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A single-season turnaround from a 9-16 campaign to a earning a No. 1 regional seed is an impressive achievement for Joliet Catholic.
As the Angels prepare for the Class 3A playoffs, though, coach Ed Schodrof isn’t dwelling on the achievement.
“The seed is OK, but like I told the girls, I’m more concerned with how we play,” Schodrof said. “That’s what we can control. We’re playing against ourselves every time we take the floor, and I don’t know if they understand that.”
Junior Jasmine Lumpkin and freshman Nicole Ekhomu continue to lead the attack offensively and defensively for the Angels who earned the top seed at the Coal City Regional. Also in the five-team field are the host Coalers, Lincoln-Way West, Providence and Morris.
“We’ve got to step up and play four quarters,” Schodrof said. “Our sectional (Pontiac) is the toughest in 3A without a doubt. It’s an impressive buzz saw we have to go through.”
Morgan Park, Hillcrest, and Bloomington Central Catholic all are in the Pontiac Sectional with Joliet Catholic. All four teams are ranked in The Associated Press Illinois Top 10.
The Oswego Sectional is a must-see for area hoops fans. Bolingbrook earned the top seed, with Romeoville and Plainfield East also in the field. All three are in the Herald-News Top 10.
Lincoln-Way West height-challenged
It doesn’t take a basketball mind to see an issue with Lincoln-Way West’s roster. The Warriors have no player taller than 5-foot-9.
“If we defend, that will allow us to be in every game,” West coach Ryan White said. “We’ve slowly gotten better throughout the year. We’re probably going to get out-rebounded so we want to keep that gap as close as possible.”
The Warriors have played well of late, bouncing back from a 30-point loss to Stagg in December with a 46-45 win earlier this month over the Chargers. West also defeated a Lemont team that’s playing well in the South Suburban.
Devin Bax, Emily Ray, Brittany Michalski, Amanda Hozzian and freshman guard Danielle Morgan all have played key roles for the undersized Warriors.