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2011 Eighth Grade Boys Basketball State Finals Begin Saturday

Four champions in Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) eighth grade boys basketball will be crowned for the fifth time in history, beginning Saturday (Feb. 12) at four sites. Competition in the Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A and Class 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday and concludes Thursday (Feb. 17).

Class 1A will be played at Pontiac High School and will be hosted by Saunemin. Mt. Pulaski Grade School will host Class 2A at Mt. Pulaski High School. Class 3A will be at Monticello Middle School. Stanford Olympia Middle School 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. at each site. The four quarterfinal winners will meet in semifinal games Saturday afternoon with the first of two games set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Third place and championship games will be played Thursday (Feb. 17) with the third place game set for 6:00 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for 7:30.

Any changes in the playing status of each of the four tournaments will be posted on the IESA Web Site at www.iesa.org as each tournament progresses.

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 that respective state final site only throughout the day. It will not be honored at any other 8th grade state final site. 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 boys basketball began in 1930. From 1930 to 1972 there were two classes: Class A (heavyweight) and Class B (lightweight). Class C (7th grade) was added in 1973. From 1977-1984, the heavyweight class was divided into two classes based on enrollment. From 1985-2006, there were Class A and Class AA state series for both seventh grade and eighth grade. Beginning in 2007, the seventh grade and eighth grade series have four classes each.

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

Here is a look at each of the four 2011 Eighth Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A

The first quarterfinal matchup will feature a pair of teams who are making their first appearances in this tournament; LaSalle Trinity Catholic and Ottawa Marquette. Both teams won their sectional championship game by five points to advance to state. The 11:30 a.m. game will showcase Decatur Robertson and Cissna Park. Robertson will be looking to improve on last years first round loss at this tournament. This is Cissna Park's first appearance in the Class 1A tournament since 2008. Morton Blessed Sacrament and Jacksonville Our Saviour will be on the court in the third quarterfinal game of the day. This will be the first time Blessed Sacrament will participate in this tournament. Our Saviour comes into this game with only one loss on the season. There is only one loss between the teams who will be playing in the last quarterfinal game. Edinburg is unblemished this season and will put that record to the test against Effingham Sacred Heart.

Class 2A

To start the Class 2A tournament, Payson Seymour will put their one loss record on the line against Carthage. Carthage took home the state championship trophy in 2007 and finished runner-up in 2008. This is sure to be an early morning battle between those teams. Springfield Christ the King has come to this tournament twice and finished second and third. They will look to do better this time around when they take on Milford in the 11:30 a.m. game. Both teams also participated in last year's state tournament as seventh graders. If Christ the King and Carthage both advance to the semifinals, it will set up a rematch of the 2007 state championship game. The third quarterfinal game has only one participant right now and it is Normal Metcalf. Their opponent will be determined when Findlay Okaw Valley and Ramsey play their sectional contest Thursday night for a spot at state. That sectional championship game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at St. Elmo Jr./Sr. High School. The last quarterfinal game will pit Peoria St. Vincent de Paul against Champaign St. Matthew. St. Vincent de Paul is making their first trip to this tournament and St. Matthew finished second just two years ago.

Class 3A

South Holland McKinley is coming to this tournament eager to avenge their loss in the first round last year. They will meet first time participant Peoria Christian in the 10:00 a.m. game on Saturday. East St. Louis Younge won their sectional championship with ease over Greenville. But their next game will be a test against a tough Pleasant Plains team who is eager to make some noise in the tournament. These two teams will play in the second quarterfinal game at 11:30 a.m. The school who took third place in this tournament last year was Lincoln Junior High School. They will be on the floor in the third quarterfinal game against El Paso-Gridley to determine a spot in the semifinals. Two years ago, Teutopolis took home the fourth place trophy in this tournament. Teutopolis also finished as state champions in the seventh grade tournament in 2010. This year their road to another trophy will begin with a battle against Clifton Nash in the last quarterfinal game of the day. This will be the first appearance in the Class 3A tournament for Nash.

Class 4A

The Class 4A tournament will kick off with Normal Kingsley and Kankakee Junior High School battling it out. Kingsley has finished in second place twice out of the last three years of this tournament. Kankakee is making their very first appearance in this tournament. Matteson Colin Powell has been here before; they finished fourth in this tournament just two years ago. They have to get by East St. Louis Clark to lock up a spot in the semifinals. Clark won a tight match against Alton in their sectional championship game. Harvey Brooks and Champaign Edison will meet in the 1:00 p.m. game. Both teams won their respective sectionals by double digits to advance to the state tournament. Fans should not leave their seats before the last quarterfinal game. Bolingbrook Jane Addams and Springfield Grant will take to the hardwood to see who gets a spot in the semifinals. Jane Addams comes into this game with only one loss on the season. Grant is hoping to make it their third straight state championship at this year's tournament. These two teams played each other last year in the first round at Morton High School. Grant has never lost a game in the class 4A tournament and Jane Addams will try to change that this year.



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