State Stories

18

MARCH MADNESS: 2015 Class 3A/4A Boys Basketball

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The final weekend of the high school season is upon us as America's Original March Madness closes out its 20th year in Peoria with the Class 3A & 4A State Finals at the Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena. The state semifinals will unfold on Friday, March 20 with the third-place and state championship games to follow on Saturday, March 21.

The March Madness Experience, an interactive basketball-fueled family fun fest located in the Peoria Civic Center exhibit halls adjacent to the arena, opens on Thursday, March 19. The Country Financial Three-Point Showdown also continues Thursday at Carver Arena, as prelims will whittle competitors down to four shooters from each class. The final four shooters from Class 3A and Class 4A will shoot for their class titles between semifinal games on Friday, with the winners returning on Saturday, March 21 for a chance to be the all-class champion King of the Hill.

The games will air live on Comcast SportsNet, Comcast SportsNet+ and IHSA TV Network affiliates (click for local listings). The games will also be carried live on the internet via the NFHS Network at www.IHSA.tv, which will also stream the post-game press conferences live.

Lee Hall and legendary Chicago Bulls broadcaster Tom Dore will bring viewers the 3A action, while Dave Bernhard and Camron Smith step in to call the 4A games. BTN's Michelle McMahon (3A) and CSN's Kelly Crull (4A) will split the sideline duties, while Matt Rodewald hosts the show from the March Madness Experience.

On Saturday, March 21, the IHSA and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) will hold their annual Learning from the Legends Clinic in the March Madness Experience. The FREE clinic is open to 4th through 6th graders. Click here for info or to register.

In addition, the IHSA Student Advisory Committee will announce the winner of the Class 3A/4A Student Section Showdown during the Class 3A State Championship game on Saturday.

20 years in Peoria will culminate with a special guest national anthem singer Saturday night known for uniting crowds with a rendition that is hard not to cheer for.
 

CLASS 3A

MORGAN PARK MUSTANGS (22-6)  vs.
ALTHOFF CATHOLIC CRUSADERS (27-3)

Morgan Park and head coach Nick Irvin return to Peoria in search of their third consecutive Class 3A state title. Senior Charlie Moore has been a part of the past two title teams and provides veteran leadership from the point guard position. Moore tallied a game-high 22 points in the Mustangs Super-Sectional win, while backcourt mate and Mr. Basketball candidate Marcus LoVett is averaging over 20 points per game during his senior season.
Althoff advances to the state finals for the first time in program history behind a young roster that features two seniors overall and none in the starting lineup. The youth hasn’t slowed the Crusaders, as emerging star sophomore forward Jordan Goodwin (19.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg), junior guard Tarkus Ferguson (14.0 ppg) and company enter having won 16 of their last 17 games. The lone loss in that span was a 97-95 double-overtime thriller to St. Joseph, who they could potentially rematch on Saturday in Peoria.

ROCKFORD LUTHERAN CRUSADERS (29-2)  vs.
ST. JOSEPH CHARGERS (27-6)

Rockford Lutheran is quickly turning into a perennial power under fifth-year head coach Tom Guse. The Crusaders are making their third trip to the state finals in that timeframe, having placed 3rd in 2012 and 4th in 2014. The Rockford Lutheran offense runs through 6-4 senior forward Nate Wieting (14.4 ppg) a four-year varsity player and IHSA All-State Academic Team selection, who can dish to a bevy of three-point shooters, including Joe Kellen (17.9 ppg, 76 made threes).
The winningest coach in state history, Gene Pingatore brings St. Joseph back to the state tournament for the first time since 1999, when the school won its lone state title. Pingatore may not have Isiah Thomas on his roster this year (as he did on the 1978 runner-up team), but he does boast a Big Ten backcourt in Glynn Watson (15.0 ppg) and Jordan Ash (14.8 ppg), who will play collegiately at Nebraska and Northwestern, respectively, next year.


