St. Rita's Melvin Bell helps up teammate James Brown during last season's sectional loss to Kenwood. The two Class 4A state powers could be on a collision course in sectional action again this year. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Rita's Melvin Bell helps up teammate James Brown during last season's sectional loss to Kenwood. The two Class 4A state powers could be on a collision course in sectional action again this year. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Hoops Wrap: IHSA releases basketball postseason assignments

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Most of the holiday basketball tournaments have not even started, but the IHSA has already released its 2023 postseason assignments.

For some area schools, the placements into some sectionals are not exactly gifts from Santa.

Area teams Reavis, Brother Rice, Hubbard, Marist, St. Rita, Oak Lawn, Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg are all in a Class 4A sectional that features Kenwood, which is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A by the Associated Press in its latest rankings. Bloom and Homewood-Flossmoor are other top programs in the sectional, for which a host school has not been named.

Brother Rice is ranked fifth in the state and St. Rita seventh in the poll that was conducted before the Mustangs’ recent win over the Crusaders.

That’s three of the state’s top-ranked teams that will be fighting for the title in February and March. 

Also in Class 4A, Morton, Curie, Kelly, Lyons, Riverside-Brookfield and Argo are at the Hinisdale Central Sectional.

In Class 3A at the Glenbard South Sectional, St. Laurence, Back of the Yards, Bogan, Goode, Kennedy, Mount Carmel, Solorio and Nazareth are in the 18-team tournament. As is Simeon, the No. 1-ranked Class 3A team in the state.

JIM SEXTON VS IKE scaled

Evergreen Park coach Jim Sexton and his team will be playing in a Class 3A sectional that will feature state powers Hillcrest and Lemont. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Another sectional that does not yet have a host will feature area schools Evergreen Park and Richards. Hillcrest, the third-ranked team in the state, Lemont, which is eighth, and Marian Catholic, which is 10th, are also in the mix.

The De La Salle Sectional features the host as the only area team among its 20 schools.

In Class 2A, Catalyst-Maria and Chicago Christian are in the 25-team Julian Sectional.

 

Girls Basketball Postseason
In Class 4A, the Proviso East Sectional features Morton, Reavis, Curie, Kelly, Mother McAuley, Lyons, Oak Lawn, Riverside-Brookfield and Argo.

The Romeoville Sectional features Marist, Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg.

In Class 3A, Nazareth, which finished second in the state last season, is at the Goode Sectional along with the hosts, St. Laurence, Back of the Yards, Bogan, De La Salle, Kennedy and Solorio.

Evergreen Park and Richards will participate in the Hillcrest Sectional.

In Class 2A, Chicago Christian and Catalyst/Maria are in a sectional that is still seeking a host.

 

EP takes three of four
The Evergreen Park boys basketball team had a four-game-in-five-day stretch of basketball action, and went 3-1.

The Mustangs opened the busy stretch Dec. 13 in Blue Island and survived a 76-74 victory over Eisenhower in the South Suburban Red. Junior Nolan Sexton had 23 points and freshman Lonnie Mosley had 21, including five free throws in the final 22 seconds.

The next night they beat Addison Trail, 73-56, in a non-conference game. Sexton had 22 points, Ulises Cardinas had 17 and Isaiah Mosley had 16. Nathan Haugabook brought down 12 rebounds.

The Mustangs beat Andrew, 67-54, on Dec. 16. Sexton and Lonnie Mosley each had 18 points.

On Dec. 17, they had a noon home game and dropped a 50-45 non-conference battle with DePaul. Sexton led the way with 12 points.

The Mustangs entered this week 8-4.

 

Big win for SXU
The Saint Xavier men’s basketball team racked up its biggest win of the year with a 97-82 non-conference home victory over Huntington (Indiana) on Saturday.

Huntington was ranked 25th in NAIA by the coaches.

Jaeden King led the Cougars (11-3) with 33 points, while Cedric Johnson had 20 points and 15 rebounds.

The Cougars entered this week with six straight wins and have scored 93 or more points in three of those games.

 

Heading to Dartmouth
Niko Abusara may not be a household name in south suburban basketball circles because he is playing for Benet, but he is making some noise.

Abusara, of Orland Park, has verbally committed to Dartmouth.

Through the Redwings’ first nine games, the 6-foot-5 senior is averaging 11.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

According to the Naperville Sun, he has been mentored by former Sandburg player Tommy Demogerontas, who is now playing in Argentina.

NOLAN SEXTON VS IKE scaled

Evergreen Park junior Nolan Sexton helps start things off against Eisenhower on Dec. 13 to open a stretch of four games in five days. He led the team in all four games. Photo by Jeff Vorva

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