Nazareth's Gracie Carstensen, left, is guarded closely by St. Laurence freshman Sara Burzycki in Thursday's Class 3A regional final game in Burbank. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Nazareth's Gracie Carstensen, left, is guarded closely by St. Laurence freshman Sara Burzycki in Thursday's Class 3A regional final game in Burbank. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap | Four area girls teams take regional titles

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Four area girls basketball teams won regional championships to advance to sectional action, which was scheduled to start Feb. 21.

Two of those teams will play each other right away.

In Class 3A, Nazareth won the St. Laurence Regional and De La Salle won its own regional, setting up a showdown in the Goode STEM Academy Sectional semifinals.

Nazareth, which finished second in the state in 3A last year, opened the regional with a 2-0 forfeit win over Noble/Comer. The Roadrunners then beat the host Vikings, 73-27, in Burbank on Feb. 16 for the title. Sophomore Olivia Austin led Nazareth with 18 points and senior Gracie Carstensen added 16.

It is Nazareth’s 13th regional title, and fourth since 2018.

De La Salle topped Noble/Johnson 61-41 on Feb. 13 and soundly beat Englewood STEM, 56-18, Feb. 16 to win its fifth title, and third since 2019.

In Class 4A, Lyons Township and Mother McAuley are champs in the regional portion of the Proviso East Sectional.

Lyons opened with a 67-31 victory over Proviso West in the Riverside-Brookfield Regional on Feb. 13 and posted a 56-33 triumph over Hinsdale Central to claim its second regional title in a row and 17th overall. Nora Ezike scored 18 points and Ally Cesarini added 14 in the title game for the Lions.

McAuley beat Proviso East, 58-35, on Feb. 14 and knocked out Argo, 50-34, two days later to win its 30th regional crown. Maeve Egan had 18 points.

ROBERT FORD scaled

SXU coach Robert Ford has a discussion with an official in a victory over Roosevelt on Feb. 15. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Second place for SXU men
Saint Xavier University pulled off a huge Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Roosevelt, 75-65, on Feb. 15 to set up a three-way tie as SXU, Roosevelt and Olivet Nazarene each had 16-3 records in the conference with one game remaining for each.

But the Cougars were derailed from winning the title as they dropped an 85-79 decision to Olivet on Feb. 18 in Bourbonnais. SXU (22-6 overall) entered this week’s CCAC tournament as the second seed, as Roosevelt was upset by Governors State.

Jack Halverson and TJ Babikir each had 16 points for SXU against Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s Maurice Commander, who played at Marist for three years, had 23 points. The Lakers are coached by first-year head coach Dee Brown, who played at Illinois.

 

Big finish for Lyons
Because preliminary rounds of the IHSA boys basketball regionals were Feb. 18, many teams took the next night off and the schedule was abbreviated.

But Lyons held its blackout game and the Lions beat Lake Park, 52-46, in front of a packed house in LaGrange.

Niklas Polonowski had 17 points for the winners.

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