A rematch of an early-season showdown from Nov. 23 should spice up the action at the Class 2A Greenville Sectional this week.
Defending state champion Central (21-9), which won its fifth regional in a row on Friday, is matched up with eastern Illinois heavyweight Robinson (25-4) once again.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Robinson delivered a 59-50 victory in the previous meeting at the Effingham St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Maroons outscored Central 21-10 in the fourth quarter and got 33 points from guard Aaron Siler. Siler helped lead the comeback by sinking 11 of 15 free throws.
"We were right there and actually had a lead fairly late in the second half and he kind of just took over," Central coach Stan Eagleson said. "It was first week of the season so I don't put a lot into that but the kid has over 2,000 points in his career.
"He has really good range and he's quick and can go both ways, so that causes a big dilemma. Like any good scorer he gets to the free throw line a lot, too."
The Cougars pride themselves on team defense and typically put junior guard Jacob Timmermann on the opponents' leading scorer.
"We can always count on him defensively to be a big help," Eagleson said of Timmermann (10.3 points per game), one of three Cougars averaging more than 10 points per game along with Kyler Scheer (11.2 ppg) and Austin Rickhoff (10.4 ppg). "Jacob gives us that ability to spread things out and to try to attack off the dribble.
"He's good at getting to the basket and finishing and he's also become better at throwing it back out and finding the open guy."
Rickhoff had 11 points while playing on a sprained left ankle in Friday's regional championship victory over Carlyle.
The 6-foot-6 Scheer seems to be making a bigger impact with each game, shutting down things defensively and adding extra offense of late.
"Kyler's always been good defensively and this year we've gotten a little more offense from him the last couple weeks, so that opens things up on the outside a little more," Eagleson said.
Timmermann, Rickhoff and Justin Becker all saw extensive playing time during the Cougars' run to the state title last season.
"They shouldn't be nervous," Eagleson said. "A lot of them have been on the sectional floor and even bigger floors, so we try to emphasize one possession at a time. Try to win every possession, that's really the only focus right now. Anybody's beatable this time of year. It just takes one bad shooting night."
Senior Luke Jackson (6.4 ppg) has become instant offense off the bench for Central with a team-leading 39 3-pointers.
Along with Siler, Robinson's other top offensive threats are Michael Akande, Cory Blount and Derrick Nicholas. The Maroons won the 2A state title in 2010 led by 7-foot-1 Meyers Leonard, the former University of Illinois standout and now a rookie with the NBA's Portland Trailblazers.
Roxana vs. Teutopolis
The Roxana Shells (23-7) will be heavy underdogs against Teutopolis (23-3) on Tuesday, but the Shells have a 6-foot-9 ace in the hole in senior center Hunter Reine.
The Southwestern Illinois College recruit and all-state candidate averaged 17.9 points and 12.9 rebounds with 86 blocked shots. Roxana also has offensive support in Matt Hartnett (11.6 ppg; 24 3-pointers) and Charlie Sheets (10 ppg).
The Teutopolis Wooden Shoes have a big, athletic lineup led by 6-6 senior center Kyle Pruemer (14 ppg) and senior guard Derek Smith (13 ppg). They split two games with Central this season and rely heavily on a suffocating defensive style.
West Frankfort Sectional
Nashville (23-7) should have a significant size advantage against Mt. Carmel (13-14) when the teams meet in the semifinals of the West Frankfort Sectional at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Nashville's top scorer is 6-6 freshman Royce Newman (11.8 ppg) and the Hornets also have more size in 6-6 senior Devin Holle (6.3 ppg). Scott Brown (9.4 ppg, 31 3-pointers) and Chance Reuter (8.9 ppg, 44 3-pointers) are the top outside threats.
Top-ranked and heavy favorite Harrisburg (28-1) takes on Chester (20-7) in the other semifinal, with the winners to meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the sectional title.