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COUNTRY Financial IHSA Class 1A/2A Boys Basketball State Finals - America's Original March Madness

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America's Original March Madness rolls back into Peoria for the 23rd straight year, as the COUNTRY Financial IHSA Class 1A and Class 2A Boys Basketball State Finals take center stage this weekend at the Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena. The state semifinals will unfold on Friday, March 9 with the third-place and state championship games to follow on Saturday, March 10.

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 8. 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 1A and Class 2A 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. In addition, the March Madness Experience will also play host to the IHSA’s 15th annual state wheelchair basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday.

The games and three-point shooting will air live on NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Chicago+ and IHSA TV Network affiliates (click for local listings). The games will also be carried live on the internet via NBC Sports Chicago and the NFHS Network at, which will also stream the post-game press conferences. Country Financial is the presenting sponsor of the broadcasts.

Lee Hall and Camron Smith will bring viewers the 1A action, while Dave Bernhard and IBCA Hall of Famer Mark Lindo step in to call the 2A games. NBC Sports Chicago's Siera Santos will handle the hosting and sideline duties.

No one covers the IHSA State Finals like the Peoria Journal Star. Check the Journal's Star state final preview, path to state, and so much more at the Peoria Journal Star website:



Newman, ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll, has finally broken through to the state finals for the first time in program history. After three super-sectional losses, the Comets are playing in Peoria thanks to senior forward Travis Williams, whose overtime free throw with 1.1 seconds left sealed the Final Four trip. Sophomore forward Devon House (18.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg), Williams (13.8 ppg) and senior guard Cade Gorzny (13.7) give Newman three legit scoring threats. Eleven-year head coach Ray Sharp (225-95) gets his first shot a state trophy after being on the losing end of two of those super defeats.

Alex Coppejans was a senior all-stater when the Braves finished fourth in the 2009 state finals. Coopejans (91-38, four years) is now the head coach and helping give fourth-ranked Annawan a shot at its highest finish in program history. Three seniors – guard Owen Landwehr (19.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.5 apg), forward Ben Buresh (12.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and guard Brendon Shaw (8.8 ppg) – have guided the Braves to defeat their postseason opponents by an average of 16.8 points per game. Annawan, which won just five games in Coopejans’ first season, is on eight-game win streak and have won 19 of their 20.


Okawville is no stranger to Peoria or the state finals. Head coach Jon Kraus (364-223, 18 years) guides the Rockets back into the Final Four following last year’s runner-up finish. But it was no easy task for Okawville, which needed double overtime to defeat Peoria Quest in the Super-Sectional. Two Okawville players – senior forward Luke Hensler (14.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and senior guard G Payten Harre (10.3 ppg, 3.6 apg) - can be good for nightly double-digit outputs, while senior guard Caleb Frederking (7.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.7 apg) fills up the state sheet. The Rockets, who received votes in the final AP poll, went 7-7 from December 27 to January 31 before starting their current 10-game win streak.

Goreville makes its debut at the state finals led by head coach Todd Tripp (284-138, 14 years). The Blackcats, who did not get any votes in the final AP poll, is the only 1A or 2A Final Four school who had to start their postseason run with a regional quarterfinal win. Balanced scoring is key for Goreville with senior guard Braden Webb (18.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.3 apg), senior forward Tanner Dunn (11.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and senior guard Peyton Massey (10.5 ppg) leading the charge. From January 5 to February 13, the Blackcats suffered nine losses by an average of 15.9 points, but have hit their stride winning six in a row by 18.5 points a game.

Pinckneyville’s boys’ basketball trophy case may be in need of an immediate expansion. The No. 3-ranked Panthers vie for their 11th state trophy and first since a 2008 fourth-place finish this weekend at Carver Arena. Senior guard Grant Jausel (13.6 ppg), senior guard J.C. Moll (13.2 ppg) and sophomore guard Dawson Yates (10.8 ppg) represent a balanced scoring attack for Pinckneyville, which has averaged 61.4 points per game in its five postseason victories. Look for senior forward Tanny Spihlmann (4.6 rpg) and senior forward Kyle Luke (3.5 rpg) to try and keep opponents off the glass. Head coach Bob Waggoner (269-76) has his squad on a nine-game win streak, including an OT Super-Sectional triumph over defending runner-up Mt. Carmel.

