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Aurora Central's Shawn Soris is trapped by Marmion's Mike Sheehan (center) and Jordan Glasgow (right) in Aurora on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2013. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Here they go again.
“We had our conference meeting (Saturday) morning and we were joking that this is like a college conference tournament starting the postseason,” Ryan Paradise said.
The Marmion coach was talking about the Class 3A IMSA Regional that opens Monday. It looks almost like a Suburban Christian Conference Blue Tournament since four of the division’s six teams are in the field, headed by league champ and No. 1 seed Wheaton Academy (19-6) and runner-up and No. 2 seed St. Francis (19-6).
The Cadets (10-18) are seeded fifth and meet arch-rival and No. 4 seed Aurora Central (14-12) Monday at 6 o’clock to open the action with Northern Illinois Big 12 East champion and No. 3 seed Kaneland (15-11) taking on the sixth-seeded hosts (4-19) at 7:30 p.m.
“I’d rather play a team we haven’t played,” said ACC coach Nate Drye, whose team will face Marmion three times in a season for the second year in a row. It is the 76th meeting of the series, which the Cadets lead 38-37.
“We’ve seen all these guys (in the league) twice but it doesn’t really matter, you’ve gotta beat who’s there.”
Aurora Central took a big lead in the first meeting between the rivals in early January and then had to rally to pull out a 63-60 win after a gallant Marmion comeback. Ten days ago. they met again with the Cadets taking a big lead early and blowing out the Chargers 60-36.
Paradise would like to see someone new, too, and agrees with Drye that the IHSA did none of Monday’s combatants any favors by making the winners play back-to-back, meeting Wheaton Academy or St. Francis Tuesday rather than Wednesday.
Sophomore Jordan Glasgow (12 points, 5 rebounds) leads the Cadets, but Paradise said “in the last month Alex Theisen and Mike Sheehan have been good leaders for us as guards. We’ve been playing better the last three weeks but we’re still very inconsistent.”
Senior forward Phil Schuetz leads the Chargers with scoring and rebounding averages of 15.8 and 6.1.
“We (Marmion and ACC) can’t get enough of each other,” Drye deadpanned. “The fans, parents and kids all get along so well. It will be a chance to celebrate good old-fashioned basketball and enjoy each other’s company.
“They dusted us pretty well the last time. We’ll have to play a whole lot better just to be in the game.”
At Lincoln-Way West, top-seeded Plano enters Tuesday’s semifinal with a 20-9 record and a share of the Interstate Eight Conference championship and meets the winner of Monday’s game between No. 4 Sandwich and the fifth-seeded hosts at 6 p.m.