It’s T-minus two weeks for conference races in the Southland to come to a close, and a couple of them still are up for grabs.
The hottest is in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, where Joliet Catholic (7-0), Marian Catholic (5-0) and Bishop McNamara (6-1) are all in contention.
The only head-to-head battle among the three this season occurred on Jan. 15, when Joliet Catholic beat McNamara 62-43.
Weather conditions forced the postponement of the Feb. 1 meeting between host Marian and Bishop McNamara to Feb. 10. Marian Catholic and Joliet Catholic are slated to collide in Joliet on Feb. 12.
Barring an upset, the South Suburban Blue battle will come down to a final night showdown on Feb. 12, when Hillcrest travels to T.F. South. Hillcrest entered the week at 9-0, T.F. South 8-1.
The difference so far? Hillcrest, getting 15 points each from Joshulyn Shepherd and Nadika Jackson, defeated crossover rival Oak Lawn 64-47 on Jan. 9, while T.F. South fell to the Spartans 73-32 on Jan. 17.
On the other side of the South Suburban Conference, Oak Lawn went into the week sailing toward the Red crown at 9-1. LaTondra Brooks and the Spartans are to meet second-place Reavis (7-3) on Tuesday night in Burbank.
In the Southland Athletic Conference, Crete-Monee (8-0) clinched at least a tie for first place on Jan. 29 when Marsha Howard’s 14 points led the Warriors past Rich Central 44-34.
The race ended when Rich South (5-4) lost to Bloom Monday night.
In the SouthWest Suburban Conference, Bradley (at 8-1) moved ahead of Lincoln-Way North (8-2) in the Red Division via a 45-44 victory over the Phoenix on Jan. 30. The win gave Bradley a sweep of the two-game series.
In its remaining games, Bradley figures to be tested by Andrew and Lincoln-Way West. Lincoln-Way North still has to play Lincoln-Way West.
In the SouthWest Suburban Blue, Homewood-Flossmoor (10-0), Bolingbrook (10-1) and Lincoln-Way East (7-2) are the main players.
Revenge games loom for East, which plays at Bolingbrook on Tuesday and hosts Homewood-Flossmoor in the conference finale on Feb. 13. Bolingbrook, which had a 93-game conference winning streak snapped by H-F on Jan. 14, is to play the Vikings in Homewood on Feb. 7.
Player of the Week
Teniya Page, of Marian Catholic, is the SouthtownStar Girls Basketball Player of the Week.
Page, a junior guard, scored 33 points and added five assists, five rebounds and four steals as the Spartans defeated Providence 62-49 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference game.