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Four Unbeaten Teams Seek Class 7AA Boys State Basketball Tournament Title

Four unbeaten teams are among the 16 set to battle for the 2005 Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class 7AA Boys State Final Basketball Tournament championship beginning Saturday at two sites in Normal.

Competition in the 21st Class 7AA event begins at 11:00 a.m. at Kingsley Junior High and Parkside Junior High in Normal. In an experimental format, four first round games will be played at each of the two sites. The winners at each site advance to the quarterfinal round Monday (Feb. 5). Winners of Saturday's games at Kingsley will play at Parkside, and vice versa, Monday (Feb. 7). The semifinals will be at Kingsley Tuesday (Feb. 8) beginning at 6:00 p.m. Third place and championship game will be played at Kingsley beginning at 6:00 p.m.

This is the 76th year of boys basketball state series competition in IESA schools. The current two-class system has been in operation since 1985.

Defending 7AA champion and unbeaten Cahokia Wirth (12-0) begins defense of its title Saturday against Champaign Edison (20-1) at 2:00 p.m. Two other unbeaten teams play Saturday at Kinsgley. Kankakee Junior High (20-0) squares off against once-beaten Decatur Stephen Decatur (17-1) at 12:30 p.m.

Eureka (22-0) faces Marshall Junior High (17-5) in the finale at 3:30 p.m.

Cahokia Wirth beat Springfield Franklin, 36-33, for the title last year.

Springfield Franklin (18-3) meets Mokena (13-9) in the first game at Kingsley Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

The remaining unbeaten is Heyworth (23-0), one of three first-time qualifiers in the field at Parkside. Heyworth (23-0) faces Pekin Edison (19-1) at 2:00 p.m. First-time qualifier Normal Kingsley (20-1) plays the 11:00a.m. opening game against perennial power Quincy (17-4), making its 12th appearance in the 7AA event. The other first-time qualifier, Bellwood Roosevelt (11-1) battles Dwight (19-3) in the third game at Parkside at 2:00 p.m. In the nightcap at Parkside, perennial power Harvey Brooks (17-1), making its 11th appearance, plays Blue Mound Meridian (20-3) at 3:30 p.m.

Four of the 16 teams in this year's field have won the Class 7AA title before. Cahokia Wirth's only title was in 2004. Springfield Franklin won in 2000, Pekin Edison in 1998 and Eureka in 1986. The 16 teams in this year's State Final Tournament have a staggering combined won-loss record of 285-34, a combined winning percentage of .893.

Complete pairings and timetable for the Class 7AA Boys Basketball State Final Tournament can be found at http://www.iesa.org/activities/bbk/.

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