Preps Talk

EDGY: 'Playoffs' begin for several 3-4 teams

EDGY: 'Playoffs' begin for several 3-4 teams

While the IHSA football playoffs won't begin for a few weeks, several teams with 3-4 records will be playing for their postseason lives come this weekend. Here are several 3-4 teams who are still fighting to keep their playoff chances intact:

Chicago Public League

Lindblom: The Eagles (3-4/3-1) play in the Illini Heartland conference and trail both Payton (6-1/4-0) and Uplift (5-2/3-1), but still have a shot if they can beat Robeson (2-5) this week. They would have to also win next week in round one of the Prep Bowl playoffs.

Chicago Catholic League

Providence (3-4): The Celtics will need to beat the state's top ranked team, Loyola Academy (7-0), on Saturday in Wilmette-- and then defeat Mount Carmel (4-3). It's a daunting task but the Celtics have been in this spot more than a few times over the years. 

Central Suburban North

Deerfield (3-4): The Warriors host Maine West (4-3) this week and then play at Maine East (1-6) in the regular season finale. If Deerfield can win out the next two weeks they will be 5-4, but they could still be a bit nervous on pairings night given their playoff points status. 

DuPage Valley 

Naperville Central (3-4) plays at Wheaton North on Friday, then host Lake Park (2-5) in Week 9. North (also 3-4) must win this week hosting Naperville Central then also beat Waubonsie Valley (4-3) in Aurora. Who has the best chance of getting to 5-4? I'll say Napervillle Central but it's a very close call here. 

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Marian Central Catholic (3-4) plays at Niles Notre Dame (5-2) then at St. Patrick (4-3). Defending 5A state champion Nazareth battles St. Viator (5-2) at Viator on Friday then host Marian Catholic (1-6) in Week 9. Best chance to get five wins? Nazareth Academy.

Fox Valley Conference

Hampshire (3-4) has its work cut out for them. The Whip-Purs host both McHenry (5-2) and Jacobs (4-3) over the next two weeks. 

Interstate 8 Small

Reed-Custer (3-4): The Comets also have a lot of work to do in hosting Plano (5-2) on Friday, then playing Week 9 in Manteno (4-3).

Kishwaukee River

Woodstock (3-4): The Blue Streaks are on a three game losing streak and now take on rival Woodstock North (5-2) --at North-- on Friday. They will then play at Richmond-Burton (5-2) in Week 9.

[MORE PREPS: High School Lites Football Roundup - Week 7]

Metro Suburban Blue

Fenton (3-4): The Bison play at Wheaton Academy (4-3) then host undefeated 3A state-ranked IC Catholic Prep in Week 9. Ouch.

Mid-Suburban East

The Wheeling Wildcats (3-4) will play Friday at Prospect (3-4), then host Hersey (3-4). Hersey will host Rolling Meadows (7-0) this week. They need to beat the Mustangs before even thinking about Week 9 at Wheeling. Prospect (3-4), besides hosting Wheeling on Friday, will then play at Elk Grove (0-7) in the finale. My best guess on which school has the best chance of winning out and getting to 5-4? Wheeling.

North Suburban

The Zion-Benton Zee-Bees (3-4) have battled all comers this season and play Friday night at Warren Township (3-4). They will then host Libertyville (4-3) in Week 9. Warren Township (3-4) needs a win on Friday hosting Z-B before hosting Stevenson (6-1). Best chance to win out? Zion-Benton.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East

Kaneland (3-4): The Knights travel to Geneseo (5-2) on Friday night, then host Ottawa (1-6) in Week 9. Kaneland has a huge task beating Geneseo on the road, but don't count out them out.

Northern Lake County

Wauconda (3-4) hosts Grant (2-5), then hosts Grayslake Central (1-6) in Week 9. Wauconda has a terrific chance of winning both games. North Chicago (3-4) has a much rougher road as they host Antioch (7-0) on Friday before taking on Lakes (4-3) in Lake Villa in the finale. Best bet to win two straight games? Wauconda.

South Suburban Blue

Tinley Park (3-4): The Titans also have a rough road to five wins. They start off this Friday hosting Lemont (7-0), then play at Richards (5-2) in Week 9.

