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With the Illinois High School Association’s release of the sectional assignments last week, the City/Suburban Hoops Report takes a very early look at how the seeds may look two-plus months from now.
Sure, there’s a whole lot of basketball left to be played between now and seeding time in February –– teams will rise, surprise and fall –– but lets crystal ball it, shall we? A look at the Class 4A sectionals and their seeds.
EAST AURORA SECTIONAL
1. Benet Academy
2. West Aurora
3. Hinsdale Central
▪ This sectional, which West Aurora has won the past two years, is always full of energy and very competitive. Benet’s rugged schedule will have it plenty prepared for March. Can one of the Plainfield schools –– East or North –– make a push towards the top four?
1. Proviso East
2. Oak Park-River Forest
▪ Yes, Proviso East is still the team to beat in this sectional until someone proves it can do it. Morton’s strength of schedule gives them the edge over Glenbard North, while we will wait and see how potentially dangerous North Lawndale transforms itself over the next couple of months.
2. Whitney Young
4. St. Rita
▪ A lot to be decided among these four teams before March rolls around. Regardless, a rugged two games await these four powerhouses just to get to the super-sectional. But how would you like to be the teams seeded 5-8 in this sectional? You have to feel for the likes of De La Salle, St. Ignatius, Richards, Stagg and Mt. Carmel in having to beat one of those top four teams just to win a regional.
MAINE SOUTH SECTIONAL
1. Loyola Academy
2. Maine South
4. Niles North
▪ Maine South is a little better than anticipated (Do we say that every year?), but only four weeks into the season it’s Loyola Academy that’s been playing at the highest level and projects well with such terrific guard play.
1. Marian Catholic
▪ What’s happened to this once-mighty sectional? With the south suburbs a little down and Marian Catholic way up, a repeat sectional title for the Spartans more than just a possibility.
LAKE ZURICH SECTIONAL
2. St. Viator
4. Lake Forest
▪ It’s not out of the question the top three teams in this sectional are all ranked among the top 10 teams heading into state tournament play. Right now, though, there is a pretty intriguing list of teams just outside that top four –– unbeaten Fremd, a couple of teams out of the CSL North who are off to strong starts in Deerfield and Highland Park, along with a host of teams out of the battle-tested North Suburban Lake.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport