Giving it his best shot

Giving it his best shot

Predicting postseason outcomes isn't just for college and professional sporting events. Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS enjoys bringing the practice to high school competitions as well. Here are his picks for local Class 2A and Class 1A girls' basketball regional finals today and Friday:

CLASS 2A

St. Thomas More Regional

(1) St. Joseph-Ogden vs. (4) St. Thomas More, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they get there: St. Joseph-Ogden def. (9) Argenta-Oreana 50-25; St. Thomas More def. (5) Heyworth 45-35.

Prediction: St. Thomas More 51, St. Joseph-Ogden 49. This should be a fun contest, with the Illini Prairie Conference foes having engaged in a five-point affair earlier this season. SJ-O won that one, but STM is in the midst of an 11-game win streak and playing on its home court. That will be just enough of an advantage.

Reed-Custer Regional

(2) Paxton-Buckley-Loda vs. (3) Peotone,7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Paxton-Buckley-Loda def. (6) Beecher 58-36; Peotone def. (5) Reed-Custer 39-30.

Prediction: Peotone 48, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 43. The Panthers have some nice momentum after late-season victories over Watseka and Cissna Park, but recent postseason success is not something they hold in spades. The Blue Devils, meanwhile, carry a pair of regional crowns under coach Steve Strough.

Watseka Regional

(1) Watseka vs. (4) Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Watseka def. (8) Clifton Central 65-29; Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley def. (7) Momence 37-28.

Prediction: Watseka 60, GCMS 48. The Falcons received a nice boost by dumping Ridgeview late in the regular season, but the Warriors, led by Summer Cramer, just have too many options to be contained this early. Watseka playing on its home floor will only make things harder for GCMS.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm Regional

(2) Oakwood vs. (3) Monticello, 7 p.m., Friday

How they got there: Oakwood def. (8) Westville 47-21; Monticello def. (6) Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 33-23.

Prediction: Monticello 56, Oakwood 53. The most challenging regional final to pick will see two potent offenses squaring off. It's Zanna Myers and Tatum McCall versus Katelyn Young and Brenna Durst. Though the Comets are on the rise, the Sages have won four straight regional plaques. Experience matters.

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Regional

(2) Tuscola vs. (5) Sullivan, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got here: Tuscola def. (7) ALAH 48-46 in OT; Sullivan def. (3) Greenville 54-46.

Prediction: Tuscola 52, Sullivan 49. These teams contested a one-point affair on Nov. 30, with the Warriors coming out on top. The Redskins are trying to play Cinderella and have looked good in their recent contests, but Tuscola's size inside will prove to be the difference-maker.

CLASS 1A

Nokomis Regional

(1) Tri-County vs. (4) Nokomis, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Tri-County def. (6) South Fork 81-36; Nokomis def. (5) Springfield Lutheran 47-35.

Prediction: Tri-County 52, Nokomis 40. The Titans have been on a tear since losing three straight to large-school opponents in December, averaging 58.6 points per contest during a 10-game win streak.

Fisher Regional

(1) Ridgeview vs. (4) Lexington, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Ridgeview def. (9) LeRoy 42-25; Lexington def. (5) Fisher 53-36.

Prediction: Ridgeview 48, Lexington 45. The Mustangs and Minutemen split regular-season meetings, but I'll say Mya Tinsley leads Ridgeview in a close win.

Illinois Lutheran Regional

(2) Cissna Park vs. (3) Dwight, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Cissna Park def. (7) Grant Park 44-17; Dwight def. (5) Gardner-South Wilmington 67-47.

Prediction: Cissna Park 45, Dwight 35. The Timberwolves specialize in low-scoring affairs, and the 51 points they tallied against the Trojans on Jan. 29 was a season high. So I'll take Cissna Park, but in a typical close contest.

Milford Regional

(1) Schlarman vs. (4) Milford, 7 p.m., Thursday

How they got there: Schlarman def. (8) Tri-Point 67-26; Milford def. (6) Armstrong-Potomac 50-18.

Prediction: Schlarman 75, Milford 30. I don't like to suggest blowouts between area teams, but the Hilltoppers leave me little choice. They dispatched the Bearcats 68-23 and 85-32 in the regular season and show few signs of stumbling.