Beacon BasketBlog

News and analysis of the prep and college basketball scenes by the sports staff at The Beacon-News

Hey West siders...

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when you guys going to win a regional in boys hoops again?

It's been a long five years since that quarterfinal run in Class AA in 2005-06....

No postseason sanctions for UConn

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The NCAA finally handed down its ruling on the University of Connecticut recruiting violations and there were no sanctions involving a ban in postseason play. Coach Jim Calhoun will be suspended from the Huskies' first three Big East Conference games next season, however.

The school did get slapped a little harder than some of it's self-imposed sanctions that were announced following an in-house probe last fall but we can't imagine it having any
negative impact on this year's lone recruit (to date), Ryan Boatright of East Aurora.

Here's a link to the Hartford Courant story detailing the NCAA ruling: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/02/22/1880476/ncaa-suspends-uconns-calhoun-for.html

Class 3A pairings announced

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Kaneland and Aurora Central were seeded 2 and 3, respectively, in the Sycamore Regional and will play Wednesday, March 2nd, with the winner advancing to the March 4th title game.

Rochelle drew the top seed and opens Tuesday, March 1st against the winner of the Feb. 28th game between No. 4 Sycamore and 5 IMSA.

The other Beacon News coverage area schools in 3A will play at the Yorkville Regional.
It opens Feb. 28th with No. 4 Sandwich playing 5 Ottawa to advance to a March 1st game with No. 1 Streator. On March 2nd, No. 2 Yorkville and No. 3 Morris meet for the fourth time. They played at the Plano Christmas Tournament and meet twice in conference play.

IHSA releases 4A pairings

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The IHSA has released pairings for the Class 3A and 4A boys basketball playoffs. All of the 4A teams in the Beacon-News coverage area are part of the East Aurora Sectional. East coach Wendell Jeffries got it right Thursday when he predicted where the top eight seeds would be placed for regionals:

At West Aurora:
No. 2 Downers Grove South is the top seed with the No. 7 host Blackhawks next in line.
Coach Gordie Kerkman's club will open play against the winner of DVC rivals Wheaton South and West Chicago. Wheaton South, seeded 10th, has beaten West in the two teams' only conference meeting this season. DG South will meet the winner of 15 Batavia and 18 Glenbard North.

At Bolingbrook:
Jeffries' No. 4 Tomcats are the top seed here and open against the winner of a game between 13 Plainfield North and 20 Downers Grove North. Fifth seeded Neuqua Valley will take on the winner of 12 Metea Valley vs. 22 Bolingbrook.

At Naperville North:
No. 16 Plainfield East and 17 Geneva meet with the winner drawing top seed Benet Academy. That winner will face the winner of a matchup between No. 8 Oswego and the host Huskies (9) for the title.

At Glenbard East:
Second seeded hosts are the favorites here and DuPage Valley leaders will draw the winner of a game between fellow DVC rivals Wheaton North (14) and Naperville Central (19). The other finalist will come from a matchup between 11th seed Oswego East and 21 Glenbard West.

Class 3A, 4A seeding

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Seeds for the IHSA boys basketball playoffs are scheduled to be announced on the organization's website on Friday. Check here for sites, dates, times and seeds for Beacon-News coverage area teams.

East-West a sellout

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Surprise! NOT.

The East-West basketball game Saturday is officially a sellout, according to a press release issued by East High officials. The gym features 3,500 seats.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. but will more likely start at about 8 since the school will have its Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony between the sophomore and varsity contests that same night.

Anyone who didn't score a ticket, will have several opportunities to watch it live on television or the internet. Check the schools' websites or Saturday's Beacon News.

Class 1A: Newark draws top seed

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Newark, which had made it to the DeKalb Super-sectional each of the past two seasons, has drawn the No. 1 seed in next weeks IHSA Class 1A Hinckley-Big Rock Regional.

The 20-1 Norsemen recently won the Little Ten Conference Tournament and are ranked second in the state in the AP Class 1A poll.

Coach Rick Tollefson's team doesn't open play until Thursday's 6 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Monday's matchup between Little Ten rivals Leland-Earlville (4) and Somonauk (5).

