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2012 Seventh Grade Boys Basketball State Finals Begin Saturday

Four champions in Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) seventh grade boys basketball will be crowned for the sixth time in history, beginning Saturday (Feb. 4) at four sites. Competition in the Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday and concludes Thursday (Feb. 9).

Class 1A will be played at St. Joseph Middle School. Class 2A will be at Clinton High School. Class 3A will be at Wenona Fieldcrest Junior High School. Class 4A will be at Normal Kingsley Junior High School.

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. 9) 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 2012 Seventh Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A

The first quarterfinal matchup will feature Griggsville-Perry and Bartonville Monroe. Monroe is making their first appearance in this state tournament. Griggsville-Perry lost in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Class 1A tournament just a year ago. The 11:30 a.m. game will showcase Pana Sacred Heart and Hartsburg-Emden. Sacred Heart is making their first appearance since 2007 in Class 1A when they won second place. Hartsburg-Emden is a newcomer to this year's Class 1A tournament. Metamora St. Mary's and Royal Prairieview Ogden will be on the court in the third quarterfinal game of the day. St. Mary's is coming off a big sectional championship win against Bloomington Cornerstone and they want to continue that momentum at state. Prairieview Ogden will make their second appearance in the last three years. Fans should not leave their seats for the last quarterfinal game of the day. Joliet Laraway and Sigel St. Michael's will meet to decide that last semifinal participant. These two teams have a bit of history between them. They met back in 2009 in the semifinals of the Class 1A tournament. Laraway won the game and eventually went on to win the state championship.

Class 2A

To start the Class 2A tournament, Mendon Unity will take on Elmwood. Elmwood is making their fourth straight appearance in this tournament. They have taken home the runner-up trophy each of the last two years and they are ready this year to take home a state championship. Mendon Unity needed to fight off a tough Mt. Sterling Brown County team to win their sectional championship and secure their spot at state. Both Springfield Blessed Sacrament and Altamont have not been to this tournament since 2008. This year they will meet in the second quarterfinal game of the day. The 1:00 p.m. game will feature Champaign St. Matthew taking on Decatur Robertson. St. Matthew is very familiar with this tournament; this will be their fourth appearance in the last five years. Robertson will look to carry their momentum from the big sectional championship win into this game and beyond. The only newcomer to this tournament will take to the hardwood in the last quarterfinal game of the day, Elmwood Park St. Celestine. They will face Peoria St. Vincent de Paul who took home the state championship just two years ago in Class 2A.

Class 3A

Undefeated South Holland McKinley is back for their third consecutive trip to the Class 3A tournament. They were able to take home the runner-up trophy last year and they will have to go through Washington Central this year to get back to the finals. Central is making their first appearance in the Class 3A tournament this year. In the 11:30 a.m. game, undefeated Marshall JHS will square off against Morris Shabbona. In Marshall's last appearance at this tournament, they were able to capture the third place trophy. Shabbona will be making their first appearance this year for Class 3A. The second undefeated team in Class 3A is Tremont and they will meet Pana JHS in the third quarterfinal game of the day. Tremont is coming off a very successful tournament just a year ago when they won the fourth place trophy. Pana needed a hard fought win over against Greenville to secure their first spot ever in the Class 3A tournament. Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Pleasant Plains will meet at 2:30 p.m. to decide who will get the fourth and final spot in the semifinals. Paxton-Buckley-Loda has been to this tournament in 2009 and is looking to come home with some hardware this time. Pleasant Plains missed the semifinals last year and are looking to go further in this year's tournament.

Class 4A

Springfield Jefferson will come into the Class 4A tournament with their undefeated record on the line in the first game of the day. They will meet Homer Glen Homer who narrowly defeated a tough Woodridge Jefferson team for the sectional championship. Be sure to not leave your seats for the second quarterfinal matchup of the day. Country Club Hills Southwood is making their first appearance in this tournament since 2007. They will meet Joliet Washington who is seeking to improve on their appearance in this tournament last year. Undefeated Channahon and undefeated Champaign Jefferson will play in the 1:00 p.m. game. Both teams have had great success at this tournament in recent history. Champaign Jefferson took home the second place trophy in 2010 and Channahon captured the third place trophy last year. In the last quarterfinal game of the day, Morton JHS will square off against East St. Louis Clark. These two teams will meet for the first time in this tournament since their epic battle that took place in 2009 for the state championship. Morton was able to capture that state championship and Clark will be looking to change that outcome this year.



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