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Three Unbeaten Teams in Class 7A Boys State Basketball Tournament Field

Three teams bring unbeaten records into the 2006 Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class 7A Boys Basketball State Final Tournament beginning Saturday (Feb. 4) at Clinton High School. This year's tournament is the last under the 16-team, four-day, two-class tournament format.

Heading the field are unbeaten Bloomington Holy Trinity (23-0), Peoria Pleasant Valley (20-0) and Effingham St. Anthony (19-0). Bloomington Holy Trinity and Effingham St. Anthony are in the upper bracket and could meet in the semifinals. On Saturday, Bloomington Holy Trinity opens with Mazon-Verona-Kinsman (15-9) at 1:30 p.m.. Effingham St. Anthony meets Raymond Lincolnwood (19-3) in Game 2 Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The last unbeaten team, Peoria Pleasant Valley, battles Catlin (22-1) in Saturday's final game at 7:30 p.m.

Competition in the 22nd annual 7A State Tournament gets under way at 9:00 a.m. Saturday with the first of eight games scheduled for the day. Four quarterfinal games will be played Monday (Feb. 6) beginning at 4:15 p.m. Semifinals are scheduled Tuesday (Feb. 7) beginning at 6:00 p.m. The third place and championship game will be played Thursday (Feb. 9) starting at 6:00 p.m.

This is the 77th year of boys basketball state series competition in IESA schools. The current two-class system has been in operation since 1985. Beginning next school term, IESA boys basketball will be in four classes and the state final tournaments will be played in a Saturday-Thursday format.

Only one of the four trophy-winning schools in 2005 returns this year. Toluca Fieldcrest West (19-2) plays Winchester (21-3) in Saturday's third game at 12 noon.

In other first round match-ups, Springfield Christ The King (16-5) faces Neoga (18-3) in the opening game Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Donovan (16-6) meets La Harpe (16-5) at 3:00 p.m. Elmwood (15-7) faces Mt. Pulaski (15-7) at 4:30 p.m. Danville St. Paul (12-10) faces Lovejoy (10-12) at 6:00 p.m.

Only two schools are making their first-ever trip to the 7A State Tournament. They are Neoga and Danville St. Paul. Leading the way in state final appearances is Mt. Pulaski with nine. Effingham St. Anthony is making its eighth appearance and Bloomington Holy Trinity its seventh.

Four of the schools in the 2006 field have previously won the 7A title. Springfield Christ the King won in 2004. Effingham St. Anthony won in 1999. Mt. Pulaski was the winner in 1994 and 2001. Bloomington Holy Trinity captured the crown in 1988 and 1995.

The 16 teams advancing to this year's 7A State Tournament have a combined won-loss record of 256-72, a winning percentage of .780.

Complete pairings and timetable for the 2006 Class 7A Boys Basketball State Final Tournament can be found at

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