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Historic Seventh Grade Girls Basketball State Final Tournaments Begin Saturday

For the first time in Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) history four champions will be crowned in the Seventh Grade Girls State Basketball Tournament series. Competition in the Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A and Class 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday (Dec.2) and concludes Thursday (Dec. 7) at four sites.

Class 1A will be played at Assumption Central A & M Junior High School. Class 2A will be at the Monticello Junior High. Riverton High School will be the site of Class 3A. Normal Chiddix Junior High will host Class 4A.

The time schedule for all four tournaments will be the same. Quarterfinals will be played Saturday with the first of four games beginning at 10:00 a.m. The four quarterfinal winners will meet in semifinal games Saturday night with the first of two games set to begin at 6:00 p.m. Third place and championship games will be played Thursday with the third place game set for 6:00 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for 7:30.

The price of admission Saturday is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors (62 and over) and students (K-8) and is good for all games Saturday. Children younger than kindergarten are admitted free. Fans attending the games Saturday will receive a wristband that is to be worn all day and will be used for entry into the facility throughout the day. The price of admission for the third place and championship game session Thursday will be $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for seniors and students (K-8). Children younger than kindergarten again are admitted free.

IESA girls basketball began in 1979. There was one-class competition from 1979-86, and in 1986 separate state series were conducted for seventh graders and eighth graders for the first time. From 1990-2005 there were Class A and Class AA state series for both seventh grade and eighth grade. This year the seventh grade and eighth grade series have four classes each.

The 2006 state tournament format and playing schedule is different than in previous years. Until this year, 16 Class A and Class AA teams in seventh grade and eighth grade advanced to two respective 16-team state finals, and competition was conducted in a four-day format.

Complete pairings for each state final, plus the FanZone, can be found at www.iesa.org. Click on the Girls Basketball line in the orange box at the top of the IESA Web Site Home Page.

Here is a look at each of the four 2006 Seventh Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A

Five of the eight teams come into the State Final Tournament with at least 18 wins and four of them are in the upper bracket. The combined won-loss record of the finalists is 137-29, a winning percentage of .825.

Leading the way with 19 wins are Sigel St. Michael’s (19-1) and London Mills Valley (19-6). St. Michael’s plays Springfield Calvary (18-3) in the first quarterfinal game. London Mills Valley meets Ottawa Wallace (18-3) in the second quarterfinal game.

Rantoul St. Malachy (18-3) battles Jerseyville St. Francis Holy Ghost (14-5) in the third quarterfinal game. Hume Shiloh (15-5) meets Jacksonville Our Saviour (16-3) in the fourth quarterfinal game.

The two teams in the opening game can put tall lineups on the floor. Springfield Calvary has three forwards, seventh grader Cristen Seiders and sixth graders Kourtney and Kiersten Jamison, listed at 5-6. Sigel St. Michael’s can counter with a front line that includes seventh graders Jessie Wendt (5-8) and Erica Hotze (5-7) and sixth grader Alyssa Platz (5-7).

London Mills Valley has 5-8 sixth grader Allison Cleer and 5-7 seventh grader Summer Lehnhausen in the post.

Of the 102 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, two are fifth graders, 30 are sixth graders and 70 are seventh graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 7-1A is the smallest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists in bracket order are: Springfield Calvary 49, Sigel St. Michael’s 26, London Mills Valley 62, Ottawa Wallace 73, Jerseyville St. Francis 74, Rantoul St. Malachy 43, Hume Shiloh and Jacksonville Our Saviour 60.

Saturday December 2 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1 10:00 a.m. Springfield Calvary (18-3) v. Sigel St. Michael’s (19-1)
Game 2 11:30 a.m. London Mills Valley (19-6) v. Ottawa Wallace (18-3)
Game 3 1:00 p.m. Jerseyville St. Francis HG (14-5) v. Rantoul St. Malachy (18-3)
Game 4 2:30 p.m. Hume Shiloh (15-5) v. Jacksonville Our Saviour (16-3)

Saturday, December 2 (Semifinals)

Game 5 6:00 p.m. Winners of Games 1 & 2
Game 6 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 3 & 4

Thursday, December 7 (Finals)

Game 7 6:00 p.m. Losers of Games 5 & 6 (Third Place)
Game 8 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 5 & 6 (State Championship)

Class 2A

Four of the eight finalists come into the tournament with 20 or more wins. Leading the way at 23-2 is Champaign St. Matthew. Havana is at 21-2, Nokomis JHS is 21-3 and Lexington is 20-4. The combined record of the eight finalists is 148-38, a winning percentage of .796.

