Once again this year the Plainfield girls basketball teams will face an uphill battle in perhaps the state’s toughest sectional complex.
All four schools are in the East Aurora Sectional, which is home to a couple of the top teams in the state.
Two-time defending champion Benet is the No. 1 seed and a threat to win a third straight state title. Meanwhile, Southwest Prairie Conference foe Oswego East is a tough No. 2 seed in the sectional.
Of the local teams, Plainfield East (21-7) is the highest seed, sitting at No. 7.
The Bengals have the advantage of hosting a regional. They will open play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against No. 10 seed Lockport.
A win would put the Bengals in the regional championship game against likely foe Oswego East, which has beaten the Bengals twice this season, by a total of 47 points in the two meetings.
Standing in the way of the Wolves’ path to the regional final may be much improved Plainfield Central, the No. 19 seed in the sectional, which is playing .500 basketball in 2017.
The Wildcats will open play at 7 p.m. Monday at East against No. 15 Romeoville. It will be the fourth meeting of the year between the schools. The Spartans won the first two meetings in the first month of the season before the Wildcats took them down in the latest meeting last month.
The winner will get the Wolves at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The regional final is 7 p.m. Feb. 16.
Plainfield North also has a difficult route to a first regional title as it is the No. 8 seed in the sectional.
The Tigers open play in the Benet regional against No. 9 Lemont at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A win would likely put them in the regional final at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 against the state champion Redwings.
Plainfield South enters as the No. 21 seed in the sectional and plays at 7:30 p.m. Monday against No. 12 Naperville North in the Joliet Central regional.
No. 5 Naperville Central awaits the winner at 7:30 p.m. the following night.