Glenbard North girls draw familiar foe in postseason opener

The Class 3A and 4A girls basketball playoffs get underway next week, and while teams from the area will head separate directions at the start of the postseason, the end goal is the same — to reach Redbird Arena in Normal for the state finals March 7 and 8.

Glenbard North

Class: 4A

Regional: York

Sectional: Addison Trail

Seed: No. 17

First game: 7 p.m. Tuesday vs. No. 15 Lake Park

Outlook: A young Panthers’ team was expected to go through growing pains this winter. Add in a season-ending injury to senior Laila Pickens, and the squad has fallen onto hard times as of late.

Glenbard North will see a familiar foe in DuPage Valley Conference rival Lake Park in its playoff opener. The Panthers and Lancers have already met twice this winter, with Glenbard North winning the first matchup 58-53 before falling 34-33 less than two weeks earlier.

Sophomore Jennifer Deegan tops the team with her 10.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game averages.

Glenbard West

Class: 4A

Regional: Wheaton North

Sectional: Addison Trail

Seed: No. 21

First game: 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, vs. No. 12 Fenton

Outlook: A young Hilltoppers team has gone through a lot of growing pains this season, especially on the offensive end where the squad averages just 34.5 points per contest. West would have to get through Fenton and Geneva to reach the regional title game Feb. 20.

Individually, Kassie Buchholz tops the team with her 7.1 points per game average. Other contributors include Grey Hayes (5.9 points per game), Ellen Daniels (5.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game) and Claire Graham (4.5 points per game).

Wheaton North

Class: 4A

Regional: Wheaton North

Sectional: Addison Trail

Seed: No. 4

First game: 6 p.m. Tuesday, vs. No. 13 Downers Grove South or No. 20 West Chicago

Outlook: Winning their 16th game Saturday, the Falcons no doubt have exceeded expectations this winter after losing a strong senior class to graduation. Wheaton North’s efforts were rewarded with the No. 4 seed in the sectional and it opens up with either Downers Grove South or West Chicago. No. 5 seed Geneva would most likely await in the regional final Feb. 20.

Wheaton North is led by senior Chrissy Baird and has also received major contributors from juniors Emari Jones and Kelly Thornton and sophomore Emmy Gryna.

Wheaton Warrenville South

Class: 4A

Regional: Glenbard East

Sectional: Addison Trail

Seed: No. 1

First game: 6 p.m. Wednesday vs. No. 16 Schaumburg or No. 18 Glenbard East

Outlook: The Tigers have their eyes set on another deep playoff run and are hoping to take it a step further this winter after losing in the supersectional last year. The team is scheduled to play either Schaumburg or Glenbard East in their playoff opener with Bartlett or St. Charles North looming in the regional final Feb. 21.

Meghan Waldron is once again leading the Tigers this season as the DePaul recruit is averaging 21.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Maggie Dansdill, in her return from a torn ACL, checks in at 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Melinda Franke (7.5 points, 10.8 rebounds), Olivia Linebarger (8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Erin Zappia (5.2 points) round out the formidable starting five.

West Chicago

Class: 4A

Regional: Wheaton North

Sectional: Addison Trail

Seed: No. 20

First game: 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, vs. No. 13 Downers Grove South

Outlook: West Chicago, led by seniors Shelly Molskow, Madeline Earls and Natalie Warkins and junior Mae Elizabeth Gimre, drew the No. 20 seed at the Addison Trail sectional and will open the postseason against Downers Grove South.

The winner will advance to play No. 4 seed Wheaton North in the regional semis.

Wheaton Academy

Class: 3A

Regional: Timothy Christian

Sectional: Glenbard South

Seed: No. 5

First game: 8 p.m. Tuesday vs. No. 12 Chicago VOISE Academy

Outlook: The Warriors
have put together a very
successful season, having already reached the 15-win mark.

With a win against Chicago VOISE Academy in a regional semifinal, they would likely see No. 4 seed Nazareth in the regional final.

A balanced offensive team that has five players averaging more than five points per game, the Warriors are led by Jamie Netzley, who totals 11.4 points and 3.3 steals a contest.

Marissa Gagliano, Abby Olson, Elizabeth Melby and Christina Garrison are also offensive threats.