What's on tap tonight in preps basketball?

What's on tap tonight in preps basketball?


MAROA-FORSYTH SECTIONAL: (1) Bloomington Central Catholic (23-6) vs. (2) Monticello (25-1)

How they got there: Bloomington Central Catholic def. (11) Maroa-Forsyth 103-40, def. (7) Heyworth 88-54, def. (2) St. Teresa 66-41; Monticello def. (6) Paxton-Buckley-Loda 56-45, def. (3) Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 45-43, def. (1) St. Joseph-Ogden 47-39.

Prediction: Monticello 45, Bloomington Central Catholic 42. There's no doubt the Sages are a battle-tested bunch this postseason, and they're going to come out better for it when it matters most. There's also a mental edge associated with previously defeating the Saints this season in what was the Illini Prairie Conference's marquee game. Luke Stokowski will come up with a huge offensive effort after producing 10 points on only 2-of-9 free-throw shooting during these teams' Feb. 9 encounter.


SCHLARMAN SECTIONAL: (1) Ridgeview (27-4) vs. (2) St. Anne (15-13)

How they got there: Ridgeview def. (8) Bloomington Cornerstone 63-33, def. (4) Grant Park 66-47, def. (5) Decatur Lutheran 76-59; St. Anne def. (12) Dwight 60-24, def. (5) Tri-Point 71-60, def. (5) Judah Christian 84-80.

Prediction: Ridgeview 64, St. Anne 54. When a player comes up with 41 points in a sectional semifinal, you tend to gain the idea his squad is for real. It's getting to that point with Justin Myers and the Mustangs, the lone ding on aforementioned Monticello's slate this season. The Cardinals are coming off an absolute grind against the upstart Tribe, and Ridgeview is feeling its roots too well to lose right now.


DANVILLE REGIONAL: (1) Danville (26-2) vs. (4) Moline (21-7)

How they got there: Danville def. (7) Centennial 60-50; Moline def. (5) Normal Community 53-47.

Prediction: Danville 70, Moline 58. Centennial gave Danville all it could handle, but the Vikings have more to offer than it showed in the semifinals. Defensive specialist Jerry Reed's absence due to a knee injury certainly causes a problem, but the Vikings gained some confidence by defeating Centennial through their post game instead of running a majority of their offense through Drake signee Kendle Moore. It's going to pay dividends here.


PARIS REGIONAL: (1) Champaign Central (19-8) vs. (6) Effingham (14-15)

How they got there: Champaign Central def. (8) Olney 70-40; Effingham def. (11) Paris 63-33, def. (4) Unity 66-49.

Prediction: Champaign Central 81, Effingham 58. No offense to the Flaming Hearts, but looking at their schedule, they haven't seen a team quite like the Maroons. Central also didn't play its best in the semifinals — even while winning by 30 — and probably is searching for a little more offensive oomph ahead of a possible sectional semifinal game against Springfield Lanphier. Grand Canyon signee Tim Finke will lead that effort to success.


MAHOMET-SEYMOUR REGIONAL: (2) Mahomet-Seymour (20-10) vs. (5) Urbana (9-18)

How they got there: Mahomet-Seymour def. (10) Rantoul 64-50; Urbana def. (3) Mt. Zion 61-50.

Prediction: Urbana 58, Mahomet-Seymour 55. Remember when the Chicago Cubs were seemingly ahead of schedule during their 2015 postseason run? Meet a potentially comparable prep team in the Urbana Tigers. Their athletes already had some confidence from playing M-S within two points earlier this month, and they gained even more knocking off Mount Zion on Wednesday. Time to end a drought that dates to 1989 — the Tigers will ride confidence and a relentless nature on both ends of the floor to a major surprise.