The IHSA basketball season is underway and holiday tournaments will soon give way to America's Original March Madness.
OSF Healthcare is helping high school basketball fans in Illinois relive some of the great memories from the past via the IHSA Vintage Games Series.
Be sure to check back each week this winter to see what classic contest and past stars OSF Healthcare will feature in the Vintage Game Series. In the meantime, you can always explore past IHSA action via the IHSA Archives YouTube Page:
2016 Class 2A Semifinal: Rockridge 45, Hales Franciscan 43
It is simply known as the “March Madness Miracle”. Hales Franciscan caps a furious rally with an Austin Trice basket to take a 43-42 lead over Rockridge with 5.1 seconds left in the game, seemingly clinching a berth in the state title game. What ensues has to be seen to be believed…Rockridge’s Gentry Whiteman passes from his backside to Carson Frakes, who launches a shot that high school basketball fans in Illinois will ever forget.
2010 Class 2A Championship: Robinson 76, Manual 68 (OT)
This instant classic featured 7-0 future Fighting Illini standout Meyers Leonard (15 points, 13 rebounds, 6 blocks) and his Robinson teammates facing perennial power Manual in their own backyard. Leonard even added a fullcourt heave for a trey as the first quarter clock expired. Robinson's Ben Jones (22 points) and Manual's Andrew Jordan (25 points) battled throughout the back-and-forth contest, but after a scoreless final minute of regulation, the Maroons quickly took control in overtime. Derek Hannahs scored 13 of his game-high 28 points in the extra session, including going 10-for-12 at the free throw line, to lift Robinson to its first state title in school history.
2002 Class AA Championship: Westinghouse 76, Lanphier 72
Lanphier’s tandem of future NBA star Andre Iguodala (29 points) and Illini standout Richard McBride (22 points) nearly lifted the Lions to their second state title in school history, but four Westinghouse players scored in double-figures to clinch the state championship, led by Darius Glover‘s 28-point, 10-rebound performance. Westinghouse led the entire game and saw its lead swell to 19 points in the third quarter before Lanphier staged a furious rally. The Lions took their first lead at 72-71 lead with 1:33 remaining in the game on Iguodala’s three-point play, but Brandon Williams second basket of the game proved to be the game-winner for Westhinghouse in the final minute of the contest.
1947 Class AA Championship: Paris 58, Champaign 37
While the outcome ultimately wasn't very close, this contest represents a historic piece of high school basketball and IHSA history, as it is the oldest professional film of an IHSA Boys Basketball championship game in existence. The roots of basketball look a bit different, from underhanded free throws to the original "key" on the court to no three-point line to fundamentals and strategy that may look foreign to modern-day basketball fans. However, the passion and engagement of the fans makes it very clear why Illinois was the home to America's Original March Madness. Robert Owens led Paris with a game-high 22 points, as the Tigers won their second state title in school history (1943). Paris owned the era on the hardwood, as they also made title game appearances in 1939 and 1942.
2006 Class AA Championship: Simeon 31, Richwoods 29 (OT)
The shot that launched a legend. With the game at tied 29-29 tied in overtime, Derrick Rose stole the ball and then scored on a runner as time expired to give the Wolverines their second state championship in school history. Richwoods' Justin Dehm provided the game's initial heroics, as his running three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation forced overtime. Rose would the Wolverines back to Peoria as a senior in 2007, where they coasted to the state title.
2016 Class 1A Championship: LeRoy 38, Leo 35
LeRoy and Leo engaged in a defensive battle to determine the state championship, as both teams posted their lowest point outputs of the season. LeRoy All-Stater and future Illinois State Redbird Matt Chastain scored the Panthers first 12 points of the game en route to a game-high 21 points. Leo's Darias Oliver helped the Lions keep pace with 14 points and 15 rebounds. LeRoy led 26-24 entering the fourth quarter and found the game tied at 35-35 with :57 seconds remaining. Senior Noah Perry played the hero role for LeRoy, as Chastain passed out of a double-team to an open Perry, who knocked down a trey for the final points of the contest.
1995 Class AA Quarterfinal: Thornton 46, Farragut 43
Led by future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett and Illinois hoops legend Ronnie Fields, Farragut's 1995 squad was one of the most hyped in state history. Rocky Hill's Thornton team created an unforgettable March Madness moment by shocking the Admirals 46-43 in the quarterfinals. Garnett and Fields combined for 33 points in the game, but the Wildcats persevered behind a roster that featured future NFL players Antwaan Randle El and Tai Streets, as well as NBA stalwart Melvin Ely. Thornton beat Rock Island 56-55 in the semis before falling to Manual in the state championship.
2009 Class 3A State Championship: Champaign Centennial 61, Oswego 59
Both Oswego and Champaign Centennial reached their first boys basketball state title games in school history in dramatic fashion, winning their respective semifinals in the closing seconds. The state championship proved to be just as exciting, as Centennial used the late-game heroics of future Illini star Rayvonte Rice to prevail once again.
1997 Class AA State Championship: Peoria Manual 47, West Aurora 43
A star-studded Manual team won its fourth consecutive state championship in 1997. Late, great head coach Wayne McClain relied on his big three of his son Sergio McClain, Frank Williams & Marcus Griffin to become the first team in state history to win four straight titles. Despite Manual's talent, Gordie Kerkman's West Aurora squad pushed Manual to the limit, entering the fourth quarter with a five-point lead.
2014 Class 2A State Championship: Bloomington Central Catholic 76, Nashville 62 (3 OT)
One of the best state title games ever played also featured a contrast in styles. Nashville pounded the ball inside with future NFL offensive lineman Royce Newman, who finished the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The Saints countered with the guard tandem of Nick Norton (25 points) and Jake Reinhart (19 points), who combined to make nine of the team's 14 three-pointers in the game. Reinhart opened the third OT with a trey and the Saints never trailed, making free throws down the stretch to pull away.
1952 State Championship: Hebron 64, Quincy 59 (OT)
In what has come to be known as Illinois' version of Hoosiers, Hebron High School and its enrollment of 98 students made an iconic run to a state championship and became the smallest school in state history to win the state championship in the single class system that existed from 1908 to 1971. Hebron's story was chronicled in the 2002 book Once There Were Giants.