Girls Basketball: Homewood-Flossmoor, Marian Catholic headline Class 4A Bloom Sectional
By Tony Baranek email@example.com February 17, 2014 8:02PM
Joliet Catholic's Jasmine Lumpkin draws a foul from Marian Catholic's Mercedes Winfrey (22) in Joliet on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 24, 2014 5:54PM
If the seeds are correct, Homewood-Flossmoor and defending state champion Marian Catholic are two speeding freight trains that will have a head-on crash Feb. 27 in the Class 4A Bloom Sectional final.
The tracks, however, are loaded with potential derailments.
The sectional field at Bloom includes Kara Krolicki and Lincoln-Way East (20-5), LaTondra Brooks and Oak Lawn (25-1), Elizabeth Nye and Mother McAuley (17-8), Kayla Kieklak and Lincoln-Way North (22-5), Marsha Howard and Crete-Monee (17-6) and Ren’Cia Rolling and T.F. South (20-5).
That’s a lot of talent. A lot of wins. A lot of glitz.
“Good basketball,” H-F coach Anthony Smith said. “This should be a good (sectional). That’s what March Madness is supposed to be all about, playing good teams with good coaches. It’s an exciting time.”
It starts this week at the regional level, when good match-ups appear as soon as the semifinals.
At Oak Lawn, the fourth-seeded host Spartans should have their hands full with McAuley, Lincoln-Way Central and Stagg.
“There will be no easy games,” Oak Lawn coach Janet Meyers said. “I wish I would have scheduled some challenging nonconference games, but with so much going on (Meyers got married and had a baby) I didn’t think to do it. I was happy we got into the Glenbard East Tournament. It was after that tournament that I realized our potential.”
No. 2 seed Marian Catholic’s biggest Sandburg Regional challenge should come from the winner of the Crete-Monee vs. Sandburg semi.
“I feel we are playing our best basketball right now, but teams take it to another level come playoff time and we must as well,” Marian coach Dan Murray said. The Spartans finished a perfect East Suburban Catholic Conference season Saturday as Ashton Millender scored 20 points in a 59-41 win over Fenwick.
No. 1 seed H-F, which survived a big scare Thursday from Lincoln-Way East, likely is facing a title match-up in the T.F. North Regional against the winner of T.F. South-Marist.
No. 3 seed Lincoln-Way East is in line for a regional title game showdown against host Lincoln-Way North. North beat East for the first time in their head-to-head history in the title game at the Medieval Classic. Andrew and Bloom could spring semfinal upsets.
Other Class 4A sectionals involving Southland teams are at Hinsdale South, where Reavis is a No. 14 seed, and at Joliet Central, where Lemont is a No. 12 seed and Lockport a No. 13.
In Class 3A, Joliet Catholic leads the field in the Lincoln-Way West Sectional.
The Angels (22-2), led by Jasmine Lumpkin and Nicole Ekhomu, are the favorites at the Morris Regional, which includes Coal City, Providence and Lincoln-Way West.
The Julian Regional could bring a rematch in the final between Morgan Park (19-4) and Brooks. Brooks upset the Mustangs in the semis of the Public League Tournament.
The bulk of the Southland talent is at the Rich East Regional, which has Hillcrest (20-5), Rich Central (18-8), Rich South (15-9) and Rich East (10-12) as the Nos. 1 through 4 seeds.
At the Solorio Academy Sectional, De La Salle (14-6) is the No. 3 seed behind Bogan and South Shore, while Evergreen Park is No. 10 and Queen of Peace No. 17. De La Salle and Evergreen Park are hosting regionals.