No. 2 Young and No. 4 Bolingbrook are very familiar with one another.
Having met in the playoffs seven of the last eight years, it’s safe to say the two state girls basketball powerhouses realize it’s a special matchup. Another chapter is about to be added in the back-and-forth rivalry.
Bolingbrook will play Young Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Supersectional with a berth in the state semifinals on the line.
The semifinals will be played Friday at Illinois State University with the third and first place games played Saturday.
“It’s been the matchup in the playoffs each year the last eight or nine years,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said. “The game should be great this time around. It will probably come down to a play down the stretch. I’m looking forward to it.”
Bolingbrook (24-5) is coming off an impressive showing at the Oswego Sectional last week, defeating Romeoville by 31 points in the semifinals and Neuqua Valley by 18 in the title game.
“It was a total team effort (at the sectional),” Smith said. “The girls are really coming together, and we’re peaking at the right time. We’ve also left room though because we haven’t peaked all the way yet.”
Heading into the supersectional, Bolingbrook has won 16 of 17 games dating back to last December, the only loss coming at Marian Catholic in January. The program has advanced to the supersectional round nine straight years.
Young (27-4) is similarly on a roll, having won 10 games in a row since a January loss to 3A power Montini.
The Dolphins are led by Kentucky-bound senior guard Linnae Harper and 6-foot-5 junior center Khaalia Hillsman.
Bolingbrook’s starting lineup could be a game-time decision according to Smith. Junior guard Aysia Bugg missed the sectional games with an ankle injury and is questionable to return for Monday’s game. The Raiders have received injury reinforcements over the last few weeks with the return of Kennedy Cattenhead.
The Illinois-bound senior guard missed almost two months with a knee injury this season but has returned with a vengeance. Cattenhead scored a game-high 21 points in Bolingbrook’s 56-38 victory over Neuqua Valley.
“Kennedy coming back has really brought some intensity with her,” Smith said. “She is a kid who knows how we should be playing. Kennedy plays tough, and that is what we have needed.”
Bolingbrook won four of the previous seven playoff matchups with Young, but the Raiders will be looking for some revenge. Last season in the Hinsdale Central Supersectional, Young outlasted Bolingbrook 74-65 in a four-overtime classic, ending the Raiders’ chance at a fourth straight state title.
“Who wants to make plays?” Smith said of how Monday’s game will go. “It will come down to one team cutting loose and making two or three plays.”
Class 4A Supersectionals
At Illinois Wesleyan University
Marian Catholic vs. Peoria Richwoods, 7:30 p.m.
Wheaton-Warrenville South vs. Huntley, 7:30 p.m.
At Hinsdale Central
Bolingbrook vs. Whitney Young, 7:30 p.m.
At Niles West
Rolling Meadows vs. Evanston, 7:30 p.m.
Class 3A Supersectionals
At Hinsdale Central
Phillips vs. Montini, 6 p.m.
At Hoffman Estates
Burlington Central vs. Vernon Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop McNamara vs. Morton, 7:30 p.m.
At University of Illinois-Springfield
Notre Dame (Quincy) vs. Mater Dei, 7:30 p.m.