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St. Bede riding 13-game winning streak into 1A Marquette Regional

St. Bede's Lily Bosnish steals the ball from Marquette's Lilly Craig to force a break away on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023 in Bader Gym at Marquette High School.

Class 1A

Marquette Regional


Saturday: No. 7 Gardner-South Wilmington (20-9) at No. 6 Marquette (17-11), 5 p.m.

Monday: No. 2 St. Bede (24-7) vs. Marquette/G-SW winner, 6 p.m. No. 3 Amboy (23-7) vs. No. 5 Putnam County (19-10), 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Title game, 7 p.m.

Worth noting: The Bruins enter the postseason on a hot streak, having won 13 games in a row. St. Bede has not lost in 2024 and is 22-3 since Nov. 27 after a 2-4 start. The Bruins, who have more than 20 wins for the first time since 2011-12, have lost only two games to fellow 1A opponents in Marquette and Annawan (Associated Press No. 3). St. Bede’s other five losses have come against Peoria Notre Dame (AP 2A No. 1), Limestone (3A), Ottawa (3A), Dixon (3A) and Fieldcrest (2A). The Bruins are one of only two teams to beat Serena, which is the No. 1 seed in the sub-sectional. “We’ve had a nice season,” St. Bede coach Stephanie Mickley said. “It’s been a battle. I’m happy with how far we’ve come compared to last year. They’re a very disciplined, goal-oriented team that just focuses one game at a time. They’re very humble. They have a common goal.” Seniors Ali Bosnich (15.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Ella Hermes (9.3 ppg, 2.2 spg, 2.1 spg, 56 3-pointers) lead the way for St. Bede, which has not played G-SW but is very familiar with the Crusaders. The Bruins are 2-1 against Marquette this year, winning the last two games 60-48 and 55-47. The Bruins are 3-0 against Putnam County this season, but have not faced Amboy. “We’re going to see a lot of teams we’ve already played a few times. That’s the hard part,” Mickley said. “We’ve played so many times that they know a lot about us and we know a lot about them. So you have to be creative and try to outsmart the others. We’ll be scouting all the teams and taking nobody for granted.” The Bruins are looking to win their first regional title since 2019-20. “It would mean a lot,” Mickley said. “We have to battle. We’ll be on the road. I think these girls, if they put the hard work in and they get the regional title, they deserve it. They’re a very unique and special group. They can go as far as they want to go.” The Panthers, who have not played Amboy this season, are looking for their first regional title since winning three straight from 2012-15. PC senior Ava Hatton is third on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,432 points and looks to pass No. 2 Paige Veronda (1,454) during the postseason.

Next: Winner moves on to Gardner-South Wilmington Sectional to play the winner of the Illinois Lutheran Regional.

Earlville Regional


Saturday: No. 10 Yorkville Christian (11-14) at No. 9 Hinckley-Big Rock (18-12), 1 p.m. No. 11 Earlville (5-24) at No. 8 Newark (12-11).

Tuesday: No. 1 Serena (24-4) vs. Yorkville Christian/H-BR winner, 6 p.m. No. 4 Ashton-Franklin Center (21-9) vs. Earlville/Newark winner, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Title game, 7 p.m.

Worth noting: Madyson Olson, Earlville’s new all-time leading scorer, leads the Red Raiders into the postseason. Earlville lost 61-21 to Newark on Jan. 8.

Next: Winner moves on to face the winner of the Harvest Christian Regional.

Flanagan-Cornell Regional


Saturday: No. 10 Henry-Senachwine/Lowpoint-Washburn (7-19) at No. 8 Roanoke-Benson (7-22), 1 p.m. No. 12 Peoria Christian (1-18) at No. 7 Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland (6-21), 4:30 p.m.

Monday: No. 1 Peoria Heights (24-6) vs. Henry/R-B winner, 6 p.m. No. 4 Midland (17-11) vs. Peoria Christian/FCW winner, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Title game, 6 p.m.

Worth noting: The Mallards will play a familiar foe in the Rockets, a fellow Tri-County Conference team. Henry is 0-2 against Roanoke-Benson this season.

Next: Winner advances to play winner of the Fisher Regional.

Class 2A

Hall Regional


Saturday: No. 10 Sandwich (6-26) at No. 9 Somonauk-Leland (8-21) No. 12 Mendota (4-22) at No. 7 Hall (14-15), 1 p.m.

Monday: No. 2 Riverdale (21-5) vs. Sandwich/Somonauk winner, 6 p.m. No. 3 Morrison (18-13) vs. Hall/Mendota winner, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Title game, 6 p.m.

