Updated: November 9, 2012 6:10AM
After Thursday’s landmark win over Sandburg, Lincoln-Way East needs to avoid letting down this week with games against struggling Lockport and Bolingbrook teams standing between the Griffins and their first SouthWest Suburban Blue title.
“We know it’s not over yet,” East’s Michael Roth said. “The boys have just got to keep their spirits up and focus on these next two.”
East (11-2-5) is the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A Lincoln-Way Central Sectional. The Griffins could meet sixth-seeded Bloom (16-3) in the regional final.
Top-seeded Sandburg, if it can avoid another regional semifinal shocker, faces an interesting final as well, against the winner of Stagg vs. Eisenhower.
“We know you can’t ever overlook Stagg,” Eagles coach Desi Vuillaume said. “We haven’t seen Eisenhower. It’s a tough regional, but we should have the upper hand.”
The Class 2A Lincoln-Way West Sectional is highlighted by a potential regional final showdown at Lemont between the host Indians and Bremen, teams that met in sectional finals the last four seasons.
Lincoln-Way West, St. Laurence and Tinley Park are the other No. 1 regional seeds in the sectional.
Hosting the Homewood-Flossmoor Regional and Monday’s Marian Catholic Sectional, Coyote Run is the rare course entertaining consecutive rounds of postseason golf.
But don’t expect the three advancing teams — Mother McAuley, Oak Forest and Marian Catholic — or the 10 advancing individuals from the H-F Regional to possess much of an upper hand in familiarity.
Marian coach Linda Gilley is giving the course a minor makeover, lengthening half the holes.
“Pushing back the tee boxes will give a different look and keep it fair for the girls who haven’t play here yet,” Gilley said.
The H-F Regional was played at 5,235 yards. The Marian Sectional will be 5,552 yards.
“It’s kind of a balancing act,” Gilley said. “I want to make the course more challenging but not too hard because it’s how the girls will be seeded at state.”
Lincoln-Way East, led by SouthWest Suburban Blue champion Kelly Sterling, looks like the Southland team most capable of advancing out of the Marian Sectional. Individuals to watch include Lincoln-Way West’s Alexis Biedrzycki, Lincoln-Way North’s Margaret Curtin, Stagg’s Taylor Lambertsen and T.F. South freshman Maggie Sloan.
Girls Cross Country
Before the season, Sandburg coach Christina Soldan said she was “rather excited that Carly Krull has joined our squad coming off track.’’ Soldan knew what she was talking about.
Going into Saturday’s SouthWest Suburban Blue meet, Krull has an impressive 3-mile time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds achieved at the Sept. 29 Wheaton North Classic. That effort would have been good enough for second place in the 2011 Class 3A state meet.
Krull, a junior, outran two runners who finished in the top 10 at last year’s 3A state final, Hinsdale Central’s Jill Hardies and Maine South’s Emily Leonard.
The SouthWest Suburban Blue meet starts at 9 a.m. at Channahon Community Park. Sandburg, Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way East are among the teams chasing defending champion Lockport.
Marist and No. 1 runner Maggie O’Loughlin both hope to improve on their 2011 runner-up finishes at the East Suburban Catholic Conference meet Saturday at Midlothian Meadows.
Illiana Christian’s Alexa Beezhold, who led her team to 16th place at the Class 2A state meet last year, proved she remains one of the Southland’s top 2A runners with a seventh-place finish among runners from bigger schools at the Sept. 29 Loyola Lakefront Invitational.
Marian Catholic’s Gaby Rosales advanced to the East Suburban Catholic Conference No. 1 singles championship match before losing to 2010 state champion Brie Minor, of Carmel.
Rosales, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 2 seed Alyssa Straub, of Nazareth, 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals before falling to Minor 6-3, 6-4 in a battle of perennial state qualifiers.
Next for Rosales is the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional, where she is expected to face the Vikings’ Adesuwa Osabuohein for the singles title.
Osabuohein was sectional champion in 2009 and 2010, but took second to Rosales last year. They have met in the sectional final the last two seasons and both matches went three sets.
“We’ve always played competitive matches,” Osabuohein said of the possibility of facing Rosales again in the sectional final. “It’s going to be a good match.”
The other local sectional will be held at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort.
Argo’s Michelle Beczarski captured her fourth conference championship by teaming with Nidda Saparnis to win the No. 1 doubles title at the South Suburban Conference meet Saturday. Beczarski won three straight No. 2 singles titles prior to this season. The Argonauts took second in the meet.