South Suburban Red

Evergreen Park (3-4) and Oak Lawn (3-4) are both fighting to stay alive. Evergreen Park will take on Hillcrest (5-2) on Friday, then travel to Eisenhower (2-5) in Week 9. Oak Lawn will play Friday at Shepard (4-3) then face Reavis (6-1) in Burbank. Best chance to win out here? Evergreen Park; however, the Mustangs could be sweating it out on pairings night because of lower playoff points. 

Southwest Prairie

Minooka (3-4): The Indians will host Oswego East (6-1) and Plainfield South (4-3) over the next two weeks. They will also likely be missing starting QB Johnny Carnagio. 

Southwest Suburban 

Bolingbrook (3-4) will host Thornwood (4-3) and then travel to Homewood-Flossmoor (7-0). Thornton Township (3-4) might have the toughest two back-to-back games in the state as they host Homewood-Flossmoor (7-0) and then Bradley (7-0). Which team has the best chance to win out? Bolingbrook.

Upstate Eight River

Geneva (3-4): The Vikings are in a rare position, needing to win its final two games just to make the state playoff field. Geneva will host St. Charles North (7-0) this Friday and then travel to West Aurora (7-0). The odds might be stacked against Geneva here...but don't count them out just yet. 

Upstate Eight Valley

The South Elgin Storm (3-4) will face state-ranked Cary-Grove (6-1) on the road Friday night then play East Aurora (1-6) in Week 9. Bartlett (3-4) will play at West Aurora (7-0) on Friday then host Glenbard East (1-6) in Week 9. Best chance to win two straight games? Bartlett. 

West Suburban Gold

Hinsdale South (3-4) will play at district rival Hinsdale Central (7-0) then take on Morton (1-6) on the road in the finale. Addison Trail (3-4) hosts Proviso East (0-7) on Friday then travel to Glenbard West (5-2) in Week 9. Best chance to get to five wins? Hinsdale South.

The postseason begins in the latest Preps Power Rankings

The postseason begins in the latest Preps Power Rankings

The IHSA playoffs are finally here for all of boys basketball as regionals begin this week in the Class 3A and 4A. Since Class 2A only has one team in the top 25, defending champion Orr, most of the focus on the Power Rankings falls on teams in the Class 3A and 4A fields. 

1. Simeon (25-3, 9-0) (1) -- The heavy favorites in Class 4A, the Wolverines start the playoffs against Hubbard or Reavis before potentially facing Sandburg or Crete-Monee for a regional title.

2. Orr (22-4, 9-0) (2) -- The Spartans won a regional in Class 2A as they move on to play Uplift in the sectional semifinals on Wednesday. The Titans might be the toughest team Orr faces in its quest to repeat as 2A champions. 

3. Curie (23-4, 8-1) (3) -- The No. 1 seed in the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional of Class 4A, the Condors could face York or Riverside-Brookfield for a regional title as that could be a tough matchup. 

4. Whitney Young (22-7, 7-2) (4) -- The defending Class 4A champions are the No. 2 seed in the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional as they could face St. Joseph or St. Ignatius for a regional title next week. 

5. Morgan Park (18-9, 7-2) (5) -- The Mustangs will try to repeat in Class 3A as they might face Vocational or Perspectives/Leadership for a regional title. Now that Ayo Dosunmu is healthy and back, Morgan Park should be the favorites once again.

6. Fenwick (19-7, 8-0) (6) -- Catholic League champion Fenwick is up in Class 4A this year as they're a No. 4 seed in a loaded Riverside-Brookfield Sectional. The Friars might have a showdown with Proviso East for a regional title if both teams win earlier in the week. 

7. Evanston (21-5, 8-2) (8) -- The Loaded Maine East Sectional will be tough but Evanston is the No. 1 seed. The Wildkits could have a tough regional title game ahead of them as Maine West and Notre Dame are both capable of making it a close game.

8. Oak Park-River Forest (22-5, 12-0) (9) -- Knocking off Hinsdale South for the West Suburban crown, the Huskies have a lot of positive momentum entering the Class 4A playoffs. OPRF is the No. 3 seed in the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional as they could play Lincoln Park for a regional title.

