2013 IHSA Boys 3A / 4A State Finals
BOYS GET IT ON FOR 2013 STATE TITLES
March 16, 2013
NOTE: Did you know Illinois host the ORIGINAL March Madness? Click here for details.
This weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, the best of the best Illinois Boys 3A / 4A basketball teams were on one court at Carver Arena in Peoria.
For Friday’s semifinals recap, click here.
Class 3A Third Place
In the IHSA Class 3A Third Place game, it was Limestone knocking off Chicago Orr 58-49. The Rockets were led by Hank Mathews who scored 19 points and was perfect from the charity strip (5-5). Today’s contest proved to be a wonderful birthday present for Kendall Davis, who added 12 points, seven boards and was also perfect from the stripe (2-2).
Orr was led by junior forward Marlon Jones, who finished with 13 points. Senior guard Jamal McDowell also finished with 13.
Class 3A Championship
The foundation for this victory was simple : team depth and fast, pressure defense makes things hard for their opponents.
Offensively, DePaul-bound Billy Garrett scored a game-high 14 points but combined with Dayton-bound Kyle Davis (10 points) to shoot 9-for-29 from the field. Fellow teammate Markee Williams (13 points) and Xzavier Taylor (11 points, 12 rebounds off the bench) picked up the slack as the Mustangs (33-3) broke open a five-point halftime lead.
“The four seniors led us to victory,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “They set the tone from the jump. The one senior I’m most proud of is Xzavier Taylor. Billy and Kyle and Markee always say, ‘We need the big fella to roll, Nick; get the big fella to roll.’
“Well he’s rolling at the right time.”
Despite Morgan Park’s 43-26 advantage on the boards, Cahokia’s deficit was just 35-31 late in the third quarter.
Six Morgan Park players scored during the ensuing 14-0 run from which Cahokia (33-4) never recovered.
“If I was scoring two points a game or 40, if we won a state championship, I don’t care,” said Garrett, a four-year starter. “I have confidence in our ability, so I didn’t feel too much pressure. I knew if we did what we do, the result would be in our favor. My guys came through. They rebounded and defended. Xzavier played great. It just feels great to get this victory and end career the way I have.”
Cahokia was led by the play of Carleton Rivers, who scored 9 points.
So now the question has to be asked, is it time for the Mustangs to move out of the Class 3A field and go 4A?
FUN FACT: During the game a conversation took place via Twitter per @WeAreDePaul and Chicago Sun-Times Michael O’brien stating early on “Billy Garrett Jr. is the first #DePaul recruit to play in an IHSA title game since Quentin Richardson in 1998.”
Shortly there afterwards, O’brien added some clarification… Eddy Curry was a #DePaul signee when he lost in the title game to Schaumburg. So that sorta counts.
LIVE GAME STATS: We provided ALL of the LIVE action including electronic play-by-play for this game – click here…
FUN NOTES: Morgan Park ranked #22 nationally – http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/powerrankings/_/week/16/season/2012 #ESPN25hoops
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Class 4A Third Place Game
EDWARDSVILLE 57, Proviso East 56
PEORIA — What an ending to the IHSA third place 4A game… on the final possession, Proviso East made their run to the basket – tick tick tick – shot… rimming… tip… rebound… BUZZER… shot it goes in!!!!!!
So both teams celebrated.
But, the Pirates celebration was short-lived as Parrish McCullum’s basket went in too late according to the officials, thus ending the game 57-56 in Edwardsville’s favor at Carver Arena Saturday evening.
“It’s very frustrating to come down and fall short again,” Proviso East senior guard Paris Lee said. “I don’t think our minds were really in this game, more so (we were) trying to play a championship game.”
This lost means Proviso East’s last two trips to Peoria came down to a matter of a second and a fourth period. Last season, the Pirates scored five points in the final 12 seconds before running out of time in a 50-48 loss to Simeon in the Class 4A state title game.
The Pirates, under second-year Donnie Boyce, left a lasting impression the last two years at Carver Arena. Boyce was visibly shaken after Saturday’s game, due to “letting his team down” with another loss at state. Boyce shed several tears, calmed down and credited his seniors.
“I’m really, really proud of Sterling (Brown), Paris, Parrish and Branden (Jenkins) for coming back and giving me this opportunity,” Boyce said. “I just. … I know the expectations here. We came to win, a championship, first place. We didn’t come for no third-place game. I’m so proud the way my team competed and I wouldn’t be here without these guys.”
Brown credited his older brother, Shannon Brown, a shooting guard for the Phoenix Suns, for speeding up his development. Brown had a team-high 16 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists Saturday.
“Hopefully, I left a great legacy,” Brown said. “Last year people said I played my heart out, and that I played the best game of my life. This year I tried to come down here in a different role, more of a leader and captain to my team and try to do everything I can to get us two wins. I give credit to my brother because he was the one who told me to keep playing hard, and I did that.”
As it is shared throughout sports arenas and locker rooms around the World, “Hustle beats talent when talent doesnt hustle.”
Class 4A Championship
This contest provided a superb team effort led by Duke-bound Jabari Parker and teammate Russell Woods’ who overpowered the smaller, and younger Stevenson (29-5).
