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Girls Sectional Previews

By Aaron Brown

May 7, 2012




The following previews for each sectional site contain pertinent information about the state playoffs in addition to a variety of truly random facts. Note #1...the team listed as The Favorite is the #1 seed, the teams listed as The Contenders are the #2, #3, and #4 seeds, and the teams seeded #5, #6, and #7 are considered Sleepers. Note #2...This section contains NO predictions.



The Favorite: New Trier

The Contenders: Loyola, Maine East, Prospect

Sleepers: Evanston, Maine South

The Play-Ins: (8) Glenbrook South vs (9) Maine West; (7) Glenbrook North vs (10) Resurrection

Best First-Round Games: (4) Prospect vs (5) Evanston

Sectional Final Time: 2:30pm


The X-Factor: New Trier enters as the clear favorite, but they could face several challenges from improved squads like Maine East and Maine South or a full-strength Loyola team. If last weekend's CSL Tournament is any indication, there could be any number of surprises in the early rounds, with any of the lower seeds game for an upset on Thursday night.


Artistic Alumni: Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on The Office (New Trier). Actors John Cusack and Jeremy Piven (Evanston). Famous 80's film director John Hughes (GBN). Harrison Ford (Maine East). Actors Chris O'Donnell, Bill Murray, and William Petersen (Loyola). Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz (New Trier). American Idol winner Lee DeWyze (Prospect). Tron actor Bruce Boxleitner (Prospect).


The Favorite: Lincoln-Way Central

The Contenders: Homewood-Flossmoor, Lincoln-Way North, Andrew

Sleepers: Lockport, Lincoln-Way East, Marian

The Play-In: (8) Lincoln-Way West vs (9) Bradley

Best First-Round Game: (3) Lincoln-Way North vs (6) Lincoln-Way East

Sectional Final Time: 2:00pm


The X-Factor: Talk about a wide-open sectional race! Lincoln-Way Central enters as the slight favorite, but they recently lost to H-F and lost twice to Lincoln-Way North during the regular season. Will that hurt the Knights' confidence? Meanwhile, the rest of the field is highly capable of an strong, upset-minded performance, as Andrew, Lockport, LWE, Marian, and LWW all have some quality wins under their respective belts this season and could surprise any of the top seeds with their seasons on the line.


Artistic Alumni: Red Hot Chili Pepper's drummer Chad Smith (H-F). Hip-hop artist Shawnna (H-F). Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes (Marian). Armando Estrada (Andrew) is a professional wrestler working for WWE. CM Punk (Lockport), current WWE superstar and WWE champion.


The Favorite: Naperville Central

The Contenders: Naperville North, Metea Valley, STC North

Sleepers: Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Hinsdale Central

The Play-In: (8) Hinsdale South (9) STC East

Best First-Round Game: (4) STC North vs (5) Neuqua Valley

Sectional Final Time: 1:15pm


The X-Factor: A solid field of teams will be ready to chase after top-seed Naperville Central, who have their eyes set on a return trip to the state tournament. It may not be easy, as Naperville North, Metea Valley, and STC North have each been building up for a strong postseason run. Neuqua Valley has to be one of the strongest fifth-seeded teams around, so they will likely have something to say in their opening game with the North Stars. Still, the biggest question remains: can anyone figure out a way to stop Abbey Kerth, Emily Sejna, and the Redhawks?


Artistic Alumni: Mr. Show actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk (Naperville North). Parvesh Cheena, actor on NBC's Outsourced (Waubonsie Valley). Matt Walsh, actor in films that include Step Brothers, Role Models, The Hangover, Due Date, and Bad Santa (Hinsdale South).


The Favorite: Stevenson

The Contenders: Wheeling, Mundelein, Libertyville

Sleepers: Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills

The Play-In: (8) Palatine vs (9) Deer Park

Best First-Round Game: (4) Libertyville vs (5) Buffalo Grove

Sectional Final Time: 2:15pm


The X-Factor: Top-seeded Stevenson will have to be cautious of any number of challengers looking to prevent their return to the state tournament in 2012. The Patriots have momentum heading into the playoffs, but both Wheeling and Mundelein could pose a serious threat to their hopes of making the final eight. The opening round contest between Libertyville and Buffalo Grove is one of the most intriguing of the 21 quarterfinal games on Thursday, with the winner hoping for a chance to upset the favorites. The last three seeds in the field have to be considered the strongest around, with Emily Nowlin-led Lake Forest, a well-balanced Vernon Hills squad, and a much-improved Palatine team hoping they can pull of a slight surprise or two in the quarterfinals.


Artistic Alumni: Actor Gary Sinise (Highland Park). Actor Vince Vaughn (Lake Forest). Actor Marlon Brando (Libertyville). Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello (Libertyville). Kill Hannah lead singer Mat Devine (Lake Forest). Adam Jones, a three-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist for the band Tool. Brian McBride (Buffalo Grove) is a professional soccer player. Judd Sirott,a radio broadcaste on WGN.


