Journal & Topics Media Group

Possible Maine South vs Loyola Showdown Awaits In IHSA Playoffs

The IHSA girls basketball playoff schedule was released Friday (Feb. 2) and it set up some potential matchups that basketball fans have been dying to see all season.

The Maine South sectional features the potential matchup of the top two teams in the Journal-area — and two of the best in the state overall — in the sectional finals. It is a shame, because No. 1 Loyola Academy (31-0) and No. 2 seed Maine South (28-1) have both had years to remember, but there is a good possibility that one of their seasons ends Thursday, Feb. 22. 

Loyola and Maine South are very similar in the fact that they both had deep playoff runs last year and both returned nearly their entire rosters. Loyola even upgraded their starting roster with the addition of Aubrey Galvan, an All-State player at Deerfield, who transferred over the summer to the Wilmette school. Loyola responded with the second 31-0 start in program history. The Ramblers most likely will face No. 4 Evanston (13-15) or No. 5 Glenbrook North (21-7) in the sectional semifinals. Loyola narrowly beat Evanston 65-63 on Jan. 23.

Maine South opens against neighborhood rival No. 13 Maine East, before potentially moving on to play No. 7 Lane Tech (17-12) or No. 9 Niles West (16-11) in the regional finals. No. 3 Glenbrook South (17-11), No. 6 New Trier (16-15) or No. 11 Maine West (12-13) could potentially meet the Hawks in the sectional semifinals.

Last year in the sectional finals, No. 1 Maine South beat No. 3 Loyola 49-38. The No. 1 Ramblers topped the No. 2 Hawks 42-34 in the sectional finals in 2022. 

In the Fremd sectional, Fremd (24-6) is the No. 1 seed and a favorite to reach the sectional finals on their home court Thursday, Feb. 22 in Palatine, but the bottom of the sectional bracket is full of great teams that could dash their sectional title hopes. No. 2 Stevenson (24-3), No. 3 Hersey (20-9) and No. 7 Rolling Meadows (21-8) are all capable of reaching the sectional finals, along with No. 6 Barrington (15-11). Fremd doesn’t have a complete cakewalk either, with potential matchups with No. 4 Schaumburg (25-5) or No. 5 Prospect (19-12) in the sectional semifinals. The Saxons are having their best season since 2007-08, but they lost 49-36 to Fremd in December and dropped a 66-35 contest to the Vikings in early January.


Playoff History for Loyola Academy vs. Maine South Since 2000:

2023: Maine South 49, Loyola Academy 38 (sectional finals)

2022: Loyola Academy 42, Maine South 34 (sectional finals)

2018: Loyola Academy 62, Maine South 48 (sectional semifinals)

2012: Loyola Academy 42, Maine South 25 (sectional semifinals)

2008: Maine South 44, Loyola Academy 43 (sectional finals)

2001: Maine South 52, Loyola Academy 40 (sectional semifinals)

2000: Maine South 53, Loyola Academy 41 (sectional semifinals)

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