State Stories


STATE CENTRAL: 3A/4A March Madness

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The final weekend of the high school basketball season in Illinois welcomes fans in with some unseasonably warm weather, as the Class 3A and Class 4A Boys Basketball State Final qualifiers prepare to meet at Carver Arena in the Peoria Civic Center on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17. Meanwhile, the March Madness Experience, an interactive basketball-fueled family fun fest located in the Peoria Civic Center exhibit halls adjacent to the arena, opens one day earlier on Thursday, March 15. 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 17 for a chance to be the all-class champion King of the Hill.

The Class 3A and 4A fields feature a bevy of top teams and players, regal bloodlines, along with some historic storylines relating to the all-time titles. Lanphier and North Chicago kick off the action with a 3A semifinal at noon on Friday, followed by hometown team Peoria Central facing 2010 state champ Hillcrest at 2:00 p.m.  The 4A semis get underway at 6:30 p.m. with unbeaten Proviso East facing Rockford Auburn, followed by Bloom attempting to end Simeon’s bid for a third consecutive state championship.

Take a look at some of the top storylines of the weekend below…

* In 1991, the Proviso East trio of Donnie Boyce, Sherell Ford and Michael Finley were dubbed the “Three Amigos” as they led the Pirates to a 32-1 record and the Class AA state championship. Boyce is back at Proviso East in his first year as the head coach and Ford is an assistant on the staff as well. Finley will be in attendance this weekend as a fan, completing the Amigo reunion.

* Former Peoria Manual and University of Illinois standout Jerry Hester, who will be the color analyst on the TV broadcasts of the Class 4A games, was on the Manual squad that fell to Proviso East 68-61 in the 1991 championship game.

* Rockford Auburn senior guard Fred VanVleet will be making several return trips to Carver Arena over the next few years, as he will continue his career at Wichita State, who is a Missouri Valley Conference member along with Bradley.

* Peoria Central can grab a piece of the state record, along with Peoria Manual and Simeon, by winning its fifth state title this weekend.

* If Simeon wins its third consecutive state title, the Wolverines will stand alone with six total state championships, one more than Peoria Manual. It would also set the stage for Simeon to tie Manual’s streak of four straight titles from 1994-1997 in 2012-13.

* North Chicago standout Aaron Simpson, an Illinois State University commit is the leading scorer in the state and 78th in the nation according to MaxPreps at a 26.3 point per game clip.

* Proviso East standout Sterling Brown is the younger brother of former Michigan State standout and current Phoenix Sun Shannon Brown, while teammate Keith Carter has committed to play at St. Louis University next year.

* If Proviso East wins the Class 4A title, the Pirates would match Simeon and Peoria Manual with five championships apiece.

* Springfield Lanphier sophomore point guard Larry Austin Jr. has already received scholarship offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Missouri and Memphis.

* A Simeon-Proviso East final in Class 4A would mark the eighth time in state history that the title game was a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.

* Hillcrest seniors Jalen Loving and Jaone Troutman were the only two sophomores who were a part of Hillcrest’s state championship team in 2010 and have now grown into team leaders, averaging 12.3 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.

* Simeon boasts a trio of All-Staters in Marquette commit Steve Taylor and juniors Kendrick Nunn and Jabari Parker. Parker is considered the top high school player in the country regardless of class.

* The father (Kevin Sr.) of Peoria Central center Kevin Jordan is currently an assistant coach on the squad. Kevin Sr. and his brother Kelvin helped lead Peoria Central to the 1977 IHSA state title. Kelvin had also been an assistant coach at Peoria Central before passing away in 2010.


Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center (Peoria)


Friday, March 16
Session 1
Class 3A Semifinals
Lanphier vs. North Chicago - Noon

Hillcrest vs. Peoria Central - 2:00 p.m.

Session 2
Class 4A Semifinals

Proviso East vs. Rockford Auburn - 6:30 p.m.

Bloom vs. Simeon - 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 17
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.

Games available on IHSA TV Network. Click here for carriers and channels or check local listings.



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 (Lombard)
Online Only Broadcast

Stations carrying school-specific  games:
WRLR 98.3 FM (Round Lake)
North Chicago
Online Broadcast

WROK 1440 AM (Rockford)
Rockford Auburn
Online Broadcast

WNTA 1330AM/100.5 FM  (Rockford)
Rockford Auburn
Online Broadcast

IHSA Boys Basketball Page

Thursday, March 15
5:00 p.m. - 3A/4A Prelims

Friday, March 16
1:45 p.m. - 3A Finals
8:00 p.m. - 4A Finals

Saturday, March 17
King of the Hill
1:45 p.m.
(1A, 2A, 3A, 4A champions)


Thursday, March 15
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday, March 16
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 17
10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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





Class 3A Path To Peoria

Class 4A Path To Peoria

Past Champions

Record Book


Posted In: State Central

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