How about that Apollo Conference?
The Class 3A Sweet 16 is set and will conduct its games on Thursday with three Apollo Conference teams set to take the stage.
That starts with Mattoon, which defeated Troy Triad, 53-29, in the opening round of IHSA Sectional play. It is the first time since 2017 that Mattoon has played in the Sweet 16.
Mattoon will play Bethalto Civic Memorial in the Sectional Championship after the host school defeated Mount Vernon, 57-45. A win over BCMHS would be the first Sectional Championship for Mattoon since 1991.
Take a look at the rest of the conference, which also played well Tuesday night.
At the Lincoln Sectional, the host school came out with a 72-57 victory over Decatur MacArthur. At the same location, Mahomet-Seymour squeaked out a 34-33 win over Rochester. Now, you have Lincoln and Mahomet-Seymour battling in the Sectional Championship, where Mahomet Seymour took both regular-season contests.
The final AP Poll for Class 3A put Mattoon at No. 6, Mahomet-Seymour at No. 10, and Lincoln at No. 11. However, it’s safe to say that rankings can be thrown out the window at this point.
The No. 2 ranked team Geneseo was upset Tuesday night at Lasalle-Peru by No. 8 Washington, 61-51. The No. 3 ranked team Peoria Central was defeated by No. 7 Morton in the Regional Championship. No. 4 ranked Peoria Notre Dame didn’t make it out of the regional either.
The top-10 state-ranked teams left in the state playoffs include LaGrange Nazareth (No. 1), Sycamore (No. 5), Mattoon (No. 6), Morton (No. 7), Washington (No. 8), Lombard Montini (No. 9), and Mahomet-Seymour (No. 10).
Want the best part of the story?
The winner of the Bethalto Civic Memorial Sectional will play the winner of the Lincoln Sectional at Highland.
No matter what, one Apollo Conference school will be in the Elite 8. Could there be two?
Only if Mattoon wins.