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2005 IESA Seventh Grade Girls State Basketball Tournaments Begin Saturday

BLOOMINGTON - The first two of the four biggest girls state final basketball tournaments in Illinois get under way Saturday (Dec. 3) with the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) "Little Sweet 16" Seventh Grade Class A and Class AA State Tournaments.

The Class 7A games will be played at two sites. First round games Saturday and quarterfinals Dec. 5 will be at Central A&M Middle School in Assumption and at the high school in Moweaqua. The format allows for a later starting time yet earlier ending time for the first round and quarterfinal games. The teams playing at one site Saturday in the first round will play their quarterfinal games at the other site. Four first round games will be played at each site Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m. Two quarterfinal games will be played at both sites Monday (Dec. 5) beginning at 5:00 p.m. Both the semifinal session and finals session will be played at the Central A&M Middle School in Assumption. Semifinal games begin at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 6). The third place game is set for 6:00 and the championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec.8). See the Girls Basketball page at www.iesa.org for pairings, results and updates as the tournament progresses.

None of the four place winners in last year's Class 7A tournament return in 2005. Springfield St. Agnes won the title with a 35-17 win over Bunker Hill Meissner. Two of the 16 teams in the 7A field have won the 7A state title before. Perennial power Paris Crestwood (16-6) has won a third of the 7A state titles. In the 15-year history of 7A, the Eagles were champions in 1990-92-93-94 and 2003. Springfield Blessed Sacrament took the title in 2000.

The 16 teams in this year's 7A field have a combined record of 270-50, a combined winning percentage of .843. There are no unbeaten teams. Normal Epiphany, which lost in the quarterfinals last year to finish 23-2, brings a 23-0 record into its first game against Toluca Fieldcrest West (20-1) in the 3:30 p.m. game Saturday at Moweaqua. Also in that bracket is Jacksonville Our Saviour (18-0), which plays Nokomis JHS (19-3) at 12:30 p.m. In the other bracket, Table Grove VIT (17-0) battles Ottawa Wallace (18-4) in the 12:30 p.m. game at Assumption.

In the first game Saturday at Assumption, Effingham St. Anthony (20-1) faces Crescent City (6-10), the first team in 7A since Grand Ridge (9-12) in 2003 to advance to the State Final with a below .500 record.

All games in the Class 7AA State Final Tournament will be played at Riverton. All 16 teams will play first round games Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. Quarterfinals are set to begin at 4:00 p.m. Monday (Dec. 5) with semifinals starting at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 6). The third place and championship games are slated for Thursday (Dec. 8) beginning at 6:00 p.m. See the Girls Basketball page at www.iesa.org for pairings, results and updates as the tournament progresses.

This year's 7AA field has a dazzling combined won-loss record of 300-32, a winning percentage of .903, one of the best in IESA history. Four teams bring unbeaten records into the tournament, while three others have only one loss. Rochester (16-7) is the only one of the 16 in the field with more than four losses.

The only unbeaten team in the upper bracket is St. Joseph (22-0) and it faces Shorewood Troy (19-1) at noon. The three unbeaten teams in the lower bracket are Mokena (21-0), Springfield Franklin (17-0) and Washington MS (21-0). Mokena meets Petersburg PORTA JHS (19-2) at 3:00 p.m. Springfield Franklin faces perennial power Teutopolis (20-1) at 4:30 p.m. and Washington MS battles Mattoon (18-3) in the final game of the day at 7:30 p.m.

Teutopolis is the only school in the field to have captured the Class 7AA title in the 15-year history of 7AA girls basketball. Teutopolis is the only trophy-winning school from the 2004 tournament that returns. The Wooden Shoes took third last year and finished 24-1, losing only to Chatham Glenwood, 27-26, in the semifinals.



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