Updated: June 7, 2013 6:16AM
The South Suburban Conference meet has been fairly predictable in its first six seasons. You can rarely go wrong picking Lemont or Argo.
Argo has won five of the six conference tennis titles — the exception coming in 2009 when Oak Lawn triumphed. Lemont has won all six crowns but shared the title with Tinley Park in 2010.
Both teams are primed for more glory Friday and Saturday as the Red division holds its conference tournament at Eisenhower and Shepard and the Blue will be played out at Tinley Park and Hillcrest.
Argo’s Tarik Addullah, Yousef Saddeh, JC Santamaria, Edwin Benitiz and Ryan Sikora have been playing well of late for the Argonauts as they head into the league tournament. Lemont sophomores Nick Urban and Nathaniel Burner have been consistently strong this season.
In other conference champion storylines this weekend, Lincoln-Way East is hoping to win its third SouthWest Suburban Conference title as the Griffins won a Red title in 2008 and a Blue crown in 2011. But Homewood-Flossmoor, which has claimed five titles in seven years in the SWSC, and Sandburg hope to prevent that when the teams hash it out at Joliet West and at Homewood-Flossmoor.
Boys Water polo
Lincoln-Way North’s 17-12 win over Lincoln-Way West on April 29 was the Phoenix’s ninth conference win. The Phoenix finished with a 9-4 league mark, good enough to win the SouthWest Suburban Red by two games over Stagg and Bradley.
It’s North second league crown, the other coming in 2010.
“It’s been fun,” North coach Pat Shaughnessy said. “It’s been up and down but we have six great seniors. If they can play as well as they’re capable of, I think we have the best team around. It’s just a matter of getting them all going at the same time.”
Shaughnessy called Curtis Thrun his “most versatile player” and also pointed out the improved play of Tony Mikrut and Anthony Burt as well as goalie Shamus Shields.
North is the No. 2 seed in the sectional it hosts and opens up against Andrew in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
“It’s probably the most open sectional I’ve ever seen,” Shaughnessy said. “If any team plays at a top level, they can win it.”
Girls Track & Field
Getting to the state meet will be the goal at sectionals. The top two in each event plus individuals and relays that equal the qualifying standard advance to the May 16 through 18 finals at Eastern Illinois.
Class 3A: Lincoln-Way East has multiple state champ Aaliyah Brown to lead the 15-team field Thursday at the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional. The host Vikings have their own elite athlete in Chardae Greenlee. The meet also includes T.F. North, Bloom, Marian Catholic, Crete-Monee, Lincoln-Way North, Thornton, T.F. South, Lincoln-Way Central, Rich Central, Thornwood and Andrew. ... Two Friday sectionals will have local teams. Eisenhower, Marist, Lemont, Oak Forest, Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg will be at Lockport. ... Reavis, Mother McAuley, Oak Lawn, Richards and Argo will be in the Lyons Sectional.
Class 2A: Rich South and Hillcrest will be among the top teams Thursday at the Kankakee Sectional. The field also includes Thornridge, Illiana Christian, Bremen, Lincoln-Way West, Providence, Rich East, Peotone and Tinley Park. ... Morgan Park, Queen of Peace, Evergreen Park and Chicago Christian will be among 21 teams Thursday at the University High Sectional.
Class 1A: Seton and Beecher will compete Friday at the 19-team Seneca Sectional. Sprinter Mykel Adams leads Seton, which tied for fourth in the 2012 state meet.
Andrew is hoping to hit its stride as the playoffs near.
The Thunderbolts rebounded from a tough 1-0 overtime loss to Lincoln-Way North, keeping their SouthWest Suburban Red title hopes alive with a 3-0 win Tuesday over Lincoln-Way Central.
Alexis O’Neill, Sydney Gountounas and Lauren Bialas scored for Andrew and Kaitlyn Kosary recorded the shutout.
“We played really well against Lincoln-Way Central,” Andrew coach Loren Zolk said. “We’re looking forward to the end of conference play and the start of the postseason. We’ve improved, without question, since the beginning of the season. We’re putting the pieces together.”
Over the weekend, Andrew went 1-1-1 in the Lemont Cup. The Thunderbolts bounced back from a 2-0 loss to Hinsdale South with a 2-0 win over Lincoln-Way East before tying Plainfield Central 1-1 in the consolation championship.
“We didn’t play our best (against Hinsdale South),” Zolk said. “The second half was better, but by that time it was kind of too late. We bounced back well (Saturday).
“A weekend like this is all about building and preparing for the playoffs.”
The Thunderbolts are the No. 2 seed in the Sandburg Sectional.
“We just want to make sure everyone’s on the same page and we want to peak at the right time,” Zolk said.