The only 20-win team in the upper bracket is Lexington, which meets Sparland Midland (18-4) in the second quarterfinal game. Effingham St. Anthony (12-9) plays Hamilton (19-4) in the opener. In the bottom bracket, Havana and Nokomis JHS square off in the third quarterfinal game. Champaign St. Matthew plays Herscher JHS (14-11) in the last quarterfinal game.

Of the 96 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 12 are sixth graders and 84 are in seventh grade. Five of the players are listed at 5-7 or taller and Effingham St. Anthony has two at 5-8. They are center Lena Grunloh and forward Jenny Schmidt. Champaign St. Matthew has 5-7 forward Jamie Blue, Lexington has 5-7 Taylor Leake at forward and Sparland Midland forward Kira Stork is 5-7.

The Havana-Nokomis JHS match-up could be the bell weather for the tournament. Nokomis JHS stopped tournament savvy Winchester, 25-18, in the sectional. Havana roared by perennial power Springfield St. Agnes, 40-26 Thursday night.

Lexington has scoring firepower with 5-0 Taylor Winterland, 5-6 Maggie Hayes and 5-6 Bridgette Sims in the paint. The offense is triggered by 5-4 point guard Sydney Freed.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 7-2A is the second smallest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists in bracket order are: Effingham St. Anthony 99, Hamilton 103, Sparland Midland 144, Lexington 96, Havana 147, Nokomis JHS 123, Champaign St. Matthew 109 and Herscher JHS 136.

Saturday December 2 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1 10:00 a.m. Effingham St. Anthony (12-9) v. Hamilton (19-4)
Game 2 11:30 a.m. Sparland Midland (18-4) v. Lexington (20-4)
Game 3 1:00 p.m. Havana (21-1) v. Nokomis JHS (21-3)
Game 4 2:30 p.m. Champaign St. Matthew (23-2) v. Herscher JHS (14-11)

Saturday, December 2 (Semifinals)

Game 5 6:00 p.m. Winners of Games 1 & 2
Game 6 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 3 & 4

Thursday, December 7 (Finals)

Game 7 6:00 p.m. Losers of Games 5 & 6 (Third Place)
Game 8 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 5 & 6 (State Championship)

Class 3A

Unbeaten Paris Mayo (25-0) and Lockport Kelvin Grove (17-0) head a field where six of the eight teams in it have won at least 20 games. The only other team not with at least 20 wins is St. Joseph at 17-3. The combined won-loss record of the eight is a sensational 165-16, a winning percentage of .911. The two unbeaten teams are in the lower bracket.

Glasford Illini Bluffs (21-2) meets Downs Tri-Valley (23-2) in the first quarterfinal game. St. Joseph faces Williamsville (21-3) in game No. 2. Lockport Kelvin Grove faces Litchfield (20-3) in the third quarterfinal game. The Paris Mayo vs. Wenona Fieldcrest game concludes quarterfinal play.

Paris Mayo, which beat perennial power Teutopolis by 12 points in the sectional, is a tall team by seventh grade standards. The Redbirds boast a 15-player roster and seven of them are 5-6 or taller, including 5-8 seventh graders Harley Wilson and Ashley Lawrence. Mayo’s quarterfinal opponent, Wenona Fieldcrest, has only two players - center Mikayla Stewart and forward Taylor Nichols - reaching 5-6.

Lockport Kelvin Grove is not as tall as Paris Mayo but does have 5-7 center Sarah Wasilewski, 5-7 forward Jessica Kubinski and 5-6 sixth grade center Lauren Rogalny.

Of the 93 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 13 are sixth graders and 80 are in seventh grade. Three of the finalists other than Paris Mayo have a 5-8 player. Williamsville boasts center Kathryn Spenn, Glasford Illini Bluffs has center Kenzie Wall and Litchfield has center Tori Sisson.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Enrollments of the eight finalists in bracket order are: Glasford Illini Bluffs 150, Downs Tri-Valley 181, St. Joseph 160, Williamsville 218, Lockport Kelvin Grove 169, Litchfield 251, Paris Mayo 191 and Wenona Fieldcrest 205.

