By Aaron Brown
This Saturday is shaping up to be one of the biggest of
the 2010 season, as several of the top teams in the state go head-to-head
in matchups that could be a preview of next month’s state tournament.
The spotlight is on the Fenwick Tournament, as #1 Oak
Park, #2 Naperville Central, #5 Fenwick, and #7 Mundelein will all meet in
a four-team event that begins at 9:00am. In the first game, the
host Friars battle Oak Park in a game that could be a preview of the
sectional final game at York next month, where a trip to state will be on
the line. In the second game, Mundelein will get another chance to play
Naperville Central, as they stumbled to the Redhawks last weekend 18-6 at the
Naperville Tournament. Fenwick faces Mundelein at noon before Oak Park and
Naperville Central meet for the second time this season, a game that
resulted in a 13-12 win for the top-ranked Huskies. The Redhawks face
Fenwick at 2:30pm; the tournament wraps up with a game between Oak Park
and Mundelein at 3:45pm.
Less than 10 miles away, #4 Lyons hosts #8 St
Ignatius in a boys’ matchup at noon. The teams finished off last week's LT
Tournament with a narrow 9-8 contest that the hosts won to claim the
tournament championship. In that same tournament, the Wolfpack also
knocked off top-ranked Oak Park 11-10.
Meanwhile, the annual Brother Rice tournament hits
full-stride on Saturday when the final round of action could pit ranked teams like
#11 Loyola, #18 Naperville North, #19 Sandburg, and #22 St Patrick against
Chicago, #6 Latin’s matchup with #9 McHenry highlights a six-game
tournament that also includes Buffalo Grove and DeLaSalle.
In fact, only #10 Homewood-Flossmoor is idle on
Saturday, as the Vikings take a brief respite after facing Lincoln-Way
East, Homewood-Flossmoor, and Lincoln-Way Central earlier in the week.
Not to be outdone, the girls’ side features several
intriguing matchups between many of the top teams in the state (and outside of
it). The biggest matchup is a rematch between #1 Lyons and #3 St Ignatius
in LaGrange at 11:00am. The Lions are coming off a 16-4 victory over the
Wolfpack last weekend at UIC, so St Ignatius, who is coming off a 6-5 win
over #2 Naperville Central, will be looking for a
much better performance this time around in an away game.
Elsewhere, #13 Stevenson welcomes Okemos, Michigan’s
while also playing host to two other teams from Michigan, #5 Rockford
and #7 East Grand Rapids. #4 Fenwick, #8 Mother McAuley, and #9 Mundelein
will also be in attendance, as the Illinois teams mainly play the Michigan
teams until the end of the tournament. Late in the day on Saturday,
Mundelein and McAuley play at 1:50pm, followed by a matchup between
Fenwick and Stevenson.
#2 Naperville Central follows up a tough week that
featured losses against #3 St Ignatius and #4 Fenwick with a
Friday/Saturday tournament that includes #18 Sandburg, #20 Evanston, and
Jenison (Michigan’s eighth-ranked team).
Also, #21 Naperville North takes on #11 Young at the NN
Tournament on Saturday, while #14 Latin plays host to #22 Prospect as part
of the Romans’ second straight weekend tournament.
It may be too early to predict what will happen in next
month's state playoffs, but Saturday should give us a much better
indication of where several teams currently stand.
Follow illpolo.com for the latest scores and recaps
over the weekend, plus as much live coverage of the games as possible with
10 tournaments taking place on the biggest day of the season thus far.