By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Hilltoppers stun top-seeded Prairie Central in Class 2A Manteno Regional semifinal; face Manteno on Friday

Lisle, Westmont fall in Class 2A regional play


Last updated 2/27/2020 at 12:18am

For Joliet Catholic boys basketball coach Joe Gura and the Hilltoppers, the 2019-20 regular season has not been a lot of fun.

Playing in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, which is heavily considered the second toughest basketball conference in the state, the Hilltoppers won one league game.

Entering the IHSA Class 2A Manteno Regional, the Hilltoppers limped in with an 11-19 overall record.

Having battled the Associated Press' current, Class 3A No.1-ranked and the ESCC co-champion Notre Dame (26-5), ESCC co-champion Marian Catholic (22-8), St.Patrick (21-7), Benet Academy (21-9), St.Viator (19-9) and Carmel of Mundelein (17-13), JCA would not face anyone better in the Class 2A than what they had already played in the ESCC.

The ESCC is so strong that in the IHSA Class 3A Grayslake North Sectional, which tips-off Monday, the ESCC garnered the top four seeds in Notre Dame, St.Patrick, St. Viator and Carmel of Mundelein.

The strength of the ESCC, was very instrumental, in the success of the 2019-20 Joliet Catholic Academy Angels' basketball team, that also won, but one ESCC game.

On Monday the Hilltoppers blew out the 17-14 Beecher Bobcats 65-46, then in the IHSA Class 2A Manteno Regional semifinal game, JCA knocked off top-seeded Prairie Central (24-7) , the top-seeded Hawks, did not have a chance as the Hillmen rolled 59-48.

Friday, in the IHSA Class 2A Manteno Regional championship game at 7 p.m., the Hilltoppers will square-off with Manteno (20-11). The host Panthers shared the inaugural Illinois Central 8 Conference Championship with Lisle (18-14) and Coal City (19-11).


Wheaton Academy 60 Lisle 37

The Illinois Central 8 tri-champions from Lisle fell to the Warriors (21-10) in Aurora. The Lions bow out at 18-14.


St. Joseph 64 Westmont 47

The Sentinels bow out at 14-19 with the loss to the host Chargers in Westchester.


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