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FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Sectionals 2011

BOYS Finals Preview

By Aaron Brown

 

One more game. One more win. That's all it will take for eight teams to earn a state tournament berth on Saturday afternoon. Easier said than done...but here is a brief glimpse of what to expect tomorrow afternoon when the sectional finals begin at 1:15pm:

 


 

Barrington Sectional

5:15pm Schaumburg vs Conant

Can the Saxons earn their third straight win over the Cougars when the two meet in the sectional finals tomorrow evening? At least Conant has some time to recover, as they didn't finish their 13-12 semifinal win over Conant until around 10pm. Both teams won their semifinal games by one goal, so expect a closely-contested battle at Barrington on Saturday.

 


 

Fenwick Sectional

1:30pm Fenwick vs Oak Park

If this contest is anything like last year's sectional final game at York, those in attendance could be in for quite a matchup. That will take an extraordinary effort from the Huskies, who have had to battle through adversity and injuries just to get to this point in 2011. Meanwhile, the Friars are still perfect this season and have been spreading the wealth with their offensive attack in recent games. Can the Huskies surprise the undefeated defending champions?

 


 

GBN Sectional

1:30pm New Trier vs Loyola

First, you have a New Trier team that took care of business and beat Evanston 13-9 on Friday. Then, you have a Loyola team that struggled early but bounced back to beat Glenbrook South 15-12 in game that finished around 10pm on Friday night. Does any of that have any meaning? Probably not. All we know is that New Trier and Loyola like playing close games, so nothing less is expected when a state tournament bid is on the line.

 


 

LWN Sectional

1:30pm H-F vs Sandburg

There haven't been too many situations where the top-seed is the underdog in a sectional final game. In this case, Sandburg recently beat H-F in the de facto conference championship, so the Vikings will need to bounce back from that loss just a few weeks ago if they wish to get back to the state tournament. The Eagles are on a roll right now, so they are not a team anyone would want to face at this point of the season.

 


 

Lyons Sectional

1:15pm Lyons vs Brother Rice

Close games. Overtime. Top-ranked teams. Those are words I would associate with a sectional final game between LT and Brother Rice, and nothing has changed as we head into this matchup on Saturday afternoon. Forget analysis. This one will likely come down to the fourth quarter and who has enough left in the tank to make a key play. Any other guesses are probably a waste of time.

 


 

Neuqua Valley Sectional

1:15pm Naperville Central vs Naperville North

It's been awhile since Naperville Central has lost to another Naperville-area team. Naperville North is hoping that Saturday is the time when all of that changes, as the Huskies earned a solid win over Neuqua Valley on Friday and will be looking to do the same against the Redhawks on Saturday. Easier said than done, of course, as Central has rolled through their first two games and should be well-prepared for whatever North has to throw at them when a state tournament berth is on the line.

 


 

UIC Sectional

2:45pm St Ignatius vs Latin

If this sectional final matchup between St Ignatius and Latin seems familiar, it's because the Wolfpack have knocked off the Romans at this stage for the the past two seasons. Can they do it again in 2011, or will Jacob Himmel and company be able to surprise the top-seed in an elimination game on Saturday?

 


 

Vernon Hills Sectional

1:30pm Palatine vs McHenry

Last year's sectional final game left the crowd in attendance speechless. McHenry led 8-4 entering the final period, but Palatine went on a 4-0 run to tie the game heading into the final minute. The Warriors responded with a late goal to make it to the state tournament, and they'll be looking for more of the same in the 2011 edition of this newly-found rivalry. Palatine must have a knack for these type of comebacks, as they trailed Libertyville 4-3 at halftime before dominating the second half en route to a 13-5 win. Meanwhile, McHenry geared up for another close game by beating Mundelein 8-7 on Friday night.

 


 

 

For more previews and info, check out the Boys' Sectional Previews and the 2011 Sectional Center.

 

 

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