win over U-High in the sectional semifinal, but he's only averaging 17 points a game against Morgan Park this season as the Mustangs look to repeat in Class 3A. Nick Irvin's team is led by seniors Josh Cunningham, Lamont Walker and Torry Johnson and sophomore Charlie Moore is one of the better young point guards in the state. 

North Chicago vs. Orr - These two teams met last season in the Hoffman Estates Supersectional with Orr (24-4) coming out on top and the Spartans are hoping to make another trip back to Peoria to improve on their fourth-place finish. Orr is led by senior guard Lou Adams Jr., 6-foot-8 forward Marlon Jones and talented senior wing forward Sire Carroll while North Chicago (26-4) has a big three of its own with Javairius Amos-Mays, Kurt Hall and JayQuan McCloud. The Warhawks have won four-straight sectional titles, but always seem to face a difficult Red-West opponent when they try to make it downstate. With Orr's size and athleticism, they should be favored to win this game and make it back to Peoria. 

Class 4A

Stevenson vs. Rockford Auburn - Stevenson has been fantastic during its run to Tuesday's Supersectional at DeKalb and the Patriots (30-1) will be the heavy favorite in this one. Junior point guard Jalen Brunson is a Player of the Year candidate thanks to his incredible consistency as a scorer and distributor and fellow junior guards Connor Cashaw and Matt Johnson are also really good players. Stevenson's unsung role guys like Michigan State football commit Matt Morrissey and junior Parker Nichols down low have also played well and they're battle-tested after playing Stevenson's brutal schedule. Rockford Auburn, meanwhile, will count on its perimeter shooting to keep them in the game. Laytwan Porter, Antoine Pittman and Zavious Hoover can all knock down three-pointers at a high rate and they're just three of the players that Rockford Auburn (28-5) will use to spread the floor.

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Whitney Young vs. Loyola - The Dolphins (26-5) are currently the favorite in Class 4A thanks to their unique advantage of having 6-foot-10 senior center Jahlil Okafor manning the middle for them. While Okafor, a Duke commit, grabs a lot of the headlines, senior forward Paul White (Georgetown) and senior guard Miles Reynolds (Saint Louis) have both had tremendous careers as well and Whitney Young role players like senior Erwin Henry and sophomores Rodney Herenten and Skylar Nash have played well this postseason. Loyola, meanwhile, comes in as the underdog thanks to its lack of size, but James Clarke, Kevin Kucera, and Jack Morrissey are three outstanding senior guards that play well off of each other and they can all handle, pass and shoot from the perimeter. The Ramblers (25-5) still have a chance if they can knock in shots from the perimeter, but they have to contain Okafor and White on the interior.

Marian Catholic vs. Edwardsville - The Spartans (28-2) will be looking for revenge in the Normal Supersectional after they lost to Edwardsville (29-2) in this game last season. This matchup could be decided at the point guard position as Marian Catholic senior point guard Tyler Ulis -- a Kentucky commit and McDonald's All-American -- takes on Edwardsville senior point guard Shawn Roundtree, who has garnered multiple Division I offers during a stellar senior season. Ulis is battling a turf toe injury that he suffered last week, but his supporting cast includes senior forward T.J. Parham on the interior and tough-minded senior role players like forward John Oliver and guard Ki-Jana Crawford. Those guys should be prepared this time around for Edwardsville, but with the way Roundtree is playing, this should be a great matchup.

Benet vs. Glenbard North - Benet (23-7) has played one of the toughest schedules in the area this season and the Redwings and senior center Sean O'Mara -- a Xavier commit -- will be favored in this one thanks to Glenbard North's lack of size. While the Panthers (24-5) don't have anyone in its starting lineup over 6-foot-4, they do have some talented seniors in Chip Flanigan and Jeremiah Fleming that have played great ball throughout the DuPage Valley Conference season and the postseason. If Benet works the ball inside to O'Mara, he's a good enough passer to find wing shooters like Collin Pellettieri, who nailed six three-pointers in the win against Hinsdale Central last week. Could the ESCC get two teams to Peoria? That'll be the case if Marian Catholic and Benet both win.

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