Around the halls of Seton Academy, it's just not good enough to reach the state finals any more. The Sting want to get there, and they want to win it all.
Seton Academy is three wins away from that goal, and it will continue its drive to a Class 2A title when the Sting face Providence-St. Mel at 7:30 p.m. today at the Joliet Central Super-Sectional.
"We want to win state," Seton Academy coach Brandon Thomas said. "We don't want to just go down there. We're looking to get down there and give ourselves a shot at the big trophy. Getting down there is obviously an accomplishment, but we want a championship."
After reaching the state finals last season, the Sting lost both games in Peoria, and Thomas said the team still has unfinished business after the way last season ended.
"It doesn't feel so good when you go down there and lose both games," Thomas said. "We came up short. We had a great season, but it felt very disappointing and left a very bad taste in our mouth."
The Sting faced Providence-St. Mel on January 15, winning 56-52. If the Sting advance, they would move on to the Peoria Civic Center to face the winner of the NIU Super-Sectional on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
"We want to make it down there," Senior Kamal Shasi said, "and not only make it down there but win like we did back in '09. Getting down there and not winning is very painful. I want to get down there and have the opportunity for us to win it all."
After beating the Knights in their past three meetings, Seton Academy knows Providence-St. Mel would love nothing better than to get some payback on the way to its own trip to Peoria.
"This team more than anyone we've played in the season wants to beat us very bad," Shasi said of the Knights. "We've beaten them the last three times we've played them, so they want to come out and play hard and beat us."
Seton Academy's Mark Weems knows the Sting defense will be the determining factor in whether or not the team reaches its second consecutive state finals.
"Mainly it's going to be our defense and how we control their guards throughout the game," Weems said, "just playing smart and playing together, not trying to force anything and not trying to make the fancy plays, not trying to get in an up and down game with them and play our tempo."