“I didn’t get here by myself, and we didn’t get here by ourselves,” Parker said. “That was impossible what I pulled off getting back healthy, but it was from the help of everybody.”
In front of a packed Stevenson section dressed primarily in black, sophomore guard Jalen Brunson kept the Patriots in the game in the first half. In addition his crafty play got the Wolverines Kendall Pollard and Kendrick Nunn into early foul trouble, and from here he scored eight of his 13 first-half points in the first quarter. He scored only one point the rest of the way.
Simeon led 31-24 at the break.
Coach Robert Smith swithced things up after the half, assigning guard Jaylon Tate to Brunson, who did a fabulous job, limiting him to just a free throw and went 3-for-11 from the field.
“I just wanted to give him a lot of pressure,” Tate said. “He’s a great player. Wanted to pressure him and not make it easy for him.”
But, the night belonged to Parker, who was the first junior to win Mr. Basketball of Illinois last season.
Parker finished his final high school game with 20 points and eight rebounds.
There were many bumps along the road for the 30-3 Wolverines — Parker’s fractured right foot and his recovery, ineligible players, a four-game suspension for Simeon coach Robert Smith —but none knocked the Wolverines off track from their pursuit.
“A lot of people doubted us because we had two (early) losses, but we stuck together as a team and as a family,” Simeon guard Jaylon Tate said. “We knew we were going to get it together down the line, and that’s what we did.”
Through all of the awards, accolades, appearances, distractions, request, etc… Parker has maintained that the only thing he cares about is winning basketball games and that all the attention is meaningless to him.
That’s just the way he plays and now he’s a four-time high school basketball State champion.
“I just thank God,” Parker said. “My No. 1 focus was getting back on the court after my injury. I’ve had the best coach in high school basketball. It was a great season, a great run. I wouldn’t have made it here without the team I had. That was impossible what I pulled off, getting back healthy. I lost 35 pounds. It wasn’t all on me. My teammates pushed me in every single practice. That’s the best exercise, basketball. I couldn’t have done it by myself.”
This is Simeon’s seventh state championship. Ben Wilson and Tim Bankston led the 1984 team, Derrick Rose and Tim Flowers won titles in 2006 and 2007 and Parker and Nunn have played on the last four.
“We wrote history,” Parker said. “That’s how they are going to remember us from now on.”
“It’s been a great four years being here,” Nunn said. “Different teams, different players. It’s been a great experience.’’
Smith is the first coach in state history to win four consecutive state championships. He has six overall with a record of 260-40 in his nine-year career. There is some speculation he will accept a college coaching job next season.
“My take on it is that in these four runs we played a national schedule,” Smith said. “We didn’t just play local teams. What we did, and I don’t think people understand it, is we went to those home towns and played those teams. We went to Dallas and played DeSoto…we went to Memphis and played Southwind.’’
Simeon is the second team to win four consecutive state titles. Peoria Manual pulled off the feat in 1997.
FINAL STAT LINE: Russell Woods, who added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Kendall Pollard scored 10 and grabbed nine boards. Simeon outrebounded Stevenson 34-19. Their size proved to play a major roll in this game.
“I don’t think there’s a program now in the state that’s better than this one,” Smith said. “I think we proved that as a coaching staff. I think we proved that as players.”
Again, at the end of the high school season, Simeon’s status remains unchanged – Class 4A state champions!
When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible. – Nido Qubein
FUN NOTE: Simeon becomes the second team in IHSA State history to win four in a row. The string of titles matches Peoria Manual’s record four in a row set from 1994-97 and brings Simeon’s total to seven, including six in the last eight years.
FUN NOTE: Stevenson, history-making in its own circle as the school’s first boys basketball state finalist.
Simeon ranked #4 nationally – http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/powerrankings/_/week/16/season/2012 #ESPN25hoops
LIVE GAME STATS: We provided ALL of the LIVE action including electronic play-by-play for this game – click here…
This was a wonderful weekend of “amateur” sports hosted by Illinois High School Association in Peoria, IL at Carver Arena.
In addition to the chase for the State championship, Illinois’ March Madness Experience, an interactive basketball-fueled family fun fest, is being held simultaneous at the Peoria Civic Center exhibit halls adjacent to the arena – opens on Thursday, March 14 and closes on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Also the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown also continues Thursday at Carver Arena, as prelims will whittle competitors down to four shooters from Class 3A and Class 4A. The final four shooters from each class will shoot for their class titles between semifinal games on Friday. On Saturday, the champions from all four classes will return for the chance at becoming the all-class champion King of the Hill, which will take place after the Class 3A Third-Place game.
All of the games were aired live on the IHSA TV Network (click for local listings – http://www.ihsa.org/NewsMedia/IHSATVNetwork.aspx) and will also be carried live on the internet at www.IHSA.tv. Fans can also get unprecedented coverage of the state finals on Twitter by following @IHSAState. Lee Hall and ISU legend Jill Hutchison will bring viewers the 3A action and Dave Bernhard and Patricia Babcock McGraw step in to call the 4A games. Matt Rodewald will handle the hosting and sideline duties, along with the Class 3A and 4A finals of the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown on Friday and the Country Financial Queen of the Hill three-point shooting on Saturday, which pits the four class winners head-to-head.
ALL games were broadcasted LIVE via the Internet by SportsTownChicago.com
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