IHSA Boys basketball Class 4A Supersectional Preview!!!!!!
It's been a crazy post season full of drama, buzzer beaters, upsets, and teams have survived and advanced. Supersectional Monday to me is the best day on the calendar for boys basketball in Illinois. Most of these teams are senior laden squads (rightfully so). So close to the holy grail (Champaign), yet so far. Here we go:
Kenwood Academy (Chicago) vs North (Downers Grove) at University of Illinois Chicago : Chicago Public League vs West Suburban Silver. Possibly the best two leagues in the Chicago Area. Here we the keys for both teams.
Kenwood Academy: Senior point guard Darrin Ames (6'2"), Kansas State commit has to be engaged the entire game. Have to take advantage of their size and athleticism. They have juniors Jaden Smith (6'11"), Chris Riddle (6'6"), and Calvin Robins Jr (6'6") with senior Solomon Mosely (6'7"). Pressure defense has to cause some turnovers along with their outside shooting being on point. Senior guard Tyler Smith (6'0")to me is the X factor and he's had an excellent playoff run.
North (Downers Grove): They play 9 to 10 players but junior guard Jack Stanton (6'2") has to hit some shots from outside and at the mid range. They have a lot of ball handlers that can shoot, pass, penetrate and finish at the basket. Junior Owen Thulin (6'0"), and senior Max Haack (6'0") will have to be efficient and protect the basketball. Two bigs rotate in and out junior Jake Riemer (6'8") and senior George Wolkow (6'7") will have to hit the glass and stay out of foul trouble. How healthy is senior wing Jacob Bozeman (6'6")? Turned his ankle in first quarter of Sectional Final, tried to come back but couldn't. He's key on both ends and on the glass.
Benet Academy (Lisle) vs Auburn (Rockford) at Northern Illinois University : #1 Benet Academy needed a put back by Johns Hopkins commit Brayden Fagbemi (6'0") to avoid a colossal upset in Sectional Final. Survive and advance.
Benet Academy: Will have to control the tempo and run their offense. They have shooters all over the court, Fagbemi, Brady Kunka (6'3" senior guard), Andy Nash (6'4" senior guard), Sam Driscoll (6'2" senior guard). X-Factor is athletic Dartmouth commit Niko Abusara (6'5" senior wing) who can put you on a poster. His penetration and passing gives them another dimension. Junior forward Parker Sulaver (6'6") does the dirty work on the glass, takes charges, and scores every once in awhile. Sulaver and Abusara will have to control the glass.
Auburn (Rockford): A small quick team who loves to get out and run. Shoots a lot of three and thrives on full court pressure defense. They have shooters all over the court Adrian Agee (6'0" senior guard), Rakim Chaney (5'11"junior point guard), Amir Danforth (6'0" freshman guard) fill it up from outside. Brendan Horton-Lee (5'11" senior guard) and Keon Leach (6'3" junior forward) fill out the lineup. Leach hits the glass and does the dirty work.
Libertyville vs New Trier (Winnetka) at Hoffman Estates (NOW Arena): These teams play a similar style but Libertyville is more balanced on inside/outside play. Most thought the favorite would be from the Sectional with the Central Suburban South teams, Will not make that mistake this time as Libertyville could win this one.
Libertyville: They will have to contain New Trier's outside shooters and can't get caught in mismatches on the perimeter. Aidyn Boone (6'6" senior forward) and Cole Bonder (6'6" senior forward) can bludgeon you on the interior. Boone can step out and hit threes as he did with the game winner in Sectional Semifinal. Senior guards Will Buchert (6'1") and Jack Huber (6'3") can fill it up from three point range. Senior Kaj Sorenson (5'9" point guard) runs the show with efficiency.
New Trier: Shooters all over the court. Cornell commit Jake Fiegen (6'3" senior guard) can break open a game with his three pointers. They also have Logan Feller (6'3" junior), Ian Brown (6'6" junior) as shooters. University of Chicago soccer commit Evan Kanellos (6'0" senior point guard) runs the show and gets the ball to the shooters. Biggest key for the Trevians in this game is Williams college commit Tyler Van Gorp (6'11") center. He will have to rim protect, hit the glass and stay out of foul trouble.
East (Oswego) vs Moline at Bloomington Normal (Illinois State University): This could be either a good matchup, or a blowout. It will depend on the glass and outside shooting. East won their first sectional title, and Moline won it's first one in 19 years.
East (Oswego): They will have to hit the glass HARD!!!! Key to this is Towson commit Mekhi Lowery (6'7" wing). He's a double/double machine and will have to use his quickness to be effective. He will need help on the glass from Tyler Jasek (6'6" senior forward). East may have to play some zone defense in this one. Bryce Shoto (5'10" senior) will have to at least be even in his matchup. Shooting from Javion Starwood (6'3" junior) and Ryan Johnson (6'6" senior) will be keys to the upset. Also controlling tempo will be key.
Moline: They have the most unstoppable player in the state in Iowa commit Owen Freeman (6'11" senior forward). He's just a monster in the paint can score over either shoulder. He has to stay out of foul trouble. Iowa commit Brock Harding (6'0" senior point guard) is a matchup night mare. This team likes to get out and run and the Harding to Freeman (Owen) connection on alley-oops are game changers. They will need shooting from Grant Welch (6'3" senior), Trey Taylor (6'5" sophomore) to lessen up the defense. Other starter is Jasper Osburn (6'0" forward). Shooting off the bench comes from Braeden Freeman (6'6" sophomore).