JOLIET – The 13th-ranked University of St. Francis women’s basketball team broke open a 38-28 halftime lead in their Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference quarterfinal game against Judson University with an 18-4 third quarter advantage to capture a 74-42 victory at the Pat Sullivan Center. Leading the way for the Saints (23-7) were Kaitlyn Aylward (24 points) and Nichole Davidson (16 points, nine rebounds).
Kelliher National Player of the Week: Lewis University’s Jessica Kelliher was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s Division II National Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 17. The senior forward was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 38 points and 12.5 rebounds in two wins.
She recorded her fifth and sixth games this season of 30 or more points, with 34, in an 84-61 win over Missouri-St. Louis and a career-high 42 in an 86-67 win over Maryville, which also notched her second 40-plus point performance this year.
Gardner-South Wilmington 61, Dwight 48: The Panthers (22-9) won the Class 1A Dwight Regional semifinal and advance to Friday’s title game.
Marian Catholic 72, Joliet Catholic 51: Christian Young led the way with 17 points.
Coal City 46, Dixon 21: The Coalers advanced to state for the fourth time in five years after winning in the Class 2A Sandwich Sectional. Trent Akre (120), Connor Huston (126), Ryan Wasielewski (152), Gage Leake (195) and Logan Miller (285) all recorded falls. Alex Friddle (132) won by forfeit, Zach Finch (113) won a major decision and Ashton Harvey (160) and Daniel Jezik (182) won decisions. Coal City meets Niles Notre Dame in a 9 a.m. quarterfinal match Saturday in Bloomington.
Peotone 42, Hope Academy 39: The Blue Devils got pins from Ryan Moe (120), Brett Knapp (126), Paul Keane (138), Nolan Bryant (170) and Sam Biedron (182) in the Class 1A Wilmington Sectional. Peotone advanced to state for the first time since 2014 and will meet Aurora Christian in a 11 a.m. quarterfinal Saturday.
Edwardsville 30, Lincoln-Way West 28: Will Zupanci edged Garrett Geigner, 3-2, in the final match in the Class 3A Taylorville Sectional, as the Tigers snapped a seven-year drought of falling one win shy of state. West, which hoped to qualify for its second state trip in three years, built a 19-0 lead after four matches.
Joliet 67, Harper 48: The Wolves won the Region IV quarterfinal behind Gavin Grace (22 points), Jaylen Jones (18 points), Trey Wornica (12 points) and Sean Micetich (12 rebounds).
Mitchem named National Player of the Week: The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced that Lewis University middle hitter Tyler Mitchem, a Bolingbrook graduate, has been named as the Sports Import/AVCA National Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 17. He registered 11 kills, while hitting .846 in the three set win over No. 12 Ball State on Friday. He followed that with 10 kills in 14 attempts and hit .714 against No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday. Mitchem averaged 3.5 kills and hit .778 percent.
Mitchem leads the nation with a .543 hitting percentage and is tied for second in the conference with a total of 84 blocks. This is the 17th time that a Lewis player has picked up Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week honors. Mitchem also was named Off the Block’s National Middle Hitter Player of the Week.