Saturday December 2 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1 10:00 a.m. Glasford Illini Bluffs (21-2) v. Downs Tri-Valley (23-2)
Game 2 11:30 a.m. St. Joseph (17-3) v. Williamsville (21-3)
Game 3 1:00 p.m. Lockport Kelvin Grove (17-0) v. Litchfield (20-3)
Game 4 2:30 p.m. Paris Mayo (25-0) v. Wenona Fieldcrest (21-3)

Saturday, December 2 (Semifinals)

Game 5 6:00 p.m. Winners of Games 1 & 2
Game 6 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 3 & 4

Thursday, December 7 (Finals)

Game 7 6:00 p.m. Losers of Games 5 & 6 (Third Place)
Game 8 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 5 & 6 (State Championship)

Class 4A

Four of the eight teams in the field bring unbeaten records. Three of them are in the lower bracket and two of them meet in the final quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon. Six of the eight finalists have won at least 20 games. The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 162-17, a winning percentage of .905.

In lower bracket action, Forrest Prairie Central brings a 24-0 record into quarterfinal game 4 against perennial power Quincy (22-0). In the third quarterfinal, 17-0 Dolton Lincoln meets Frankfort Hickory Creek (15-7). While Bolingbrook Brooks brings its 24-0 record into the upper bracket, the Bulldogs could have their work cut out for them. Brooks squares off against perennial power Chatham Glenwood (20-3) in quarterfinal game No. 2. In the opener, Dunlap MS (20-3) faces Mattoon (20-4).

Bolingbrook Brooks has only 10 players on its roster, but they are huge for seventh graders. Seven of the 10 are 5-6 or taller. Centers Bria Welch and Megan Williams are both 5-11. Forward Dalacy Anderson is 5-8. Forward Tashiana Walton and guard Danile Stancil are 5-7. Chatham Glenwood, which traveled to Cahokia for the sectional and beat perennial power Wirth, 24-20, Wednesday, can counter the size of Brooks. The Titans boast 5-11 centers Ariel Coke and Bre Gardner. Forward Jenna Bryant is 5-10 and forwards Carol Chou, Payton Guinan and Maggie Prather are 5-9. Of Glenwood’s six guards, 5-6 Courtney Kliment is the shortest.

Dolton Lincoln has a pair of 5-10 post players - Amena Brent and Tallilah Simpson. Frankfort Hickory Creek, which beat Peotone 29-14 in the sectional, has only one player taller than 5-5 - center Lauren Behrens.

The showdown between Forrest Prairie Central and Quincy could be a classic. It features the tallest player in the finals in Quincy’s 6-0 center Victoria Kuhn. Quincy rolled to a 48-26 win over rugged Mt. Zion in the sectional. Forrest Prairie Central, a consistent tournament qualifier, stopped Ottawa Shepherd, 32-22, in the sectional. The Hawks have only three players taller than 5-4. They are 5-7 forward Haley Haberkorn, 5-6 center Kristen Steidinger and 5-7 center Macki Dameron.

Of the 105 players listed on the rosters of the eight finalists, all are seventh graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 7-4A is the largest. Enrollments of the eight finalists in bracket order are: Dunlap MS 449, Mattoon 528, Bolingbrook Brooks 838, Chatham Glenwood 670, Dolton Lincoln 365, Frankfort Hickory Creek 526, Forrest Prairie Central 335 and Quincy 1006.

Saturday December 2 (Quarterfinals)

Game 1 10:00 a.m. Dunlap MS (20-3) v. Mattoon (20-4)
Game 2 11:30 a.m. Bolingbrook Brooks (24-0) v. Chatham Glenwood (20-3)
Game 3 1:00 p.m. Dolton Lincoln (17-0) v. Frankfort Hickory Creek (15-7)
Game 4 2:30 p.m. Forrest Prairie Central (24-0) v. Quincy (22-0)

Saturday, December 2 (Semifinals)

Game 5 6:00 p.m. Winners of Games 1 & 2
Game 6 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 3 & 4

Thursday, December 7 (Finals)

Game 7 6:00 p.m. Losers of Games 5 & 6 (Third Place)
Game 8 7:30 p.m. Winners of Games 5 & 6 (State Championship)


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