The Class 3A and 4A boys basketball playoffs tip off next week, and while teams from the area will head different directions at the start of the postseason, the end goal is the same — to reach Carver Arena in Peoria for the state finals March 21 and 22.
Seed: No. 4 in regional
First game: 6 p.m. Monday vs. No. 5 Aurora Central Catholic
Outlook: Despite lacking size and a lot of experience, Glenbard South has put together a solid 2013-14 campaign, posting a record of 13-11 as of Monday. The Raiders were given the fourth seed (out of six teams) at the Kaneland regional and will begin the postseason against Aurora Central Catholic. The winner advances to play No. 1 seed Kaneland in the semis. St. Francis is the second seed.
Chaun Rickette continues to lead the Raiders in scoring, averaging 22.6 points per tilt. Alex Jeske is also in double-digits, posting 13.7 points per game. Tyler Scott (6.6 points) and Mark Murbach (5.5) have also chipped in.
Seed: No. 13
First game: 6 p.m. Monday vs. No. 20 Proviso West
Outlook: An inexperienced team coming into the season, West has competed well throughout the winter and had a record of 12-13 after Friday's loss to West Suburban Silver champ Hinsdale Central. The Hilltoppers begin the postseason against WSS foe Proviso West, with whom they split during the regular season. The winner takes on No. 4 Morton in the semis.
Senior Corey Davis tops the team in scoring with his 13.7 points per game average. Sophomore Justin Pierce is next at 10.9 points per contest while senior Will Reedy has also stepped up his game (8.5 points per game).
Regional: Elk Grove
First game: 8 p.m. Monday vs. No. 23 Willowbrook
Outlook: The Falcons' resiliency has been a major storyline this winter. Despite a rash of injuries to main contributors, the Falcons still found themselves with a record of 13-11 as of Monday. The squad begins the playoffs against Willowbrook. With a victory, Wheaton North would see No. 2 Proviso East in the semis.
Leading the way for the Falcons has been Andrew Slivinski, who averages 12.6 points per game. Also helping out with the scoring load have been Matt Biegalski (10.2 points), Jake Heggeland (10.1 points) and Nick Jordan (8.2 points).
Wheaton Warrenville South
Regional: Plainfield East
Sectional: East Aurora
Seed: No. 22
First game: 8 p.m. Monday vs. No. 10 Plainfield East
Outlook: The Tigers have five wins on the winter, but that doesn't tell the story of how hard they play on a nightly basis. Nine of the team's losses have come by 10 or fewer points. South opens the postseason against Plainfield East and would face No. 3 Bolingbrook with a victory.
Matt Kienzle, who has knocked down 54 3-pointers, leads the squad with 11.4 points per game. Aidan Hernandez is at eight points per contest, and Keishawn Watson, Joe Metzger and sophomore newcomer Eric Rasch are all solid contributors .
Seed: No. 11
First game: 8 p.m. Monday vs. No. 22 Prosser
Outlook: West Chicago's turnaround season saw the team carry 15 wins into play this week. The Wildcats open up the postseason against Prosser. A matchup with former DVC foe Glenbard North would happen in the semis.
John Konchar has put up outstanding all-around stats this winter, averaging 27.9 points per game to go along with 13.9 rebounds. He also totaled 97 assists, 81 steals and 56 blocks through 24 games. Mikey Bibbs is averaging 14.4 points as the team's No. 2 scorer and Mitch Henke is at 7.1 points per game. Ryan Orr (5.9 points) and Marco Lomibao (5.3 points) also contribute.
Seed: No. 2 in regional
First game: 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. No. 3 Marmion or No. 6 IMSA
Outlook: The Spartans lost most of their major contributors from a year ago to graduation, but once again have found a way to be successful and improved to 14-8 on the winter after a pair of wins last week. The squad will play either Marmion or IMSA in the regional semifinals. The host Knights are the No. 1 seed and could await in the regional final.
Kilian Brown is averaging a double-double this season with his 14 points and 10 rebounds per game numbers. Zach Prociuk checks in at 13 points per contest.
Seed: No. 2 in regional
First game: 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. No. 3 Burlington Central
Outlook: Wheaton Academy has found its stride as of late, having won eight of nine contests. The Warriors play No. 3-seed Burlington Central to begin the postseason. A matchup against No. 1 seed Sycamore could happen in the regional final.
Wheaton Academy is led by the inside-outside punch of Gordon Behr and Josh Ruggles, who are averaging 13.0 and 14.2 points per game, respectively. Ruggles had hit 76 three-pointers while Behr adds a team-high 8.1 rebounds per outing.