Tonight: The Monmouth-Roseville Titans (26-4) make the trek to Northern Illinois University's Convocation Center to take on the Winnebago Indians (31-0) at 8 p.m. in the Class 2A DeKalb Super-Sectional. The game is preceded by the 1A Elite Eight contest at 6 p.m. between Lanark Eastland and Newark.
Twitter updates: @ness_DA
Directions: For Mon-Rose fans, take U.S. 34 to I-74, head north onto I-80 before coming to the I-88 exit. Head east on I-88 onto the Illinois Tollway, and proceed to the Annie Glidden Road exit on the outskirts of DeKalb. Hang a left and head north to the Lincoln Highway (Illinois 38), then take another left. You will see the NIU Convocation Center and its access roads on the right-hand side.
How they got here: After blitzing through its own regional with wins over Macomb (64-43) and Knoxville (62-41), Monmouth-Roseville also dominated Tremont with a 74-48 win in the Farmington Sectional semifinals before holding on for a 39-38 title-game win over Minonk Fieldcrest. .... Winnebago's closest postseason game was its 62-52 win over Oregon in the Oregon Regional finals (preceded by a 90-39 win over Poplar Grove North Boone); the Indians then bested Aurora Christian (69-51) and Sterling Newman (74-52) to win the Byron Sectional.
What's next: A spot in Friday's 6:30 p.m. semifinal at the Class 2A state tournament in Peoria against the winner of the Joliet Central Super-Sectional (South Holland Seton Academy vs. Chicago Providence-St. Mel).
State histories: Since consolidating in 2005, Monmouth-Roseville has accumulated five regional championships and two sectional titles (2007, 2013), but is still looking for its first state semifinal appearance. Individually, Monmouth earned 18 regional titles, six sectional titles and four district crowns, reaching state in 1959, 1960 and 1982 (Class A runner-up). Roseville earned six regional titles and four district crowns as a separate program.
Winnebago has won eight of its 16 regional titles since 2004, as well as taking six of its eight sectional championships in the last 10 seasons (the Indians have also won five district plaques). It reached state in Class A in 2004 and 2005, and was fourth in the 2A state tourney in 2009.
Mon-Rose starters: G: Martel Hunter (5-10 Jr., 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.5 spg), Connor Gillen (5-9 Sr., 8.5 ppg) and Liam Merritt (6-0 Sr., 8.0 ppg). F: Trayvon Smith (6-6 Jr., 12.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2 blocks) and Dalton Hottle (6-0 Jr., 8.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
Winnebago scouting report: Senior guard Matt Reinke is the Indians' top scorer at 16.5 points per game and is coming off a 27-point night against Newman in the sectional finals. Fellow senior guard Jacob Posley tallied 30 points in two sectional wins. "They have length and athleticism, and they run a lot of different guys in," said Mon-Rose coach Chuck Grant. "And, they've run through a pretty good schedule (including a win over Moline). They're the type of team we've got to break through to get to where we want to be."
-- By Terry Duckett