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Illinois wrestling

Athletes begin postseason action at 16 regional sites in each of the three classes on Saturday, Feb. 4. Hononegah and Machesney Park head to the Class 3A Algonquin Regional.

The top three athletes in each weight division and the winning team qualify for each of the four sectionals in each class, with Rockford area squads competing in the Barrington Sectional on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11.

The top four grapplers from sectionals reach the state individual championships, which will be at the State Farm Center in Champaign from Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 16-18.

Several Hononegah wrestlers are among the top in the state according to the most recent IllinoisMatmen.com rankings: sophomore Giovanni Cassioppi at 113, senior Aaron Leppert at 132 and junior Dominic Ballano at 160 were honorable mention picks, while  senior Jordan Shahrikian was fourth at 182, senior Blake Zalapi was third at 220 and Junior Anthony Cassioppi was No. 1 at 285.

Meanwhile, the state team dual tourney of the eight qualifying teams is Saturday, Feb. 25, at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. Rockford East hosts the sectional event.

Illinois girls bowling

The girls bowling postseason begins with 18 regional events Saturday, Feb. 4. The top four teams will advance to one of six sectionals Saturday, Feb. 11.  Then the best four squads qualify for the state finals, which are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford.

As for individuals, the top 10 scorers who are not part of a qualifying team advance to sectionals, and the top five finishers will reach state.

The SoBos and Indians compete in the Rockford Boylan Regional at Park Lanes and the Belvidere Sectional at Forest Hills Lanes, both in Loves Park.

Illinois girls basketball

Most of March Madness occurs in February for girls basketball in the Illini State.

Competition in Classes 1A and 2A start with regional action the week of Feb. 6-10. Sectional tourneys are planned Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 16. The state tournament will be Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, at the Redbird Arena in Normal.

South Beloit is in the 2A Princeton Sectional, which is divided into two sub-sectionals and part of the Monmouth Super Sectional.

The postseason begins with regionals from Feb. 13-17 in Classes 3A and 4A.

Sectional contests are set for Feb. 20-21 and Feb. 23, while the state finals are Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, also in Normal.

Hononegah will compete in the 4A Hampshire Sectional, part of the Carpentersville Super Sectional.

The Indians were seeking another 20-win season under longtime coach Randy Weibel.

Illinois’ prep postseason began with boys bowling regional competitions in the single-class format Jan. 14.

Hononegah, South Beloit, Belvidere, Machesney Park and Belvidere North participated in the 11-team Rockford Guilford Regional at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford.

The top four teams and best 10 individuals not on a qualifying squad from each of the 16 regional sites advanced to sectionals. Rockford area athletes moved on to the Vernon Hills Sectional in the Chicago suburbs, which was held Jan. 21.

From there, the best six teams in each of the four sectionals qualified for the state tournament, which is set for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28, in O’Fallon (east of St. Louis).

Brad Sommer’s Hononegah bunch finished second, 40 pins back, in 2015-’16, a year after the Indians won the state title. HHS has finished in the top 10 at state three straight seasons and four of the last five.

The Indians earned the regional title by 264 pins over Machesney Park, with senior Brandon Mooney winning individual honors by nearly 200 pins.

Despite finishing ninth in the regional team standings, two South Beloit bowlers advanced to sectionals: juniors Cullan Boeck and Tray MacCormack. 

However, Hononegah slipped to fourth place at Vernon Hills, although that still gave the Indians a coveted spot at state.

The race for coveted spots in the WIAA girls state basketball tournament at the Resch Center in Green Bay begins this week.

Regional action begins Tuesday, Feb. 23, for schools not receiving first-round byes, while everybody joins the fray on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.

Sectionals in all five divisions are scheduled Thursday and Saturday, March 3 and March 5.

The Final Fours will be held Thursday through Saturday, March 10 through March 12, in Titletown.

ROCKTON -- The sports dome at Hononegah High School collapsed about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 28, 2015, likely a victim of ongoing high winds.

About the size of a football field, the facility was an inflated dome next to the high school and used for sports practices and community events.

Brian Zimmerman and Chad Smith were expected to be on the sidelines Friday as Hononegah High School kicks off its 2015 football season against Freeport.

Zimmerman and Smith were named interim head coaches last week ago after long-time head coach Tim Sughroue, 48, turned himself in to the Winnebago County Sheriff's office after being indicted on charges of possession of hydrocodone.

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