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  • Writer's pictureBig Tim

Big Tim's IHSA Class 1A preview Chicago Area Teams!!!!!!

America's Original March Madness started on Saturday. I think this is the greatest state tournament in America. I've lived many places because of my military experiences and seen many state tournaments in America. Yes I may be biased because I live here now, but there's nothing like high school basketball in Illinois. This is the best time of the year, big crowds, high school gyms filled with students cheering for their classmates to take the next step. The clever chants to bother opposing teams. The Brother Rice crazies. The Notre Dame College Prep Dons chanting "Sit down shut up". The Evanston Township students chanting "F New Trier"if they clash in the State Playoffs. Well not so nice there. Then the chanting and pointing "Scoreboard, Scoreboard, Scoreboard". Then the "Start the buses, start the buses". Then the "Seasons over, seasons over". Seniors have their high school careers end, and only one team in each class is happy and jumping up and down at mid court in Champaign aka Downstate. You see the players crying on the court, coaches and parents trying to cheer them up. You will likely see buzzer beaters, big time plays, all out war with each step. You have to win seven straight games to win the brass ring. You lose you're done that's just the way we do it here. Regionals, Sectionals, Supersectional Monday (does not sound right I loved Supersectional Tuesday), then the Final Four and finally the State Title game. Supersectional to me is the toughest game of the journey, so close but yet so far from Downstate and the Final Four. So here we go with Class 1A Chicago Area.


Putnam County (Granville) Sectional:

Christian (Yorkville) is 10-21 and has already won a play in game. Defending Class A State Champs do not have the talent they've had the last couple of years. They do have the state's leading scorer David Douglas Jr (6'5" senior point guard). He has sophomore sharpshooters Brady Sovern (6'2" guard) and Zach Marini (5'10" guard) comes off the bench. Troy Lombardo (6'4" senior forward) does the dirty work inside the other players are Jalen Alders (6'0" senior guard) and Abram Fields (5'8" senior guard) who's in his first year of basketball. When you have a player like Douglas Jr you always have a shot.


Elgin Sectional:

Favorite: Hope Academy (Chicago) #1 seed

Darkorses: Marshall (Chicago), Manley (Chicago)

Hope Academy is 19-8 and the top seed but have to admit I do not know much about them and not much is out there on social media.

Marshall (Chicago) is 13-10 and to me is the favorite in this sectional and a threat to win the Class A State Title. Their size alone makes them contenders and their bigs CAN PLAY!!!! Start with Ja'Juan Cozark (6'6" senior forward) along with Antonio Tyler (6'8" junior forward), and Joel Brown (6'8" senior center) who's a double/double machine. Key here is the guard play, they will have to hit some threes to loosen up the defense. They also have to feed the post at a high level. Senior point guard Daveon Brown (5'9" senior guard) has to produce for the Commandos.

Manley (Chicago) has a glittering 28-4 record winning the Chicago Public League Blue West. They do have some talent and if they can put it together could make a long playoff run in Class A. Senior point guard Qi'Andre Washington (6'0" senior) is the table setter for this team. He does have help with Quovadis Temples (5'7" senior guard) who has gotten a couple of triple doubles this season. Inside play will be key on the glass and they do have some athletes that do that. JaJuan Newby (6'8" senior forward) is a double/double machine, and talented freshman Jaali Love (6'5" wing) is a versatile wing who can rim protect. Antonio Jackson (6'2" senior wing) is a glue guy.

They stuck all the Chicago teams in one sectional so only one can make it to the state finals. Winner of that sectional may have a tough team with Scales Mound, the favorite in the Eastland (Lanark) Sectional. They made it to Champaign last season.

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