This is the 77th year of the basketball state series in IESA
schools. The current two-class system for boys has been in operation
since 1985. Beginning next school term, the competition will be in
four classes, and the state final tournaments will be played in a
Four quarterfinal games will be played
Monday, beginning at 4 p.m. Semifinals are scheduled Tuesday,
beginning at 6 p.m. The third-place and championship game will be
played Thursday at 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
The field includes three teams that made it to last year's 8A
state tournament and the two teams that battled for last year's
Class 7A title. Returning this year are Lewistown Central, 19-6;
Pontiac St. Mary's, 20-2; and Raymond Lincolnwood, 21-1. Last year
in the Class 7A championship game, West Lincoln-Broadwell beat
Toluca Fieldcrest West, 45-39, and both teams have most of last
year's roster playing for the 8A title this year.
West Lincoln-Broadwell set the 2005 Class 7A team tournament
record for 3-point field goals with 34 by five different players.
All of them will play for the Wolverines on Saturday. Leading the
way last year was sixth-grader Jordan Nelson with the individual
tournament record 16 treys. Now a 5-7 shooting guard, Nelson got his
16 3-pointers last year on games of 2-6-4-4. The team's other 18
3-pointers in the tournament last year were from Dylan Eimer, 1;
Hayden Cosby, 7; John Costello, 1; and Ben Brackney, 9. Cosby is a
5-10 eighth-grader at guard, and Brackney is a 6-0 eighth-grader at
Toluca Fieldcrest West, 21-0, is the only unbeaten team in this
year's 8A field. The "3-point monster" that is West Lincoln-Broadwell
comes in at 19-1. Other teams with 20 wins are Barry, 20-2; Elmwood,
21-1; and Joliet Laraway, 22-3.
Toluca Fieldcrest West's 2006 Class 7A team played for the title
Thursday and was led by 5-10 Zach Kirkton. Other members from the 7A
team on the 8A roster are Jordan Stalter and Kaleb Garber.
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Several teams in the 8A field can throw some height at their
opponents. Lexington has 6-1 Evan Thomas in the post, with 5-11
Justin Convery at wing. Effingham St. Anthony has 6-2 Myles Baker at
center along with 6-1 Alex Grunloh. The Bullpups' roster includes
four others 5-10 or 5-11. Joliet Laraway has 6-0 forward Daniel
Wright, 5-10 center Daniel Smith and 6-1 guard Brian Byrd. Chrisman
Scottland can throw a lineup with all five starters 5-10 or taller.
The Eagles are led by 6-2 Coy Thevenin. Stewardson-Strasburg's three
centers are 6-1 Jon Hoene, 6-0 Wes Utley and 5-11 Jericho Williams.
Springfield Christ the King could put a lineup of 6-2 Andrew Jones,
6-0 Jake Smith, 5-11 Casey Bova, 5-11 Matt Franklin and 5-10 Max
Reavy on the floor at the same time. Max Reavy set the Class 7A
single-game 3-point record with eight in the first round in 2005.
Raymond Lincolnwood, 21-1, battles Barry, 20-2, in the tournament
opener at 9 a.m. Saturday. Then West Lincoln-Broadwell, 19-1, faces
Springfield Christ the King, 18-5, at 10:30. In the third game, it's
Lewistown Central, 19-6, versus Pontiac St. Mary's, 20-2, at noon.
Toluca Fieldcrest West, 21-0, meets Lexington, 15-7, at 1:30 p.m. At
3, it's Chandlerville A-C Central, 16-6, versus Jerseyville St.
Francis Holy Ghost, 17-4. Two-time state champion Effingham St.
Anthony, 15-4, making its 10th appearance in the 8A state final,
faces Royal Prairieview, 18-5, at 4:30 p.m. Elmwod, 21-1, battles
Joliet Laraway, 22-3, at 6 p.m. In the nightcap at 7:30, Chrisman
Scottland, 18-3, plays Stewardson-Strasburg, 16-6.
Only three schools are making their first trip to the 8A state
tournament. They are Elmwood, Royal Prairieview and Jerseyville St.
Francis Holy Ghost. Four of the teams have won the 8A title before.
Besides the two titles won by Effingham St. Anthony, Springfield
Christ The King won in 2002, Joliet Laraway in 1994 and Toluca
Fieldcrest West in 1993.
The 16 teams advancing to this year's 8A state tournament have a
combined won-loss record of 296-56, a winning percentage of .841.
Complete pairings and timetable for the tournament are posted at