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Prep Sports

Goss: Plainfield North victory could affect boys basketball seeds

The weather was the culprit last week as snow caused postponement of all boys high school basketball games scheduled Friday night.

The one game that was moved up to Thursday night – Romeoville at Plainfield North – was a big one, as the Tigers came away with a 57-53 upset victory.

That outcome does not guarantee Romeoville will not make the top four when online voting for sectional seeds is conducted this week, but from this vantage point, that seems likely to happen. Bolingbrook (17-5), Lincoln-Way East (18-4), Joliet Central (18-4) and West Aurora (18-4) appear destined for the top four slots, in whatever order, in the Class 4A Romeoville Sectional.

If Romeoville does get the fifth seed, the Spartans likely would be in the same regional as the No. 4 seed and would have to conquer that tough assignment in order to get a shot at playing in the sectional on its home floor.

Meanwhile, where will Plainfield North land? The Tigers’ victory over Romeoville was their fourth straight, and it got them above the .500 mark at 12-11. That may not be enough to get them into the top eight, which would be a positive, but it should help their seeding regardless.

The Southwest Prairie Conference has a full slate of games on top Tuesday. In addition to North-Oswego, Plainfield Central is at Joliet Central, Plainfield East is at Joliet West, Plainfield South visits Minooka and Romeoville travels to Oswego East in another important game for the Spartans.

The games Tuesday night represent one last chance to impress the sectional coaches before the voting begins Wednesday (results to be announced at about 4 p.m. Thursday).

If I had to guess how the voting at the top will go, I would say: 1. Bolingbrook, 2. Lincoln-Way East, 3. Joliet Central, 4. West Aurora, 5. Romeoville. Of course, there are other opinions out there.

After last Tuesday’s victory over Lockport, Lincoln-Way East coach Rich Kolimas noted that Lincoln-Way East has beaten Bolingbrook and Joliet Central and has not played West Aurora or Romeoville. At 18-4, why shouldn’t the Griffins get the top seed?

Meanwhile, we moved Joliet Central up to No. 1 in the Herald-News rankings last week, after Lincoln-Way East had lost to Homewood-Flossmoor a couple of days earlier. With as little as transpired last week, we are leaving the Steelmen as our No. 1 this week.

Following are our rankings, with records entering a couple of makeup games Monday as Lincoln-Way Central faced Thornton and Lemont battled Oak Forest.

1. Joliet Central (18-4): The Steelmen’s lead in the SPC, where they are 10-0, now is two games in the loss column.

2. Lincoln-Way East (18-4): The Griffins not only beat Lockport last week, but they also beat Westinghouse, which has struggled this season, in the shootout at Homewood-Flossmoor..

3. Bolingbrook (17-5): The Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory last Tuesday over Sandburg. They have a visit to Homewood-Flossmoor in a key Southwest Suburban Blue game coming up Friday.

4. Romeoville (17-6): The Spartans, who have dropped three of four, are eager to get back on the right track with Tuesday’s tough game at Oswego East.

5. Plainfield East (15-9): The Bengals are on the rise and looking for a top-eight seed in the Romeoville Sectional.

6. Lincoln-Way Central (12-10): The Knights fell last Tuesday to Andrew, a tri-leader in the Southwest Suburban Red.

7. Lemont (14-8): Before Monday’s game against Oak Forest, the Indians had been off for a while.

8. Plainfield North (12-11): The Tigers are playing better basketball the last several games, as results have indicated. Matt O’Boye had a big second half in the win over Romeoville.

9. Minooka (13-12): The Indians, who are 3-7 in their last 10 games, have been off for a while and are looking to get things turned around.

10. Lockport (7-13): Coming off their upset win over Bolingbrook, the Porters were blown out at Lincoln-Way East, where they played without guard Jake Karli, who was ill.

Small schools: Seneca (15-10) has been the area’s top small school all season. Coal City (12-11), which visits Joliet Catholic Academy on Tuesday night, has secured its grip on the runner-up spot, followed by Gardner-South Wilmington (11-12).

• Dick Goss can be reached at dgoss@shawmedia.com.

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