At Galesburg, Ill.
Monday, Feb. 25
No. 4 Geneseo vs. No. 5 Rock Island Alleman, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26
No. 1 Quincy Notre Dame vs. Geneseo/Alleman winner, 6 p.m.
No. 2 Galesburg vs. No. 3 Canton, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
º Quincy Notre Dame (20-7) -- The Raiders have had their struggles against big-school competition and on the road, losing at Peoria Manual, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Peoria Notre Dame in recent weeks. QND changed the direction is was headed by winning at Decatur Eisenhower to close the regular season. This is a veteran team with five senior starters who understand the now-or-never mentality. Look for Alex Fitch, the 6-foot-3 senior forward who is one of the program's top-10 all-time leading scorers, to shoulder as much of the load as he can.
º Galesburg (18-12) -- The Silver Streaks are tough to beat at home, with notable victories over Western Big Six Conference champion Rock Island and Quincy High School at Thiel Gym. Sophomore forward Grant Gibson, a burly 6-foot-3 post player who can score inside and out, averages 20.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and was the leading scorer in the Western Big Six Conference this season. If the league gave an MVP, it would have been Gibson. He doesn't do it alone. Travon Diggins is the best on-ball defender in the WB6 and sophomore Ethan Meeker is a deadly spot-up shooter.
º Canton (11-14) -- The Little Giants have lost four straight games and finished in the back of the pack in the Mid-Illini Conference.
º Geneseo (10-15) -- The Maple Leafs climbed back to the .500 mark in the Northern Illinois Big 12 by beating Dixon last Friday night and gathering some momentum for the postseason.
º Rock Island Alleman (7-18) -- To prove they won't be a pushover, the Pioneers upset Quincy in two weeks ago in their final home game and then gave Galesburg a scare last week. Still, Alleman lost nine of its last 10 games and finished last in the Western Big Six Conference. Senior guard Adam Hoogerwerf lead the Pioneers with 11.6 points per game.
-- The Herald-Whig Staff