Pairings: Manual (8-16) vs. Sterling (22-9), 7 p.m. Tuesday; Metamora (18-11) vs. Dixon (17-15), 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Outlook: Deonta and Rolando ‘Pee Wee’ Brown combined to score 38 of Manual’s 48 points to help beat Mid-Illini champion Morton in the regional championship game and advance. The Rams last won a sectional in 2016, when they placed third in Class 3A. Sean Gingrich (11.3 points per game) and Micah Kendrick (10.1 ppg.) lead a deep and balanced Sterling squad. The Golden Warriors have a pretty good pair in the post with Tyler Willman (8.4 ppg and 6.3 rebounds per game) and Aiden Shore (6.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg). Sterling reached sectionals last season, but hasn’t won one since 2008. Metamora won a triple-overtime rivalry game over Washington to advance to the sectionals. The Redbirds get 15.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg from Collin Dietz. Andrew Buis, Thomas Hall and Payton Havens all average eight points per game. As a team, Metamora is shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range, with Buis making 42.5 percent of his 3s. Dixon hasn’t won a sectional title since 1969, according to IHSA records. Seventy-one percent of the team’s scoring comes from Beau Bailey (15.7 ppg), Derian Duncan (10.8 ppg) and Oscar Van Sickle (9.03 ppg).
Next: DeKalb Supersectional at Northern Illinois University vs. Pontiac Sectional winner.