Scouting DuPage County's sectional semifinals

By Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

No. 5 Downers Grove North (22-11) vs. No. 7 Lake Park (23-10)

Class 4A Bartlett sectional semifinal

Game time: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Road to the sectional: Downers Grove North beat No. 10 Willowbrook 60-46 and beat No. 3 Downers Grove South 65-42 to win the Downers Grove South regional. Lake Park beat No. 12 DeKalb 49-47 and beat No. 2 Benet 58-55 to win the DeKalb regional.

Outlook: Now that both teams had the weekend to recover from emotional regional final victories, we'll see what they've got left. Downers North, playing with a heavy heart following the recent death of Trojans volleyball player Beth Dunlap, hammered Downers South to claim the program's first regional title since 2002. The backcourt duo of Sema'j Henderson and Trey Boston combined for 36 points. That'll be the focal point of Lake Park's defense. The Lancers' offense enjoyed 11 3-pointers in their grueling overtime win over Benet. A similar effort would make it tough on the Trojans, who need to defend all corners of the court with Lake Park juniors Luke Sgarbossa, Trevor Montiel and Montrell Perry.

Advancement: Winner advances to Friday's Bartlett sectional final to face the winner between No. 1 Geneva and No. 4 Lyons Twp.

No. 2 Waubonsie Valley (27-4) vs. No. 3 Oswego East (23-7)

Class 4A East Aurora sectional semifinal

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Road to the sectional: Waubonsie Valley beat No. 15 Lincoln-Way East 59-44 and No. 10 Plainfield North 61-47 to win the Andrew regional. Oswego East beat No. 14 Neuqua Valley 61-60 and No. 11 Lemont 67-59 to win the Joliet West regional.

Outlook: Waubonsie Valley enters upbeat off its first regional title since 2008 and a 67-61 win over Oswego East on Feb. 9. Warriors guard Eric Cannon got hot from 3-point range in that one, joining 6-foot-5 Marcus Skeete with 19 points while 6-4 Nikhil Khanna added 14. Entering with a chip on its shoulder is Oswego East and Boise State-bound guard Ray J Dennis, averaging 23.5 points and blossoming since transferring from Montini as a junior. The Wolves bring more than that, point guard Demari Grant pushing the pace and 6-7 Sam Schultz and 6-6 Kamron Battle cleaning the boards. Six-five Caymen Woods heads a gritty defense for Waubonsie, which will embrace an underdog status despite its seed.

Advancement: Winner advances to Friday's East Aurora sectional final to face the winner between No. 1 Bolingbrook and No. 4 West Aurora.

No. 2 Whitney Young (24-7) vs. No. 3 York (29-4) Class 4A Proviso West sectional semifinal

Game time: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Road to the sectional: Whitney Young beat No. 15 Jones 78-54 and No. 10 Lane 58-49 to win the Whitney Young regional. York beat No. 14 Prosser 66-38 and No. 6 Oak Park 74-56 to win the York regional.

Outlook: Now it really gets tough for York, which overcame two regular-season losses to Oak Park to claim the regional title. Young struggled to survive its regional final while rallying from an 8-point second-half deficit. The Dolphins boast an elite player in Fenwick transfer D.J. Steward, who knocked down huge free throws down the stretch to beat Lane. How can York, which has set the program record for wins in a season, stage an upset? The Dukes hit 20 3-pointers in their two regional wins. If Nick Kosich, Erik Cohn and others keep shooting like that - and if 6-foot-5 Sam Walsh continues to dazzle in the post - the Dukes have a shot. But only if their ball-press defense gives Young trouble.

Advancement: Winner advances to Friday's Proviso West sectional final to face the winner between No. 1 Curie and No. 5 Riverside-Brookfield.

No. 1 Glenbard South (23-6) vs. No. 2 Woodstock North (17-14)

Class 3A Marengo sectional semifinal

Game time: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Road to the sectional: Glenbard South beat No. 8 Kaneland 74-55 and No. 5 Montini 60-56 to win the IMSA regional. Woodstock North beat No. 7 Belvidere 52-49 and No. 6 Genoa-Kingston 67-63 to win the Genoa-Kingston regional.

Outlook: Glenbard South's playoff chops come into play. The Raiders reached this point in 2017 and in 2016 made a sectional final. From double-figure scorers Cole Hardtke and Tommy Powers, glue guy Kevin Enright to key reserve Spencer Pyle the Raiders won't panic. They will make free throws, win the turnover war and got quicker with guard Tavion Keith back from injury. Perimeter defense and grabbing long rebounds is key against Woodstock North, off its first regional title. Zach White, averaging 12 points, directs a 3-stroking squad featuring 5-foot-8 senior guard Ryan Shaffter, who lit up Genoa-Kingston for six 3s, 27 points. Glenbard South's 6-8 Ryan Harrington has height over a scrappy but shorter team.

Advancement: Winner advances to Friday's Marengo sectional final to face the winner between No. 1 Johnsburg and No. 2 Burlington Central.

- Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

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