There were no surprises for Burlington Central in state pairings, seedings or the finish to the Big Northern East Conference chase.
About the only surprise the Rockets had came from Sam Pryor exploding for a career-high 27 points Friday at North Boone as Central won its second straight outright BNC-East title.
“She’s been leading us in scoring, but that was a really big night for her,” Central coach Mark Smith said.
The Rockets (19-4, 10-0), who have won four straight and have only lost to Class 4A teams, have mop-up duties with Monday (Marengo) and Wednesday (Harvard), road conference makeup games as they try to extend their BNC-East win streak to 25, then get a crack at another 4A team, Glenbard West, Thursday on the road at 7:30 p.m.
Central opens the playoffs as top seed at the Aurora Central Catholic Regional. St. Edward is the second seed.
“They’ve got a strong team again and their center is back,” Smith said, referring to St. Edward’s 6-3 Cece Rapp.
Rapp has averaged 13.5 over four games since returning from a collarbone injury suffered in a car accident and looks like she hasn’t missed a beat despite being away more than a month.
“She was able to keep her conditioning up,” Green Wave coach Michelle Dawson said.
Sycamore (16-7), a team Central beat 41-37 earlier, Rockford Lutheran (15-8) and Marian Central (12-9) are the other top regional seeds besides Burlington Central in the Belvidere Sectional.
Small school tourney
Harvest Christian (14-10) and Kylee Knox, who went over 1,000 career points last week, go up against Elgin Academy (4-15) at 8 p.m. in Wednesday’s 1A Hinckley-Big Rock Regional. The host team is favored to win the tourney.
Harvest, seeded second, beat Elgin Academy 51-18 earlier this year.
Another recent 1,000-point scorer, McKaila Hays of Westminster Christian, takes her team into Wednesday’s 2A Immaculate Conception Regional (8 p.m.) against Douglass. The Warriors are seeded behind IC, which last week beat Class 3A regional top seed Marian Central, 41-29. The title game is Thursday at 7.
“They’ve got a really nice basketball team,” Westminster coach Ken Flickinger said of IC. “We’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game if we want to be competitive in the regional.”
Large school pairings
The toughest draw for the area’s 4A or 3A teams might be Bartlett as an eighth sectional seed and facing up-and-coming St. Charles North (ninth) in the Glenbard East 4A Regional Feb. 19. With a win, the Hawks would have to play top sectional seed WW South Feb. 21.
Much-improved Dundee-Crown faces sixth-seeded Elgin on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. in the 4A Jacobs Regional. Fourth-seeded Larkin plays the fifth-seeded hosts at 6 that day. Top-seeded South Elgin plays the Larkin-Jacobs winner and No. 2 seed Streamwood faces the Charger-Maroons winner in the Feb. 18 semifinals, with the title ga,e on Feb. 20 at 7.
St. Charles East, which upset Batavia last week, could face the Bulldogs again in the Batavia Regional finals. The 11th-seeded Saints first must play sixth-seeded Willowbrook on Feb. 18.