Granite City Regional
Monday, Feb. 25
No. 4 Granite City vs. No. 5 Springfield, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26
No. 1 Edwardsville vs. Granite City/Springfield winner, 6 p.m.
No. 2 Quincy vs. No. 3 Alton, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
Edwardsville (25-2) -- Only one team has beaten the Tigers this season. Edwardsville lost twice to Belleville East, which won the Southwestern Conference championship while the Tigers finished second. Led by Western Illinois University recruit Garret Covington, the Tigers have won eight straight games and finished the regular season as the highest scoring team in its league at 68.7 points per game. Covington, a 6-foot-5 senior swingman, averages 18.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He's knocked down 89 3-pointers this season. Tre' Harris, another 6-5 senior, averages 17.7 points and 9.2 rebounds, while junior point guard Shawn Roundtree has 255 assists.
Quincy (16-9) -- It's been a struggle down the stretch for the Blue Devils. They lost four straight Western Big Six Conference games and head into the postseason having lost five of six games overall. They also lost two starters -- senior center Jason Salrin is out with a broken bone in his left foot and senior guard Cole Abbey is no longer with the team -- but have seen some maturity from 6-foot-7 forward Luke Radovic, who had a double double against Rock Island. The Blue Devils need their experienced backcourt to produce offensively and set the tone defensively.
Alton (12-17) -- The Redbirds, like most teams in this regional, are trying to regroup heading into the postseason. Alton lost its last four regular-season games, although it did give two state-ranked teams -- Belleville East and Edwardsville -- a tussle. The Redbirds lost to the Lancers by seven and the Tigers by 10, and they stayed competitive in large part to a three-pronged scoring attack. Senior guard Tyrome Parker and A'basa Brown average 11.5 and 10.9 points, respectively, while 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Carlos Anderson averages 11.8 points.
Granite City (11-15) -- The Warriors have experience and athleticism, which makes them dangerous despite their recent lack of success. Granite City has won just three games in 2013 and carries a five-game losing streak into the postseason. Omar Walker, a 6-foot-3 senior swingman, leads the Warriors in scoring at 15.1 points per game, while senior guard Perry Grimes averages 12.4 points and senior forward Devin Marvaez provides the team with some grit, averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Springfield (3-23) -- The Senators have not won a game outside the Central State Eight Conference, finishing 3-13 in the league. However, there are signs the future could be bright with two underclassmen -- 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Obediah Church and 5-10 freshman guard Keon Day -- seeing substantial playing time.
— Matt Schuckman