Not many people gave No. 7 seed Plainfield East a chance to beat No. 2 Oswego East in the Plainfield East Regional final Thursday.
However, the Bengals believed and that belief paid off in a 51-48 win after losing each of their previous two meetings by more than 20 points.
“The first time we played them Kennedy Collins was hurt and we weren’t sure how long she would be out for,” Plainfield East coach Tony Wazonis said. “The second time we just lost to Minooka and were a little bit down still. We believed in ourselves and knew we could do it. We came out and executed out gameplan.”
“We are not a typical 7-seed with 23 wins heading into the game. It was something we had talked about and they bought in.”
Now the Bengals will move on to the sectional round for the first time in program history as they take on No. 6 Bolingbrook at 7:30 p.m. in an East Aurora Sectional semifinal.
“We are not satisfied,” Wazonis said. “We feel there is still more do to. We were ready to go the next day”
There is a lot of history to be made going forward for the Bengals. No team in school history has ever played for a sectional championship. There has also only been one team in District 202 basketball history to play for a sectional championship (Plainfield Central girls, 2001).
“We want to do something the school has never done before,” Wazonis said. “All of the little extra motivations help. You have to turn whatever you can into a positive.”
While the Bengals haven’t faced the Raiders this season, they play at a similar pace to the Wolves and some of the girls play together in AAU ball in the summer.
“It should be another fast-paced game,” Wazonis said. “You have to be concerned about their pressure. We dealt with it well on Thursday night. It is another tough opponent but our schedule has gotten us ready for it. We are trying to win another game. We’re no ready to go home.”
The winner of the game will take on the winner of No. 1 Benet and No. 4 Yorkville. The game will be at 7 p.m. Thursday.