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Sectional Semifinal Previews - BOYS

By Aaron Brown


The excitement has just begun on the boys' side of the sectional playoffs, as nearly all of the top seeds survived the first day of action to make Friday's semifinals full of excellent matchups around the state. These previews try to make sense of things before we get some more answers beginning at 4:30pm at eight different sites.


Editor's note: I wrote these at 2:00am, so if there are any mistakes or typos, please let me know as soon as possible.



Barrington Sectional

4:30pm Palatine vs Buffalo Grove

The Pirates and Bison meet in a rematch of the MSL title game, which Palatine won 15-7. The key for Dan Striev, Glen Bernard, Ian Rodriguez and the rest of a balanced Buffalo Grove squad will be shutting down Palatine's Brad Ferris, who scored 8 goals the last time the two teams met.


5:45pm McHenry vs Schaumburg

In the night's second semifinal, McHenry takes on Schaumburg in a rematch of last year's sectional title game, which the Warriors won 12-11 to advance to state. Can Reilly Shanahan and the rest of a tough McHenry repeat the same feat against the Saxons to give themselves a chance to get back to state, or will Tom Gallagher's well-prepared Schaumburg side be able to flip the result around to get back to the sectional finals for the third straight season?



GBS Sectional

Anything can happen on Friday at the GBS Sectional, though the most likely prediction would be to expect two hotly-contested and close games between four evenly matched sides.


4:30pm Loyola vs GBS

In the first semifinal, Loyola will look to beat Glenbrook South for the second time this year, as they won the first meeting on April 8 by a 14-10 margin. Frank Toops and TJ Considine combined to score 8 goals in the win, so one of the keys for the Titans will be to shut those two down on the offensive end. Meanwhile, the Ramblers will look to contain the Titans' leading scorer Zach Demertzis and other major contributors like Igor Gryniv and Peter Schneider.


5:45pm GBN vs New Trier

In the second semifinal, Glenbrook North will look to exact a bit of revenge on the Trevians after they beat the Spartans 8-7 in last weekend's CSL title game. GBN will expect big things from the high-scoring duo of Konrad Klosowiak and Tytus Kwiatkowski, so a major point of emphasis for the Trevians will be to shut those two players down offensively. For New Trier, goalie Sam Buchman played a big role in their improved performance down the stretch, so he will be called upon to come up big once again in the net for the Trevians. Head coach Dave Goodspeed's side has plenty of depth and will look to players like Eric Robb, James Bartels, Konrad VonMoltke, Matt McClone, and Mike Maley to lift them to the sectional title game on Saturday.



LWC Sectional

Lincoln-Way North and Lincoln-Way Central each earned narrow victories on Wednesday in the sectional quarterfinals, and they would be happy to have the same thing happen on Friday in their semifinal matchups in New Lenox on Friday.


4:30pm H-F vs LWN

For LWN, they will need to deal with Russell Maanum, Shay Banton, and Co. in the first semifinal if they look to earn another postseason win. The Vikings won the first meeting in sudden-death overtime on a goal by Maanum, so if that contest is any indication, expect another close game between the two sides. Both Kyler VanSwol and Nick Roberts came up big for the Phoenix in the first meeting, and they will need the same type of performances if North hopes to get past the Vikings.


5:45pm LWC vs LWE

In the second game, LWC beat LWE 13-6 behind a five-goal performance from Petar Jackovich, but the Griffins returned the favor two weeks later, beating the Knights 11-10 to split the season series in the regular season. Something will have to give when the two teams meet with a sectional finals berth on the line. In other words, keep a close eye on the LWC Sectional, as no team would be a surprise entry into Saturday's final round of games around the state.



Lyons Sectional

4:30pm Brother Rice vs Stagg

The Crusaders are a tough team to stop, with Matt Stelnicki, Mike Mulcrone, Sean Davis, and Kyle Pikula providing a large portion of the offense for the state's fourth-ranked team. If Stagg is to pull off an upset, they will need big-time performances from Drew Stoffel and Zach Golob and will need to contain the Crusaders' main offensive options on Friday at 4:30pm in Western Springs.


5:45pm Lyons vs Curie

In the other contest, Lyons should be geared up for a challenge from CPS title-holders Curie and their main weapon, Eduardo Chavez. The Lions will likely focus on shutting Chavez down on the offensive end, while Doug Eichsteadt's balanced squad will expect contributions from David Sekula, Joe Burke, and Mike Shapiro among others as they hope to make it back to the sectional final game on Saturday.



