Peotone makes class jump to 3A

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Having played in Class 2A since the four-class system was introduced in 2007, Peotone will be playing in new territory starting Tuesday.

The Blue Devils were bumped up to 3A this season and will open the playoffs at the Manteno Regional against Kankakee at 7:30 p.m.

“We are where we are, and we’ll get prepared, whether it is 2A or 3A,” Peotone coach Steve Strough said. “The girls have to play well, and that’s how they feel. They saw who’s in their way.”

Peotone earned the No. 2 seed at Manteno and will have to slow down Kankakee’s leading scorer, Martha Burse. The Blue Devils counter with their 1-2 senior punch, Brittney Campione (11.4 points per game) and Kayla Paeth (10.7 ppg).

“Kankakee is as good as anyone we’ve played this season, and slowing down Burse is going to be a challenge,” Strough said. “Kayla has really emerged for us over the last three weeks. She has been very aggressive offensively and given us a second option.”

Strough also credited senior forward Shelby Maupin for her strong play in the post with her team-leading 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game for the Blue Devils.

“We’re excited for a new season and a new opportunity,” Strough said.

Southwest rivalry: Part 4

Already having met three times this season, Romeoville and Plainfield East could be opponents in Friday’s Class 4A Lemont Regional final.

East lost 60-50 in its regular-season finale at Romeoville with a share of the Southwest Prairie conference title on the line.

“I hope it motivates the girls,” East coach Missy Mitidiero said. “At the same time, you don’t want a loss against a team you’re going to play very soon. Romeoville is a tough team to play.”

Plainfield East defeated Romeoville at the Montini Christmas Tournament on a controversial last-second call, but the Bengals dropped both contests against their rivals in Southwest Prairie play.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Romeoville will play the Lemont/Plainfield South winner while East gets the West Aurora/Waubonsie Valley winner.

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