A pair of rematch-oriented sectionals await the remaining metro-east Class 1A and Class 2A boys basketball hopefuls.
At the Class 2A Pinckneyville Sectional, third-ranked Central (27-4) takes on Marquette (21-10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Those teams met less than two weeks ago with Central winning 38-36 at Marquette on a last-second shot by senior star Logan Kohrmann.
“For us, we have a very recent film on them of what they’re doing,” said Central coach Jeremy Shubert, whose team beat Marquette in a 2012 sectional game and went on to win a state championship. “At the same time, you might have to brainstorm about ways they were guarding you to get your guys into better positions to score.”
In the 7 p.m. Wednesday sectional semifinal, River-to-River Conference-Mississippi Division rivals Nashville (20-10) and Pinckneyville (25-6) are meeting for the third time this season.
The teams split two conference games, but Pinckneyville hammered the Hornets 74-49 in the most recent meeting Feb. 13. Nashville won the earlier game 58-50.
There is a chance at a potential rematch at the Class 1A North Greene Sectional, but second-ranked Okawville (27-4) and 12th-ranked Gibault (22-9) would both have to win their semifinal games to make that happen.
Gibault takes on Carrollton in the first semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with Okawville facing Pawnee (13-15) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Gibault and Okawville split two games this season, with Okawville losing 59-51 in the first one before pounding the Hawks 59-37 on Jan. 23.
2A Pinckneyville Sectional
In the first meeting between Central and Marquette, most of the scoring was done by Marquette’s 5-foot-8 senior guard Shandon Boone (22 of his team’s 36 points) and Central’s Kohrmann (16 of his team’s 38 points).
Kohrmann (18 points per game, 50 3-pointers) scored a combined 53 points in Central’s two regional wins at Wesclin.
“I definitely think Logan has ratcheted it up a notch at the offensive end, which is what we need,” said Shubert, whose goal of getting three Central players into double-figure scoring seems to almost always result in a victory as it did Friday. “Tyler Joest (a 6-7 sophomore) is going to have to be a presence inside because that gives us another dimension.”
Central also counts on Jack Strieker (8.6 ppg), Chase Schneider (8.5 ppg, 63 3-pointers) and Kolby Schulte (6.8 ppg).
Boone averages 19.4 points for the Explorers, who also have 6-5 Ben Sebacher (9.8 ppg) and Reagan Snider (7.6 ppg, 27 3-pointers).
Pinckneyville has been one of the hottest 2A teams in Southern Illinois down the stretch and won its ninth straight game Friday with a 59-49 regional championship victory over Trico. The Panthers also will enjoy the extra bonus of playing at home.
The Panthers’ top scorers are Clayton Houghland (17 ppg), Sam Simpson (11 ppg) and sophomore guard Grant Jausel (8 ppg), but this team survives and thrives by playing tough on the defensive end.
Nashville relies heavily on 6-7 senior center and Ole Miss football recruit Royce Newman along with inside-outside threat Brady Bultman.
1A North Greene Sectional
Gibault has a tough semifinal opponent in Carrollton, a team that will playing right down the road from its home gym.
“We’ll be the visitors from a lot of different perspectives and that’s an advantage somewhat,” said Gibault coach Dennis Rueter, whose team outlasted Metro-East Lutheran 42-38 to win the Bunker Hill Regional. “They’re small, but they’re quick and they can all handle it a little bit and do some things. It’s going to present a different type of problem.”
Gibault went heavy to its inside attack Friday in the regional title game, getting 18 points from 6-5 senior Brian Deterding, 10 from 6-5 junior Collin Kessler and nine from 6-3 junior and team scoring leader Trevor Davis.
“He’s the one that’s capable of getting 30, but we’ve got Brian and some other kids that can score,” Rueter said, noting Davis’ 16-point scoring average that isn’t far from Deterding (15.3 points, 9.1 rebounds per game) and senior Jacob Rueter (10.8 ppg, 63 3-pointers).
Garrett Rueter (5.5 ppg, 50 3-pointers) has also been hot from beyond the 3-point arc in recent weeks.
“We’ve played in a lot of big games, a lot of games against good people where there was a lot of pressure,” Dennis Rueter said. “We’re as equipped as anybody could be.”
Carrollton, which finished second in the state in 2012, reached the sectional final last season before losing 57-43 to Okawville. The Hawks were the top team in their sub-sectional have a balanced scoring attack that includes Jerrett Smith, Cole Brannon, Luke Gillingham and Jeremy Watson.
Okawville will be a heavy favorite to beat Pawnee (13-15), which endured an eight-game losing streak earlier this season but won the regional as a No. 6 seed.
The Rockets have plenty of motivation to make a long playoff run after losing to eventual state champion Brimfield last season in the super-sectional one game away from the state finals.
Okawville’s usually strong offensive attack is led by 6-4 junior Division I prospect Noah Frederking (20.8 points, 8.5 rebounds per game, 50 3-pointers). The Rockets also have Shane Ganz (11.8 points and 3.2 assists per game, 28 3-pointers) and point guard Alec Wisneski (6.1 ppg).
Pawnee got 19 points from Austin Galloway on Friday in a 53-35 regional title win Raymond Lincolnwood. The 6-2 junior averages 16.1 points and 5.7 rebounds. The Indians also rely on 6-2 senior Garrett Gillette (12.6 ppg, 44 3-pointers) and junior Trenton Eckert (8.6 ppg).