The Favorite: Fremd

The Contenders: Barrington, Schaumburg, Conant

Sleepers: Hersey, Elk Grove, St Viator

The Play-In: (8) Hoffman vs (9) Meadows

Best First-Round Game: (4) Conant vs (5) Hersey

Sectional Final Time: 2:15pm


The X-Factor: The opening few rounds of the MSL-heavy Schaumburg Sectional is usually known for a surprise or two. Last season, seventh-seeded Barrington made a strong run to the sectional finals, and any number of teams will be hoping to do the same beginning on Thursday night. Fremd, of course, is the heavy favorite for a return trip to state, but they face the usual pressure of knowing that every team is gunning for them. The Broncos pose the biggest threat to the Vikings, as they kept things close in the most recent contest between the two teams. Schaumburg has had an up-and-down season, but when they are at their best, they could make a deep run through the field while playing in their home pool. Conant faces a tricky matchup with Hersey in the opening round; if they can get past the Huskies, the Cougars have shown they are highly-capable of big-time performance with their balanced offensive attack. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if the likes of Hersey or Elk Grove pull off an opening round upset.


Artistic Alumni: Actress Marlee Matlin (Hersey). Tim McIlrath, lead singer of Rise Against (Meadows). Mystic River, Flags of our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima producer Robert Lorenz (Fremd). Rock musician Ted Nugent (St Viator). Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha (Elk Grove). Midwest underground rapper Double A (Hoffman). Office Space and Pineapple Express actor Gary Cole (Meadows). Horror film actor Bill Moseley, who starred in House of 1000 Corpses/The Devil's Rejects (Barrington). Plain White T's drummer De'Mar Hamilton (Conant).


The Favorite: Mother McAuley

The Contenders: Sandburg, Bremen, Richards

Sleepers: Lindblom, Stagg, Morgan Park

Best First-Round Game: (4) Richards vs (5) Stagg

The Play-Ins: (8) Argo vs (9) Maria

Sectional Final Time: 1:15pm


The X-Factor: Mother McAuley has a deep lineup from top-to-bottom that makes them a dangerous team heading into the 2012 postseason. If they can get past the likes of Richards, Lindblom, and Argo in the opening rounds, they will have to be ready for a strong challenge from either Sandburg or Bremen, whichever team survives the first two games of the Stagg Sectional. Sandburg had a late-season resurgence that helped them capture the SWSC Blue crown, so they'll be hoping to carry that momentum into possible games with Bremen and McAuley. The Red Jaguars can also be a tough team to stop, so it would be no surprise to see them playing for a chance at a state tournament bid on Saturday. Richards could make some noise as a four-seed, but they'll have to prepared for one-loss Lindblom in an intriguing opening round contest. Elsewhere, Liz Hadhazy will hope to lead Stagg to an upset over Bremen in the first round, while Morgan Park and Argo will hope to spring a first-round surprise as well on Thursday night.


Artistic Alumni: Irish dancer Michael Flatley (Brother Rice). Step Brothers and Talladega Nights actor John C. Reilly (Brother Rice). REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin (Brother Rice). The Mentalist, The Craft, and Prison Break actress Robin Tunney (Sandburg). Apprentice Season 1 winner Bill Rancic (Sandburg). Cheryl Burton is an Emmy Award–winning television journalist for WLS-TV in Chicago.  Dick Portillo (Argo) is a restaurateur and founder of the Portillo Restaurant Group, the most notable business of which is Portillo's.


The Favorite: St Ignatius

The Contenders: Lane, Latin, Young

Sleepers: Northside, Westinghouse, Payton-Jones, Juarez

The Play-In: None

Best First-Round Game: (4) Young vs (5) Northside

Sectional Final Time: 2:30pm


The X-Factor: A diverse and evenly-matched field will all be chasing after St Ignatius at the UIC Sectional, with any number of teams set to make a serious bid for a run to the sectional final game. Lane would like nothing more than to return to that spot like they did last year, but the Ashley Henderson-led Romans, a well-balanced Whitney Young squad, or a highly-capable NSP team each enter the fray with hopes of lasting until Saturday and beyond. The Indians would also be wise not to take seventh-seeded Payton-Jones lightly; they will be hoping to pull off an upset in the opening round against their fellow CPS foe.


Artistic Alumni: The Wachowski Brothers, directors of The Matrix and V For Vendetta (Young). The founder of House music, Chip E. (St Ignatius). Andre Braugher, actor on Homicide and the film Glory (St Ignatius). Craig Robinson, who plays Darrell on The Office and was in Hot Tub Time Machine and Pineapple Express (Young). Bob Newhart (St Ignatius), actor (Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show).


The Favorite: Lyons

The Contenders: Fenwick, York, Morton

Sleepers: Oak Park, R-B, Curie, Clark

Best First-Round Game: (4) Morton vs (5) Oak Park

The Play-In: None

Sectional Final Time: 1:15pm


The X-Factor: One would think that #1 Lyons and #2 Fenwick would meet again after the Lions won the first meeting 13-10 one month ago. Most would also expect to see that rematch at the state tournament, but instead, the two teams could play in what could be a memorable sectional final at York on Saturday. Of course, to get that far, they both have to avoid upsets bids from the likes of the host Lady Dukes, whoever emerges from a WSC contest between Morton and Oak Park, or a lower-seeded threat like R-B or Curie. 


Artistic Alumni: The voice of Homer Simpson, Dan Castelleneta (Oak Park). OK Go drummer Dan Konopka (York). D-List actress Kathy Griffin (Oak Park). Trauma and Spanglish actress Aimee Garcia (Fenwick). Reno 911 actor Thomas Lennon (Oak Park). Actor David Hasselhoff (Lyons). Joe Mantegna, actor and voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons (Morton). Umphrey McGhee keyboardist Joel Cummins (Lyons).





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