In a game that went down to the final seconds, Whitney Young edged Morgan Park en route to the city championship, dethroning two-time city champion Simeon.
One challenge Whitney Young didn't really encounter during their city championship run was a difficult physical matchup for junior center Jahlil Okafor.
Teams were able to slow Okafor down, but none truly had an answer for the behemoth center who has a deep skillset to match his size.
But Benet's Sean O'Mara will be a true test for Okafor in this game. The 6'9" O'Mara is much stronger than may of the big men Okafor has encountered thus far this season.
Earlier in the year, O'Mara more than held his own against highly-rated Curie big man Cliff Alexander, who came away with less than ten points in the matchup and didn't have his usual impact on the game.
I would give Okafor the advantage in this matchup, but O'Mara should be able to slow him enough to put the outcome of the game in the hands of his teammates.
For Whitney Young, they have a trio of scorers who can do damage from both inside and out in Miles Reynolds, Paul White, and L.J. Peak. Reynolds came up big with several outside shots in the city tournament, and White played exceptionally well against Foreman in the quarterfinals slashing to the hoop.
Benet will rely on several players, but the most important member of the supporting cast for Benet is undoubtedly Pat McInerney. The Illinois baseball commitment has come up bigtime on the hardwood all season, cleaning the glass, scoring, and setting up his teammates in the halfcourt offense.
Both teams are content to sit in the halfcourt sets and run offenses until they get the look they want, but if the game does turn into a track meet, the edge goes to Whitney Young, who, behind White and Reynolds, really move the ball well in transition.
But with the postseason beckoning, anything can happen on any given day, so this game should be a can't miss.
When: February 25, 6:00 PM
Where: House of Hope (Chicago, IL)
And of course IlliniPlaybook will be in attendance to provide live updates throughout the day as well as additional coverage from the event.
For a look at game 1 between Proviso East and De La Salle, click HERE