Neuqua Valley Sectional

The same four teams that met at the Naperville Quad during the first weekend of the season are left standing at the Neuqua Valley Sectional on Friday.


4:30pm Naperville Central vs Naperville North

The Redhawks beat Naperville North 16-2 in their only meeting this season, but that was more than two months ago, so Austin Katz and the Huskies will look for a much different result when they face Mark Menis, Ryan Stanley, and the rest of last year's sectional champions in the first semifinal on Friday.


5:45pm Waubonsie vs Neuqua

Meanwhile, Waubonsie Valley beat Neuqua Valley 12-10 and 17-13 in 2010, but those games were played back on March 13 and March 18, so the Wildcats will try to close the gap on the Warriors in order to get to the sectional finals on Saturday. Tyler Hunt will be a key point of emphasis for the Neuqua defense if they hope to turn the tide and beat the Warriors for the first time this year. The Warriors will counter that by trying to stop players like AJ Quebbeman and Mike Rooney from getting the Wildcats out to an early lead.



UIC Sectional

4:30pm St Ignatius vs Juarez

Juarez is riding high after a thrilling overtime win over Lane in Wednesday's quarterfinals, so they will look to bring that same enthusiasm to their semifinal matchup with the top-seeded hosts St Ignatius. The Wolfpack have not played the Eagles in 2010, but head coach Brian Drumm's team is not likely to look past the Chicago Public League representative in this 4:30pm matchup on Friday.


5:45pm Latin vs Young

The second fixture on Friday is a highly-intriguing matchup between Latin and Young. The Romans won the first meeting 15-9, but that was on the second day of the season, so the Dolphins have reason to be optimistic when they look to turn the result around on Friday night. To do that, they will have to shut down AJ Galainena, Jacob Himmel, Eddie Wickes and the rest of a strong Romans' starting lineup. On the flip side, a key focal point for the Latin defense will be to stop Young's Raul Ariza from having a huge offensive performance.



Vernon Hills Sectional

4:30pm Mundelein vs Wheeling

Mundelein and Wheeling did not meet in the regular season, so the Wildcats will look to use the element of surprise when they take on the top-seed in Friday's first game. Shane McDade and Tim McDaniel will need to have big performances on both ends of the pool if Wheeling hopes to pull off an upset. Mundelein head coach Rahul Sethna will have his squad ready to go on Friday, with a balanced lineup that includes Brandon Horsch, Frank Lukacs, Pat Falconer, and Will Davidson that have proven tough to contain for most teams all season.


5:45pm Lake Forest vs Stevenson

In the second semifinal, Stevenson enters their game with Lake Forest as the lower seed, even though they defeated the Scouts 20-15 on April 29. The Patriots have emerged as a serious contender for the sectional title after a rough start to the season, so Alex Rembialkowski, Chris and Josh Hodges, Doug Malfar and Co. will be looking to get Sean Wimer's squad past one last obstacle before the sectional final game on Saturday. Michael Gannon, Nick Pabich and the rest of Scouts have other plans, however, and they showed that they can keep up with the Patriots on the offensive end in their first meeting. They'll look for that same offensive output but will need a better defensive effort if they look to get past Stevenson.



York Sectional

#1 Fenwick and #2 Oak Park are on a collision course to meet in the sectional finals at York on Saturday, but they would be well-advised not to overlook their Friday afternoon opponents St Patrick and York.


4:30pm Oak Park vs St Patrick

The Shamrocks have a history of excellent postseason results under head coach Marty Gibson, and he will be looking for more of the same when his squad takes on Oak Park in the early game on Friday in Elmhurst. The Huskies have arguably the strongest starting lineup in the state, so they will look to top scorers Armando Lee, Dylan O'Connell, Luke O'Connell, Tommy Poulos, and Troy Williams to propel them into the sectional finals.


5:45pm Fenwick vs York

The Friars will have to contend with York's top scorer Marc Krolikiewicz on the offensive end if they hope to avoid an upset bid from the Dukes on Friday in the second semifinal. Fenwick comes in riding a ton of momentum after beating Oak Park in two straight tournament games, so expect John Osborne, Matt Farmer, Will Rigali and Co. to be fired up for the chance for a potential final game with their crosstown rivals if they can beat the sectional hosts.





For more previews and info, check out the Boys' Sectional Previews and the 2010 Sectional Center.





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