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Michael O’Brien’s notebook: March 9, 2018

Bolingbrook's Kaleb Thornton (3) gets to the basket verse West Aurora, Friday 03-09-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Awesome atmosphere tonight in Romeoville. Jam-packed stands, good student sections and a nice old school feel with the Aurora and Joliet radio stations here broadcasting the game.

I had a feeling the West Aurora team had something special and they showed it tonight. For the past few years Bolingbrook’s pressure defense has destroyed teams. The Blackhawks survived. Senior big man Jared Crutcher was phenomenal.

Read all about West Aurora’s win over Bolingbrook.

I usually drive home and do the notebook, but that seemed silly tonight since all the games are all wrapped up. So I’m sitting in a classroom at Romeoville high school. Dick Goss of the Joliet Herald-News and Rick Armstrong of the Aurora Beacon-News are both in here writing.

I still feel a touch starstruck around them. I grew up reading Dick and Rick in the Herald News. They are a large part of the reason this is what I wanted to do with my life. So it has been a real honor to get to know them and it’s just cool to sit here and work next to them.

Tonight’s games

CLASS 4A

Larkin 60, Rockford Jefferson 55: The duo of Anthony Lynch (24 points) and Jalen Shaw (17 points) gets the biggest win of their lives. The Royals have officially lived up to their preseason hype now. Can they get to Peoria?

Simeon 53, Marist 48: The RedHawks led for most of the second half but fall short of pulling of the upset of the season. Talen Horton-Tucker had 17. Jack Ellison led Marist with 14.

Evanston 69, New Trier 57: The Wildkits appeared to take a big lead early and stay in control. Freshman Blake Peters scored 19 and Lance Jones had 17.

Benet 67, Willowbrook 40: A bit surprised by the margin of victory in this one. Can anyone stop the Redwings?

Young 80, Curie 73: OT: The Dolphins trailed the majority of the game but pull it out at the end. Xavier Castaneda scored 23 points. Maurice Commander led Curie with 19 points.

Lake Zurich 69, Barrington 60: Ryan Kutsor scored 18. The Bears continue to make me look bad for not properly covering them this season (I was in the gym when they played once and watched).

Belleville West 67, Moline 47: EJ Lidell scored 16. Lawrence Brazil led the way with 19. Belleville hasn’t lost to an in-state school all season.

CLASS 3A

Morgan Park 101, Bogan 71: Wow, total domination. I saw this game earlier this year and it could have gone either way. Looks like the Mustangs are focused. Ayo Dosunmu scored 28.

Marion 71, East St. Louis 68 OT: Justin Saddoris led with 20 points. Terrance Hargrove Jr. had 16 for the Flyers.

North Lawndale 69, Farragut 57: Demetrius Douglas (21 points) and David Forrest (17 points) are a very underrated combo. The Phoenix lost a ton of close games to elite teams this year, they are much more dangerous than most people think. Great playoff run for a young Farragut team.

North Chicago 66, DePaul Prep 58: Small upset here, simply because the Warhawks are always tough at home. Rashaun Somoa led North Chicago with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Raheem Anthony had 20 for the Rams, who were hoping for a trip to Peoria this season.

Marian Catholic 61, Kankakee 50: About as expected. Ahron Ulis scored 19 points for the Spartans. Both of these teams are loaded with juniors and should be good next season. But the future is obviously now for Marian Catholic.

Rockford Boylan 57, Burlington Central 55: Heartbreak for Burlington Central, who fall to one of the state’s traditional powers.

CLASS 2A

Orr 60, Bloomington Central Catholic 49: The Spartans win the state semifinals and will face Winnebago in the title game tomorrow night. I’ll be there to see if Orr can repeat as champs.

Here is Tuesday’s supersectional schedule, in bracket order:

CLASS 4A

ISU

Belleville West vs. West Aurora, 7

NIU

Larkin vs. Benet, 7:30

SEARS CENTRE

Lake Zurich vs. Evanston, 8

CHICAGO STATE

Simeon vs. Young, 7

CLASS 3A

JOLIET CENTRAL

Morgan Park vs. North Lawndale, 7

NIU

Metamora vs. Marian Catholic, 6

SPRINGFIELD

Marion vs. Springfield Southeast, 7

SEARS CENTRE

North Chicago vs. Boylan, 6