CLASS 4A

BOLINGBROOK RAIDERS (24-6)  vs.
STEVENSON PATRIOTS (28-3)

Bolingbrook reaches the state tournament for the first time in school history behind the play of senior guard and Colorado State commit Prentiss Nixon (16.8 ppg), who is averaging over 22 points per game in the postseason. Head coach Rob Brost starts five seniors, including 6-9 center Julian Torres (9.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, UW-Green Bay commit). Since a three-game losing streak in late December and early January, the Raiders have won 18 of their last 19 entering the state tournament.
What will Jalen Brunson (23.1 ppg) do for an encore? Win a state title is the answer Stevenson fans hope for after Pat Ambrose’s Patriots placed second in 2013 and third a year ago. Brunson had the greatest scoring game in state final history when he tallied 57 points in a semifinal loss to eventual state champ Whitney Young last year. Fellow senior guard Connor Cashaw (16.3 ppg) is headed to Rice next season, while Brunson will play at Villanova.

GENEVA VIKINGS (30-3)  vs.
NORMAL IRONMEN (32-1)

Geneva won 25 games a year ago before losing to eventual state runner-up Benet, and has taken the next step by reaching the state finals for the first time since 1963. The Vikings are chocked full of size, as six players on the roster stand 6-7 or taller, but none have been bigger than 6-7 senior guard Nate Navigato (20.7 ppg, Buffalo commit) and 6-8, 300-pound senior center Loudon Love-Vollbrecht (11.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg) for head coach Phil Ralston’s squad.
Despite its impressive record, Normal Community’s Super-Sectional win over #1 ranked Simeon remains the upset of the season. Head coach Dave Witzig helped the school reach state for the first time in 2011 and now the Ironmen are thinking state title with 6-7 seniors Tyler Seibring and Alex Peacock leading the way. An Elon commit, Seibring (14.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) leads the team in made three-pointers (59), while Peacock does his work in the paint (14. 6 ppg, 7.0 rpg).


TOURNAMENT HISTORY
108th year of State Series
20th year in Peoria


SITE

Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center (Peoria)
Directions


SCHEDULE

Friday, March 20
Session 1
Class 3A Semifinals
Noon - Morgan Park  vs.
Althoff Catholic

2:00 p.m. - Rockford Lutheran  vs.  St. Joseph

Session 2
Class 4A Semifinals

6:30 p.m. - Bolingbrook  vs.
Stevenson

8:15 p.m. - Geneva  vs.
Normal Community

Saturday, March 21
Session 3
Class 3A Finals
Third-Place - Noon
Championship - 2:00 p.m.

Session 4
Class 4A Finals
Third-Place - 6:30 p.m.
Championship - 8:15 p.m.


EXPERIENCE
Twitter:
@IHSAState
    #IHSA

State Final Photos

State Final Gear



WATCH
Television
Live on Comcast SportsNet & Comcast SportsNet Plus. Click here for channel schedule & information.

Internet
www.IHSA.tv



LISTEN

Stations carrying all games:
WEAI 107.1 FM (Jacksonville)
 
WFMB 104.5 FM (Springfield)
Online Broadcast

WJOL 1340 AM (Joliet)
Online Broadcast

WRHL 1060 AM (Rochelle)
Online Broadcast

SportsTownChicago.com (Chicagoland) - Internet only
Online Broadcast

Stations carrying school-specific  games:
WLRL 98.3 FM (Round Lake)
Stevenson games
Internet Broadcast

WJBC 1230 AM (Bloomington)
Normal Community games
Internet Broadcast

 
RESULTS & LIVE STATS

IHSA Boys Basketball Page


COUNTRY THREE POINT SHOWDOWN
Thursday, March 19
5:00 p.m. - 1A/2A Prelims

Friday, March 20
1:45 p.m. - 1A Finals
8:00 p.m. - 2A Finals

Saturday, March 21
1:45 p.m. - King of Hill All-Class Championship


MARCH MADNESS
EXPERIENCE

Thursday, March 19
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday, March 20
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 21
10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


GAME TICKETS
$6.50 per session
$8.50 per session
$10.50 per session
(MME admission is $2 or free with game ticket)


HISTORY & RECORDS
Record Book & Past Champions

Classic IHSA games on IHSA Archives