2014 IHSA State 3A/4A Finals

Posted on March 23, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014 Boys State finals are in the books…

March 22, 2014

In short, what a weekend… in some cases, it felt like a well-written independent film that got a lot of buzz during pre-screening, in others, it felt like a Tyler Perry movie, where a third of the way through it, you knew the ending, but sat threw it.

Overall, it was entertaining and amateur sports at it’s best!

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IHSA BOYS Class 3A CHAMPIONSHIP: Morgan Park 59, Lincoln 49
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R-E-P-E-A-T for Chicago Public School’s Morgan Park (24-6) as they defeated Lincoln 59-49. There guard play is so underrated that, well, on this big stage, they led the way. It was the sophomore Charlie Moore and Jarrin Randall show. YUP, sophomores!

Under a nine-point deficit at the half, the Mustangs came out with more urgency as Randall hit a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to one with a little more than 7 minutes. Shortly after that he tossed a soft pass to Moore who nailed a 3 that tied the score at 41 with 6:52 left. These shots came during a 26-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters.

“A lot of people said my sophomores can’t come through,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “I decided to take a gamble and they came through.”
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Moore finished the championship game with 12 points, while Randall added eight.

“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Moore said after the game. “(Billy) Garrett (former Mustang now playing at DePaul) taught me a lot last year. This win feels so great. It wouldn’t hurt to come back here.”

Big man, 6’8″ Josh Cunningham, had the high-score of 13 for the Mustangs.
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On the other side of the ball, Gavin Block, led Lincoln (34-3) with 19 points.

See the box score provided by Amateur Sports News Network & MaxPreps by click here.

IHSA BOYS Class 4A Third Place: Orr 55, Rockford Luthern 45

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IHSA BOYS Class 4A Third Place: Stevenson 70, Edwardsville 63

Talk about a drama filled Third place game…. WHEW!!!!

As reporters, fans and even players heard about the early news from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), that junior phenom, Jalen Brunson was suspended from the third place contest, the atmosphere was totally buzzing during pregame and opinions were flying. Why? A low-quality photo of Brunson appearing to make a middle-fingered gesture during his record-setting 56-point performance and loss to Young in the 4A semifinal game circulated on Twitter after the game.

After the contest, Brunson took to the social media to apologize for “the hand gestures towards the end of the game – completely an accident just frustration.” And followed up with clarification that he had apologized for the appearance of the image, but he said he “did not do what was portrayed.”

With sportsmanship being paramount for any stage under the IHSA umbrella, executive director Marty Hickman decided to suspend the star junior.

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Then, Stevenson high school appealed to the board of directors, which overturned Hickman’s decision.

In the end, Brunson played, Stevenson won, and IHSA had no comment after initial statement.

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The Patriots defeated the Tigers 70-63 in the Class 4A third-place game at Carver Arena.

One night before, Brunson scored a state-finals record 56 points Friday against Young in the loss, and tonight, his play was visible, but not as many points (18). It was senior Matt Morrissey who played big under the circumstances and his final high school game as he was 4-7 from teh behind teh arc and finished with 16 points. Teammate Connor Cashaw added 17, followed by Matt Johnson who contributed 10 and five steals.

“We had a tough night shooting (Friday),” Morrissey said. “It was a good day for all of us (today). It was good way for me to go out.”

Edwardsville was led by senior guard Trevor Clay, who knocked down 21 points and snagged 8 rebounds, followed by Armon Fletcher, who added 15 points.

When asked after the game, Brunson, who has no history of behavior issues on or off the court, did not want to discuss the incident Saturday night. He was also asked whether he was concerned people were going to get the wrong idea about him.

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“I know who I am and who I have around me,” Brunson said. “It is going to be an up-and-down ride through life. This is different but I think I’m handling myself pretty well, and the people who are supporting me know the real me. I think once this clears out I’ll be fine.”

A WORD FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: When Photos Lie: Sticking Up for Jalen Brunson ~click here

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His father, and former NBA player Rick Brunson, warned his son about the potential pitfalls of social media, and in this case it was Twitter.

“I’ve told that guy about Twitter,” Rick Brunson said. “Stay off Twitter. Now I have something to say, ‘I told you.’ Every day is a learning experience. If he learns from this, great.”

Overall, his father sees the ordeal as a learning experience.

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IHSA BOYS Class 4A CHAMPIONSHIP: Young 46, Benet 44

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This was a Whitney Young type of season as both the Girls and Boys win State championships. The Boys defeated Benet 46-44 to win their first state title since 2009.

Chicago Public Schools have dominated the last six Class 4A titles between Young and Simeon, they have won all of them during this period. And on top of that, the Public League swept the 3A and 4A tournaments for the second straight year.

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Going into the game, we all wanted to see the number one player in the country, Jahlil Okafor, go up against another big man in the state, Sean O’Mara. Well, they battled but it was Miles Reynolds who performed on this stage, knocking down 19 points and keeping the Dolphins ahead all night.

Reynolds, a St. Louis recruit, had the hot hand early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring eight first-quarter points to stake the Dolphins (29-5) to an 18-10 lead.

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“Jahlil made it real easy for me tonight,” Reynolds said. “He was getting doubled all night. Jahlil and Sean O’Mara was supposed to be a great match-up but it didn’t live up to some of the expectations because both teams play great defense. I knew it would be my night.”

The RedWings (25-8) trailed by 10 at the half and never drew even, but they did managed to make things interesting during the last two minutes as then went on an 8-0 run cut Young’s lead to 44-42 with 24 seconds to play.

But another Division-1 one recruit, Paul White, Georgetown, answered with two clutch free throws five seconds later, and Young did not have to inbound the ball after Benet’s Liam Nelligan made it 46-44 with five seconds left. White finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

“It was down to one game, and it was a hard battle to come out on top,” Okafor said. “Me, Paul and Miles came in together as freshmen, and to finally do it as seniors, it’s all we wanted. I heard Sean O’Mara on an interview last night; he said he was hoping for some one-on-one. I figured that would mean they would match up. I was a little disappointed they were helping out. I just tried to keep my composure, and Miles did a great job leading us.”

Okafor finished the game with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Colin Bonnett led the RedWings with 12 points and 6 rebounds, while  O’Mara had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

IHSA Girls State Finals
Class 4A Champs
Young 60, Rolling Meadows 44

Class 4A third place
Marian Catholic 45, Geneva 34

Class 3A Championship
Montini 57, Joliet Cath 44

Class 3A third place
Quincy Notre Dame 64, Burlington Central 40

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