THREE THINGS WE KNOW
No. 1: The Class 4A tournament will have a different look next year when perennial 3A powers Montini and Quincy Notre Dame join the field. Non-boundaried schools that reach the state finals twice in four years will be booted up a class beginning in 2014-2015 thanks to a new IHSA directive. “It is what it is,” said Montini coach Jason Nichols, who led the Broncos to back-to-back state titles in 2011 and 2012. “We can only go where they send us.” Also on the move will be Class 2A state champion St. Thomas More, which will join Class 3A after back-to-back state finals appearances.
No. 2: Among the handful of candidates for preseason No. 1 in 2014-2015 is Fremd, which returns junior Haley Gorecki, sophomores Brianna Lewis and Bryana Hopkins and freshman Grace Tworek from this year’s 27-4 team. Gorecki, who averaged nearly 23 points per game, is being recruited by plenty of major programs, including UConn. “Haley has made that next step to becoming an elite player,” Fremd coach Dave Yates said.
No. 3: Other teams to watch in 2014-2015 include Lemont, Brooks and Downers North. Lemont returns four starters from this year’s 14-14 team including sophomores Marissa Dyer and Maddy Vermehan and freshmen Paige Terrazas and Ali Kramer. Brooks, a city finalist, welcomes back sophomore guard Amara Graham, junior forward Akina Wellere and 6-2 junior Camryn Julun. Downers North, upset by Batavia in a sectional semifinal, welcomes back 6-2 junior Peyton Winters and sophomores Jade Green and Lauren Porcelli.