Girls Basketball: Lincoln-Way East has one more go-around vs Homewood-FlossmoorTaylor Johnson and her Lincoln-Way East teammates will meet Homewood-Flossmoor at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 20, 2012 8:33PM
A fast start in games is a goal of every team. In many instances that can break the opposition’s spirit.
It’s been the mantra for Lincoln-Way East this season.
The Griffins are hoping for a fast start and a good finish in their third meeting this season with Homewood-Flossmoor (23-7), at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Class 4A Sandburg Sectional semifinal.
Lincoln-Way East won 47-40 at home in December and dropped a 50-45 decision a month ago in Flossmoor. The Griffins beat the Vikings 46-44 in a sectional semifinal two years ago.
The Vikings could be without one of their starters. Point guard Charnelle Reed, a Western Illinois recruit, injured her knee late in the regular season and since has not played.
That could open the door for East point guard Taylor Johnson, who has scored more than 1,000 points in her career.
Minooka (13-16) won back-to-back regional championships for the first time in school history to advance to the Class 4A Bloomington Sectional to face Moline (18-12) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Maroons knocked the Indians out of the Normal Sectional a season ago.
“It’s always about defense,” Minooka coach Ray Liberatore said. “If we can defend, we’ll be all right.”
Moline’s roster features just three seniors. Senior guard Kylie Romeo was All-Western Big Six Conference and scored 21 points in the Maroons’ 59-47 regional final victory over East Moline United. Senior guard Tiana McCormick was all-conference honorable mention.
“Even though our record isn’t that amazing, we have the chance to move on,” Minooka guard Ann Marie Bachmann said. “Everybody is a lot more confident now that we are going to the sectional.”
The Indians have leaned on the hot outside shooting of Sara Placher and the inside play of Ashley Clemmons. Expect more of the same Tuesday.
“I think everybody is ready for the next step,” Bachmann said. “We might not have the record we had like last year, but we will play our hearts out and fight to the end.”
Seneca (23-9) was a perennial regional champion during the 1980s and ’90s, including a run of 14 straight regional titles and 18 during a 20-year span. The end of the century marked the end of the run.
The Fighting Irish, though, are back.
A year after winning the Plano Regional and advancing to its own sectional final, Seneca advanced to the St. Joseph-Ogden Sectional before being eliminated.
“We had a strong core of seniors who led the team,” Seneca coach Barb Beck said. “The balance we had offensively carried us this year.”
Bolingbrook (25-1) scored 90-plus points in blowout wins over Downers Grove North and Aurora West at its own regional. The sledding should be a little more difficult for the Raiders — who are ranked No. 4 by USA Today — vs. Neuqua Valley (23-6), and either Waubonsie Valley (25-2) or Benet (24-6) at the Neuqua Valley Sectional this week.