There’s plenty of happy campers as fourth-ranked Winnebago makes its fifth trip to the state finals in 15 years. All those Peoria appearances have come under head coach Joe Murphy (31st season), whose resume includes 666 wins and back-to-back Class A runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2005. The Indians, who enter the Final Four having won 19 of their last 20, boast a 1-2 punch of senior center Andrew Morrissey (19.7 ppg, 14.7 pgg) and senior guard Ty Waller (17.0 ppg, 4.2 apg). Winnebago’s trio of junior forward T.C. Williams (8.2 ppg), senior guard Kenzell Jones (7.8 ppg) and senior forward Brennan Burkhart (7.6 ppg) can also be looked upon for scoring help.


Reigning 2A state champ and No. 1-ranked Orr finds itself back in Peoria for the fourth time in six seasons. Head coach Lou Adams (133-33, six years) has seen his team post a 25.2 average margin of victory over their five postseason opponents. The Spartans, who losses have come to three Class 4A teams and a Michigan opponent, display an impressive offensive senior threesome. Forward Dannie Smith (16.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg), guard and Drake commit Raekwon Drake (13.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and guard Chase Adams (13.0 ppg) have been the catalysts all season. Key contributors in senior guard Brian Hernandez (9.2 ppg) and senior forward Tyronn Mosley (7.9 ppg) also provide scoring help on Orr’s veteran roster.

Bloomington Central Catholic returns to Peoria for the first since hoisting the 2014 Class 2A state championship trophy. The seventh-ranked Saints, who started the season 0-4, survived its biggest postseason test with a 47-46 super-sectional win over Deer Creek-Mackinaw on Tuesday. Prior to that win, the Saints had been scoring 78.3 points per game in the postseason. All five of the Central Catholic’s starters –Jack Gilmore (13.4 ppg), Austyn Ellison (10.6 ppg), James Morris (10.6 ppg), Tommy Nelson (8.8 ppg) and Elijah Davis (8.1 ppg) - are offensive contributors. Central Catholic rides a seven-game win streak into the Final Four under head coach Jason Welch (262-115, 13 years).

111th year of State Series
11th year of 4-Class series
23rd year in Peoria


Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center

City of Peoria
Peoria CVB


Friday, March 9
Session 1
Class 1A Semifinals
11:00 AM -  Newman Central Catholic vs. Annawan

12:45 PM -  Okawville vs. Goreville

Session 2
Class 2A Semifinals

5:30 PM -  Pinckneyville vs. Winnebago

7:15 PM -  Orr vs. Bloomington Central Catholic

Saturday, March 10
Session 3
Class 1A Finals
Third-Place - 11:00 AM
Championship - 12:45 PM

Session 4
Class 2A Finals
Third-Place - 5:30 PM
Championship - 7:15 PM

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

NBC Sports Chicago
NBC Sports Chicago PLUS+

NBC Sports Chicago
NFHS Network:


Stations carrying all games:
WNSV 104.7 FM (Nashville)
Internet Broadcast

WRHL 1060 AM (Rochelle)
Internet Broadcast

Stations carrying school-specific games:
WKEI 1450 AM (Kewanee)
Annawan games
Internet Broadcast

WLLT 107.7 FM (Polo)
Newman Cent. Cath. games

WSEY 95.7 FM (Oregon)
Newman Cent. Cath. games
Internet Broadcast

WZZT 102.7 FM (Morrison)
Newman Cent. Cath. games

WXAN 103.9 FM (Ava)
Goreville games
Internet Broadcast

WGGH 1150 AM (Marion)
Goreville games
Internet Broadcast

WJBC 1230 AM (Bloomington)
Central Catholic games
Internet Broadcast


IHSA Boys Basketball Page

Thursday, March 8
5:00 PM - 1A/2A Prelims

Friday, March 9
12:35 PM - 1A Finals
7:00 PM - 2A Finals


2018 MME Info

Thursday, March 8

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Friday, March 9
10:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday, March 10
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM

, March 9
10:15 AM - 2:45 PM

Saturday, March 10
10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
All games played in MME, awards follow final games,

Click here for game schedule

MME is located in the Peoria Civic Center Exhibit Halls

Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson

Souvenir Program

Twitter - @IHSAstate

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video

Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano


Gift of Hope

Northern Iowa University

Illinois Treasurer's ICASH



Road to State

Record Book & Past Champions