6 girls basketball teams from around Peoria that will play for 2024 IHSA sectional titles

How sweet it is.

Illinois High School Association girls basketball teams played sectional semifinals on Tuesday night, cutting the field down to 64 teams — a sweet sixteen in each of the four classes.

Peoria Notre and Deer Creek-Mackinaw advanced to play each other in Class 2A. No. 2-ranked Morton beat Washington and will face No. 1 Lincoln in Class 3A. Illini Bluffs go up against Abingdon-Avon in Class 1A, while St. Bede is also still playing in 1A.

This is how they won their semifinal games and who each team will face in Thursday’s sectional finals.

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Illini Bluffs

  • How they won: The sixth-ranked Tigers knocked off No. 3 Annawan, 53-46, in the Bushnell-Prairie City Sectional semifinal. This gives IB, which is on a nine-game win streak, an opportunity to win its first sectional title in a dozen years. Lily Luczkowiak led all IB scorers with 26 points with Annabelle Fortin chipping in 10. Now, IB gets a chance to avenge a seven-point Lady Tiger Classic tournament title game loss to Abingdon-Avon, which beat Lewistown in the other semifinal, 56-47.

  • What’s next: Illini Bluffs (29-4) vs. Abingdon-Avon (26-7), 7 p.m. Thursday in the Bushnell-Prairie City Sectional final.


  • How they won: A-Town will play in only the program's second-ever sectional title game, beating Lewistown, 56-47 in the other B-PC Sectional semi. The Tornadoes, who last played in the Sweet 16 nine years ago, got 26 points by Hailey Redding and 18 from freshman Kennedy Quinn. Now, Abingdon-Avon will meet Illini Bluffs — a 53-46 winner over Annawan — for the second time this season. The teams met in the Lady Tiger Classic tournament title game with A-Town winning by seven points.

  • What’s next: Abingdon-Avon (26-7) vs. Illini Bluffs (29-4), 7 p.m. Thursday in the Bushnell-Prairie City Sectional final.

St. Bede

  • How they won: St. Bede won its semifinal over Chicago Morgan Park Academy, 75-22, for its 16th win in a row. The Bruins have just one sectional title in program history (2000 Class A) and last had a Sweet Sixteen berth 11 years ago (2013 Class 2A). St. Bede now meets Serena for the second time this season. The Huskers, who beat Elgin St. Edwards in its semifinal, lost to St. Bede by 12 points on Dec. 22.

  • What’s next: St. Bede (27-7) vs. Serena (27-5), 7 p.m. Thursday in the Gardner-South Wilmington Sectional final.


Peoria Notre Dame

  • How they won: The top-ranked Irish will play in its first sectional championship in 10 years, beating Bloomington Central Catholic, 64-31, in a Canton Sectional semifinal. PND got a balanced scoring night with three players in double-figures: Julia Mingus (14 points), Lexi Baer (12 points) and Emy Wardle (10 points, six rebounds). Mya Wardle added eight points and seven rebounds. It was 25 years ago when the Irish last won a sectional crown, taking home a Class AA one in 1999.

  • What’s next: Peoria Notre Dame (30-4) vs. Deer Creek-Mackinaw (32-2), 7 p.m. Thursday in the Canton Sectional final.

PND's PATH: Can No. 1 Peoria Notre Dame win a girls basketball state title?

Deer Creek-Mackinaw

  • How they won: No. 8 Dee-Mack took care of Canton on its home court, beating the Little Giants, 44-34, in the nightcap of the Canton Sectional semis. The Chiefs are on an eight-game winning streak and will play in back-to-back sectional championships for the first time in program history. Lexi Cottingham (17 points) and Elise Hahn (12 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) led the Chiefs. Defensively, Dee-Mack held Canton to nine first-half points including an over 10-minute span without scoring.

  • What’s next: Deer Creek-Mackinaw (32-2) vs. Peoria Notre Dame (30-4), 7 p.m. Thursday in the Canton Sectional final.



  • How they won: Morton took the rubber match against its Mid-Illini Conference foe Washington, 40-34, at the East Peoria Sectional semifinals. The Potters had split the league series with Washington, which lost at the hands of Morton two weeks ago. Now, second-ranked Morton, vying for its 10th sectional title in program history, gets a meeting with No. 1 Lincoln. The undefeated Railsplitters handed Morton a 66-50 loss in the title game of the Morton Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 25.

  • What’s next: Morton (26-5) vs. Lincoln (34-0), 6 p.m. Thursday in the East Peoria Sectional final.

Adam Duvall is a Journal Star sports reporter. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.

This article originally appeared on Journal Star: IHSA basketball: Peoria-area girls teams win sectional semifinals