Worth noting: The Red Devils will enjoy all the comforts of home playing for their first regional championship since a four-year run from 2016-19. They have beaten Saturday’s play-in foe Mendota three times by an average of 31.3 points. Another win over the Trojans will give the Red Devils a shot at No. 3 Morrison. “I think like most any regional, it’s going to be tough. The top two seeds are both really solid, and we’re going to have to play one of our better games of the year to beat either,” Hall coach TJ Orlandi said. “We’ve played well this year against a good schedule, but we’ve had trouble at times putting four quarters together. Hopefully, we can do that during regionals and give ourselves a chance. It is a nice luxury that we’re hosting and playing at home. I think that is an advantage, but we still need to be more disciplined and mentally tougher on the court when things get tough if we’re going to make any noise.” Hall senior McKenna Christiansen went over the 1,000-point career scoring mark this season. Junior transfer Ella Sterling, daughter of mid-1990s Red Devils star Nick Sterling, has been a big addition this season.

Next: Winner advances to Oregon Sectional to face the winner of the Genoa-Kingston Regional.

Alleman Regional


Saturday: No. 8 Rock Falls (10-21) at No. 6 Bureau Valley (14-15), 7 p.m. No. 11 Oregon (7-23) at No. 5 Erie-Prophetstown (12-13), 4 p.m.

Tuesday: No. 1 Alleman (26-4) vs. Bureau Valley/Rock Falls winner, 6 p.m. No. 4 Princeton (19-8) vs. E-P/Oregon winner, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Title game, 7 p.m.

Worth noting: Both Alleman and Princeton lost in regional finals a year ago. They are headed toward another shot at postseason hardware. The Pioneers are ranked No. 4 in Class 2A and the definite favorite, playing a tough schedule in the Western Big 6 with their only losses coming against United Township and Quincy and have played many 3A and 4A teams. “We have a tough draw, no doubt about that,” PHS coach Tiffany Gonigam said. “I don’t think it was anyone in the sub-sectional’s desire to have their regional path go through state-ranked Alleman. We are playing good basketball right now and will have to continue to play our best to win each game that is presented to us. Our girls have played a tough schedule, too, and are battle-tested with some good 3A schools, I know they are looking forward to postseason play.” Princeton has fallen off its 48-7 pace over the past two seasons, but brings another solid record into the postseason, seeking its first regional title since 2007, when it won a Class A sectional. The Tigresses are led by a pair of sophomores in Camryn Driscoll and Keighley Davis and hope to get senior captain Miyah Fox back from a nagging thigh injury. Bureau Valley will get a chance to play at home one more time with a play-in game Saturday against the Rockets. BV senior Kate Salisbury hit the 1,000-point career scoring mark with 20 points in Wednesday’s loss to E-P.

Next: Winner moves on to Oregon Sectional to the play winner of the Rockford Christian Regional.

Fieldcrest Regional


Saturday: No. 8 El Paso-Gridley (14-12) at No. 6 Fieldcrest (21-8), 6 p.m. No. 11 Manual (9-19) at No. 5 Tremont (18-11), 1 p.m.

Tuesday: No. 2 Bloomington Central Catholic (24-6) vs. Fieldcrest/EPG winner, 6 p.m. No. 3 Eureka (20-9) vs. Tremont/Manual winner, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Title game, 7 p.m.

Worth noting: The Knights have won four regional titles in a row and back-to-back sectional titles the past two years, but they’re in a different situation this season coming into the regional as underdogs. Fieldcrest was a No. 1 or No. 2 seed during its four-year regional run, but this year the Knights are a No. 6 seed with Tremont, Eureka and Bloomington Central Catholic ahead of them. Fieldcrest has the advantage of playing at home, where the Knights are 9-2 this season. Senior Kaitlin White, the No. 2 scorer in school history, was a key member of three regional title teams and the back-to-back sectional championship squads. Fieldcrest is 2-0 against EPG and 0-2 against Eureka this season. Fieldcrest beat Tremont in the regular season finale. The Knights have not played Bloomington Central Catholic.

Next: Winner advances to Canton Sectional to play winner of IVC Regional.

Class 3A

Morris Regional


Saturday: No. 7 La Salle-Peru (14-14) at No. 6 Morris (21-9), 6 p.m.

Monday: No. 2 Bloomington (13-16) vs. L-P/Morris winner, 6 p.m. No. 3 Kankakee (20-9) vs. No. 5 Ottawa (17-12), 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Title game, 7 p.m.

Worth noting: The Cavaliers won six of the past 10 games to end the regular season, including a win over Morris (49-36) on Jan. 17. L-P lost 42-33 to Morris on Dec. 6. The Cavs are 0-2 against Ottawa this season and have not played Bloomington or Kankakee. Addie Duttlinger (11.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.7 spg, 1.4 apg) leads an all-senior starting lineup for L-P.

Next: Winner advances to the East Peoria Sectional to play the winner of the Geneseo Regional