IHSA Boys State Semifinals Class 4A Preview!!!!!!!!
Road to Champaign is complete. 16 teams left 4 in each class. There‘s one favorite but this is not the Glenbard West Invitational. The other three teams have a shot at the title, they are all headed Downstate for a reason. To Barrington’s upset of Glenbrook South, to the last minute efficiency of City Champ Whitney Young, Bolingbrook beating downstate Quincy, and Glenbard West getting pushed for a half, then just choking off Larkin to a slow death. Each team is worthy to be a State Champ and should be an exciting time in Champaign. Here we go:
Game 1 Thursday afternoon 2:30 pm
#3 Whitney Young(Chicago)(25-9) vs #19 Barrington(28-4): I think this game will be tighter than most expect.
Whitney Young- Whitney Young is trying to do something rare, win a City and State title in the same season. Junior wing Daniel Johnson(6’6”) is a huge acquisition coming back from injury. He got the start in Supersectional. Had a double/double of 13 points and 10 rebounds vs Kenwood Academy in the Supersectional. Senior Northern Illinois commit Xavier Amos(6’8) has been their best performer this season. Young dominated the Supersectional when he was in the lineup, but ordinary when he was in foul trouble. Junior point guard Dalen Davis(6’0”) was excellent last night with 18 points 6 assists and a couple of nice moves and finishes at the basket. Senior Miami(FL) commit Andre Casey Jr(6’8) was excellent at the free throw line 8 for 8 with 14 points 4 blocks. What is the availability of junior guard Marcus Pigrim (6’3)? Sat out Supersectional with an ankle injury. Young brings size off the bench in senior Marcus Overstreet(6’8”), freshman Antonio Munoz(6’5”), senior Jordan Streeter(6’6). Young does not go deep at the guard position, uses wings Amos, and Johnson to help bring the ball up the court.
Barrington: I took notice when they beat Rolling Meadows for the Mid Suburban title a couple of weeks ago. Most were saying Glenbrook South was a heavy favorite in the Supersectional. I was one of the few saying don’t sleep on the Broncos. They have size, shooting, and good guard play which is what’s needed to go deep in the State Playoffs. Senior point guard Daniel Hong has gone on a scoring tear from end of regular season on through the playoffs. Hong had 15 points in Supersectional win and has played well on both ends of the court. Senior wing Washington University of St. Louis commit Will Grudzinski ended up with 16 points. The Mid West Suburban Player of the year is a sniper from three point range. Senior center Nate Boldt(6’10”) will have to be huge rim protecting and on the boards to have a shot at a tall and long Whitney Young team. Other starters are senior guard Nick Bordenet, senior guard Evan Jno-Baptiste.
Game 2 Thursday afternoon 4:00 pm:
#8 Bolingbrook(25-6) vs #1 Glenbard West(Glen Ellyn)(35-1): Might be tight….for about a half.
This was supposed to be a matchup at the title game of the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament at York, but The Brook was upset by Lyons Township(LaGrange)
Bolingbrook: They have been on a roll at the right time. Since they got hammered on King Day by 28 versus New Trier at Fenwick, they’ve been on a roll. Has won 15 straight games with lineup change and playing good basketball. Junior point guard Mekhi Cooper(6’0”) has been using his scoring chops lately. Senior point guard MJ Langit(6’0”) has been doing a lot of ball handling duties in the win streak. Sophomore guard Josh Aniceto has raised his game up as he’s gained experience over the season. Senior forward Michael Osei-Bonsu has been a double/double machine all season long. Just a load on the interior. How will they do against the long 1-3-1 zone defense of Glenbard West? Junior forward Donoven Younger(6’9”) is a good mid range shooter and from the short corners. He will have to do a lot of damage from those spots and on the glass to give The Brook a shot. He has to find those gaps in the zone and use his size to hit the offensive glass. Senior guard Jaylen Dunlap will have to hit some outside shots to loosen up the zone.
Glenbard West: Not much else to say about this team. This is their first trip to State Finals in school history. They have not lost a game to an Illinois team and has blown out most opponents this season. Smallest margin of victory in the state playoffs has been 26 points which was in the Supersectional vs Larkin(Elgin). The 1-3-1 zone just chokes your offense and makes you probe a long time for an opening. You think you have one and they quickly recover for a steal, block your shot, or make you pass it back out to start your offense again. Their five starters will all be playing division one basketball. All are seniors. Gonzaga commit Braden Huff(6’11”) is the best player in the state, as he can play point, hit threes, score in the post, and rebound out of the zone. Army commit Ryan Renfo(6’9”) helps on the glass, and can score in the interior, and has an improved three point shot. Princeton commit Caden Pierce(6’6”) plays at the top of the zone, quick and active hands leads to steals and breakaway baskets. Oh and he can shoot the three at a high rate as well as get into the paint and score from mid range, or at the rim. Uncommitted( I’ve been told he’s down to 2 schools not saying which ones) Bobby Durkin(6’7”) is a good enough ball handler to get to any spot on the floor. Can score from mid range, and yes another good three point shooter. Fifth starter Illinois walk-on commit guard Paxton Warden(6’4”) can hit the three very well off the catch, drives well finishing at the rim, as he can jump out of the gym. He will embarrass you at the rim. Rebounds and passes well. As you can see all can dribble, pass, shoot, rebound, block shots. Bench usually consists of senior point guard Jack Cardwell(6’0), senior guard Andrew Dauksas, and sometimes junior forward Jack Oberhofer(6’0”).