On Tuesday, (2) Ottawa Marquette meets (7) Serena at 6 p.m. with (3) H-BR playing (6) Mooseheart at 8:30. The winners of those two games will meet at 8:10 p.m. Thursday in the other semifinal. Title game is Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Indian Creek, the area's lone remaining 1A team, has drawn the top seed at the Amboy Regional and will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Monday's game between fellow Little Ten rivals (4) LaMoille and (5) Paw Paw. Host Amboy has the No. 2 seed and will meet the winner of Monday's game between (3) Ashton-Franklin Center and (6) Hiawath in Wednesday's second semifinal at 8:10 p.m.

Those winners meet for the title at 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A: Area teams get 3 seeds

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Plano and Aurora Christian, the Beacon-News area's two entries in the IHSA Class 2A boys basketball playoffs each drew No. 3 seeds.

Aurora Christian, which hosts a 2A sectional that feeds into the Joliet Central Super-sectional (Joliet Central?), will play in the Lisle Regional. Coach Steve Hanson's Eagles open Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. against No. 2 seed Collins Academy of Chicago. Westmont is the top seed in the regional, which will be decided with Wednesday's winners meeting on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Aurora Christian Sectional will be played the following Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Plano hosts its own regional which feeds into the Genoa-Kingston Sectional, whose winner advances to the DeKalb Super-sectional at NIU.

Coach Brett Moore's Reapers also play on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m., against No. 2 seed Genoa-Kingston. That game will be preceded by No. 1 Westminster Christian against he winner of Tuesday's game between No. 4 Mendoat and No. 5 St. Edward. Title game is Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Calhoun weighs in on suspension

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Funny, isn't it? Sometimes, the further you are from a story the closer you're able to get to it.

Such was the case when we checked out a blog post from University of Connecticut men's basketball beat writer Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant. He recently talked with coach Jim Calhoun about that one-game suspension served by East Aurora's Ryan Boatright earlier this week and reported on the Huskie recruit:

...Calhoun didn't offer many details on the incident other than to say he had spoken to Jeffries and is not concerned. The incident that led to the suspension is said to have followed a frustrating, upset loss to Metea Valley last Saturday.
"He's a really talkative, out-going kid -- smile, personality, all that," Calhoun said. "But somethimes with that, maybe the coach sometimes doesn't want to hear your answer. Maybe he wants to hear nothing. I don't know all the circumstances. I've talked to the coach. I really like Ryan. I'm more concerned that he continues to work hard on his grades. He's been admitted, but he has to (qualify) when it's all said and done."

Calhoun then described Boatright, comparing him to a player on his current roster:
"Shabazz (Napier) with almost more zip. It's hard to think of that."

Napier is a 6-foot, 170-pound freshman guard out of Charlestown (Mass.) High School who has come off the bench in all 19 UConn games this season. He's averaged 23.6 minutes, 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

East adds Brooks to schedule

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Be careful what you wish for.

Considering the East Aurora boys basketball team is riding a three-game losing streak heading into tonight's matchup with North Chicago at the Ernie Kivisto Tomcat Hoopsfest, the announcement by athletic director Cam Leadbetter that he's added a game with Brooks to his team's schedule could be received with mixed views by Tomcat fans.

East will play host to the team from Chicago's south side on Saturday, Feb. 5th at 7:30 p.m. Leadbetter has been trying to pick up a game for coach Wendell Jeffries' team for several weeks now and had hoped to land either Curie or Brooks. East had an opening on its schedule after its participation in another shootout fell through earlier in the season.

Brooks, which won the Waubonsie Valley Matt Laurich Memorial Christmas Tournament, currently stands at 14-3 and is ranked No. 15 by the Sun-Times. The Eagles recently dropped an 11-point decision to No. 1 Simeon in Chicago Public League Red-South play.

But this week, Brooks claimed a 54-51 win over St. Ignatius, which features 6-foot-10 Illinois-bound center Nnanna Egwu (18 points, 7 blocks). In that game, Brooks 6-6 forward Keith Gray matched the big man, scoring 22 points and pulling down nine rebounds. He has a twin brother, Kevin, who is also a force inside. East fans will also likely hear plenty from senior guard Michael Powell that night.

The Saturday varsity contest will be preceded by a freshman game at 4:30 and sophomore game at 6 p.m.

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