When asked what his Belleville West Maroons must do against undefeated Edwardsville in the semifinals of the Classs 4A Pekin Sectional onTuesday, two things quickly came to the mind of coach Clayton Fisher.
“We need to stay out of foul trouble and we need to make a lot of 3-point shots,’’ Fisher said.
Now if it was only that simple.
Ranked third in the Class 4A poll, Edwardsville (28-0) will be out for its third win of the season against Southwestern Conference rival Belleville West (25-5) when the two Southwestern Conference rivals meet at Granite City High School, beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Rock Island is playing Normal West in the other semifinal on Monday at Pekin High School. The two winners will meet for the sectional title at Pekin on Thursday at 7 p.m,.
Edwardsville defeated Belleville West 63-31 in early December, but needed overtime to prevail in a 60-53 thriller on Jan. 29. Edwardsville went on to finish undefeated for the sixth staight season in SWC play.
Freshman Rachel Pranger leads Edwardsville in scoring at 15.4 points per game, while sophomore Makenzie Silvey (14.4) and Criste’on Waters (10.6) also are key players for coach Lori Blade’s young, talented team.
West features the premier guard tandem in the SWC in seniors Shay Fluker (21.0) and Imani Berry (19.5)
Edwardsville advanced to the Pekin Sectional by defeating Pekin 68-41 to win the Alton Regional. West defeated Collinsville 54-29 to claim the O’Fallon Regional.
Mississippi Valley Conference rivals Civic Memorial and Mascoutah will try to extend their seasons when they play Monday at the Class 3A Highland Sectional.
Civic Memorial (25-6), which upset MVC regular-season champion Highland in the title game of the Jerseyville Regional 63-56, will take on the Salem Wildcats at 6 p.m. followed by Mascoutah (14-14) taking on Massac County at 7:30 p.m. The regional title game is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Mascoutah, which defeated MVC rival Waterloo 36-25 to win the Mascoutah Regional, has won seven of its last 10 games entering its semifnal. Maddie Nekola (14.0) leads the Indians in scoring. Katie Jokisch (10.4) is another offensive threat for the Indians.
Civic Memorial is in search of its second straight sectional title. The Eagles fought through a tough regional by beating Mater Dei and Highland while on their way to the title. CM is led by one of the premier sophomores in Southern Illinois in forward Allie Troeckler (21.1)
Salem defeated Civic Memorial 48-39 in the second game of the season at the Salem Tournament in November.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.