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Auburn and Lutheran Seek Sectional Titles

The Knights and Crusaders will try to advance again in tournament play Friday night.
ROCKFORD-Friday night we could see two Rockford teams celebrating Sectional Championships in boys basketball.  Auburn and Lutheran will head East on I-90 again favored to hoist some more hardware.

The Knights will play South Elgin at the 4A Elgin Sectional.  South Elgin’s record is only 17-15.  But the Knights say they won’t overlook these guys.

"You can’t look past nobody. Anybody can win on a given night," says Auburn guard Laytwan Porter.

"They’re at the Sectional just like we’re in the Sectional. They got there for a reason," says Auburn forward Antoine Pittman.

South Elgin did pull off a stunning upset last week by beating number one seed Elgin Larkin in the Regional Tournament.

"They’ve got very quick guards," says Auburn coach Bryan Ott. "They play very aggressively. One of the things that’s very clear is that they are confident right now. "

"They get up and down the court just like we do," says Porter. "They don’t really pressure the ball, but they got some great shooters."

"Our guys are fully aware of what we’re playing for. I would believe we’re not looking past anybody," says Ott.

Lutheran will be back at the 3A Hampshire Sectional facing Sycamore. 

"Sycamore is a team that coach will play ten, eleven, twelve guys and coach will press you all game long," says Lutheran coach Tom Guse. "They want to get you into playing real sloppy, and they do an excellent job of that."

The Crusaders have had a couple close calls their last two times out squeaking by Belvidere in overtime and rallying to beat Kaneland.  That’s a mark of a good team being able to win the close ones under pressure.

"We have a group that just doesn’t give up. We’re a bunch of fighters," says Lutheran guard Kendall Lawson. "We’ve been through a lot this year and we’ve learned to overcome adversity."

"Any night you can get beat," says Lutheran guard Joe Kellen. "You’ve just got to bring energy every night. You don’t know when your last game could be."

"Every night it’s a do or die situation," says Lutheran center Nate Wieting. "If you don’t come ready to play you’ll be out."
 
Both games will tip off at 7:00 p.m.
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