Sunday, February 20, 2011
Journal Star Preview
Monday’s semifinals: Ottawa (19-6) vs. Galesburg (26-6), 6 p.m.; East Peoria (13-17) vs. Richwoods (27-3), 8:10 p.m.
Outlook: Richwoods is ranked fifth in Class 3A and was the only regional top seed to make it through to the sectional. The Knights have a 13-game winning streak and will meet East Peoria, in its first sectional appearance. “We don’t know a whole lot about East Peoria but they won a regional,” said Richwoods coach Todd Hursey.
“They’re a team we can’t overlook. A lot of what we do is we prepare for what we want to do and then we adjust accordingly and that’s what we’ll do and hope for the best.” Raiders coach Pete McGinnes is stepping down at the end of the season. “Defensively, I think we’re playing our best and we’ve got nothing to lose,” said McGinnes. “If you look at East Peoria-Richwoods, I’m sure people aren’t giving us too much credit so we just need to get out there and play. It’s icing on the cake from here on out.” Galesburg is in its first sectional since 2007, the first since changing to The System offense. “This is a group that some of them have been on the varsity all four years and they had felt a lot of frustration that they hadn’t got out of the regional,” said Galesburg coach Evan Massey.
Next: Pontiac Supersectional against Park Forest Sectional winner
At Champaign (Central)
Monday’s semifinal: Decatur Eisenhower (12-17) vs. Champaign Centennial (23-5), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s semifinal: Springfield (28-2) vs. Morton (27-4), 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: This sectional was originally listed incorrectly on the IHSA website as being at Bloomington but it is actually at Champaign for the second year in a row. Springfield, ranked second in the final AP poll, and Morton, ranked eighth, met in the sectional championship game at this site a year ago, with Springfield winning 78-48. “It’s probably going to work in our favor,” said Morton coach Bob Becker. “We played them last year. I watched them at State Farm (Holiday Classic) a little bit and they’re a lot the same as they were. We played them to tie in the first quarter last year and were down six or eight at halftime then we were out of gas. But I think that we just weren’t quite able mentally to sustain that competitive level and I think this year, we’re in a better spot.” The Potters will have to deal with junior guard Zahna Medley, who scored 30 points in the Senators’ regional title victory against Springfield Southeast. “She’s a DI talent,” said Becker. “And they’ve got the kids that complement her. And they’re a team that’s been there and done that. But I think I’ve got motivated, confident group now, too.” Centennial is ranked seventh and three of its losses came at the hands of Central, Richwoods and Galesburg. Springfield’s only losses were to Quincy Notre Dame and Springfield Southeast. Morton has losses to Richwoods, Limestone and Peoria Notre Dame.
Next: Springfield Supersectional against Salem Sectional winner
Posted by Massey Basketball