9. Benet (23-4, 8-1) (10) -- With a 14-game winning streak entering the playoffs, the Redwings are red hot. Benet is the No. 2 seed in the Glenbard East Sectional in Class 4A as they could match up with Naperville Central or Glenbard West for a regional title. 

10. West Aurora (21-4, 10-0) (11) -- Winners of 13 straight, West Aurora is the No. 2 seed in the Romeoville Sectional. The Blackhawks could face Andrew or Plainfield North for a regional title at Plainfield South. 

11. Marist (24-4, 7-2) (12) -- An impressive 24-win season has Marist as the No. 2 seed in the Thornton Sectional as they host a Class 4A regional. The RedHawks might play Thornwood or Bloom to win that regional on Friday night. 

12. Niles North (24-4, 6-4) (13) -- The Vikings took down New Trier to pick up a great win right before the loaded Maine East Sectional in Class 4A. Niles North, a No. 3 seed, might have to face ESCC champion St. Viator for a regional title, which would be one of the most-anticipated matchups in Class 4A. 

13. New Trier (22-5, 8-2) (7) -- Dropping two games during the week, New Trier is limping into the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the Maine East Sectional. It won't get any easier for the Trevians as they might face Mid-Suburban champion Prospect for a regional title.

14. Naperville North (24-2, 15-1) (15) -- The top seed in the Glenbard East Sectional, Naperville North hosts its own regional in Class 4A. The Huskies might play Geneva or Downers North for a regional title. 

15. DePaul Prep (21-6, 5-3) (16) -- The No. 1 seed in the North Chicago Sectional, DePaul Prep hosts its own regional in Class 3A. The Rams could face Foreman or Sullivan for a regional title as DePaul Prep has a winnable sectional. 

16. Loyola (22-6, 5-3) (17) -- Loyola is the No. 4 seed in the Maine East Sectional. The Ramblers could have a tough regional final against host and No. 5 seed Maine South as that would make for a great matchup.

17. Marian Catholic (20-5, 5-4) (14) -- A No. 1 seed in the Pontiac Sectional of Class 3A, the Spartans will be one of the teams to watch in that field. Marian Catholic could potentially take on Thornridge or Rich Central for a regional title during the week. 

18. Hillcrest (21-5, 13-0) (18) -- The Hawks are a No. 2 seed in the Pontiac Sectional in Class 3A as they try to make another deep run in March. Hillcrest could face Rich East or Oak Forest for a regional title.

19. Homewood-Flossmoor (19-6, 9-1) (20) -- The Vikings had some close wins during the week preparing for the Class 4A field. Homewood-Flossmoor could play Oak Lawn for a regional title at T.F. South this week. 

20. St. Viator (23-5, 9-0) (22) -- The unbeaten champs in the ESCC, the Lions are on a six-game winning streak. A No. 6 seed in the Maine East Sectional, St. Viator could have a major test against Niles North for a Class 4A regional title. 

21. Bolingbrook (19-6, 7-3) (23) -- Top seed in the Romeoville Sectional, the Raiders have been a major threat in the postseason the past few years. Bolingbrook might play Lemont or Plainfield East for a regional title.

22. Maine South (21-7, 6-4) (24) -- The Hawks have the recent win over Niles North as they're the No. 5 seed in the Maine East Sectional. As the host in the regional, Maine South could get a home game against No. 4 seed Loyola.

23. Hinsdale South (20-6, 10-2) (21) -- Hinsdale South dropped a close one to OPRF right before the postseason. The Hornets might face Willowbrook for a regional title as the No. 4 seed in the Glenbard East Sectional as the two teams split the season series. 

24. Willowbrook (23-5, 9-3) (25) -- The Warriors had an outstanding season as they are in the tough Glenbard East Sectional. A No. 5 seed, Willowbrook could face Hinsdale South for a regional title, which could be the best title game of the entire week. 

25. Jacobs (24-3, 16-0) (NR) -- Winners of the Fox Valley for the fourth straight year, the Golden Eagles are on a roll as they're a No. 2 seed in the Jacobs Sectional in Class 4A. If Jacobs gets senior Ryan Phillips back from hand injury they could be dangerous. 

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball


Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon