State's Best Sectional?

Featuring some of the state's best 4A teams, the Argo Sectional is, like most other years, loaded again. Here's a look at the semifinal games this week.

The Illinois high school basketball playoffs are well underway, and while action is heating up all over the state, all eyes are on one sectional in particular, which includes the state's two best teams.

Game 1: Simeon v. Dusable:

Prior to Monday night, most were anticipating a big matchup between St. Rita and Simeon, but Dusable caught the Mustangs looking ahead and pulled a huge upset.

Unfortunately for them, their success might be short-lived, as they have now drawn one of the top teams in the state and possibly the country in Simeon.

Give Dusable credit, they have played tough all year, even knocking off a formidable Brother Rice squad just a couple games ago. But Simeon is a whole different animal.

Last time we saw Simeon, they took apart a speedy Marist team that's one of the better suburban teams in the Chicago Area. Then they beat Mt. Carmel 70-34 and got their 2nd win in a week over Marist with a final score of 66-31.

As long as Simeon doesn't fall into a big trap of only worrying about the sectional final, they should cruise in this one, and with Jabari Parker playing his best ball of the season and Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn really flowing in the offense, Simeon should really roll.

Game 2: Curie v. Whitney Young:

With the St. Rita v. Simeon game not happening now, the game everyone is going to pack in to see is Curie v. Whitney Young. Why? Because this is one of the only times this year you'll see two top 10 big men nationally go head to head.

Just few days ago, Okafor asserted himself against Benet's Sean O'Mara, another of the better big men in Illinois. But Alexander presents a different challenge for Okafor that not many other big men can provide.

Cliff Alexander is very athletic for a guy his size and is a powerful player. His length is a big disruption when he defends someone. Okafor is clearly the best player in the country, but Cliff's performance against Okafor will be a vital gauge of where he stands in terms of his progress as a player.

That being said, Alexander might have a hard time getting anything going in this one. Whitney Young is a much deeper team and chances are either Young will focus on denying the entry pass to Alexander, and when he does get the ball, the defense will look to collapse on him with double and triple teams.

Young will most likely win this game, but Alexander won't go down without a fight. This is probably one of Cliff's best chances this year to make a statement against top competition. We'll have more from this game following the contest on Thursday.

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