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Eight 20-game Winners in 2006 Class 7AA Boys Basketball Field

Eight of the 16 teams competing in the 2006 IESA Class 7AA State Basketball Tournament beginning Saturday in Normal come into the event with at least 20 wins. This year's tournament is the last under the 16-team, four-day, two-class tournament format.

Competition in the 22nd annual 7AA State Tournament gets under way at 11:00 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 4) with four games at each of two sites in Normal. Four games will be played at Normal Kingsley Junior High School beginning at 11:00 a.m. Four other games will be at Normal Parkside Junior High School beginning at 11:00 a.m. Two quarterfinal games will be played Monday (Feb. 6) beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the same two schools. On Monday, teams that played at Kingsley will be at Parkside and teams that played at Parkside on Saturday will be at Kingsley. Semifinals are scheduled Tuesday (Feb. 7) at Kingsley beginning at 6:00 p.m. The third place and championship game will be played Thursday (Feb. 9) at Kingsley 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.

This year's field of teams boasts a gaudy won-loss record of 301-35, a winning percentage of .895. Three teams are unbeaten and all are in the upper bracket.

Leading the way are Danville North Ridge (23-0), Rochester (22-0) and Harvey Brooks (15-0). Rochester meets Harvey Brooks in the fourth game Saturday at Normal Kingsley at 3:30 p.m. Danville North Ridge battles last year's third place finisher Bellwood Roosevelt (10-3) at Kingsley at 2:00 p.m. In the other Kingsley games, Sumner Red Hill (21-1) meets Lincoln JHS (18-4) in the opener at 11:00 a.m. and Markham Prairie-Hills (15-6) faces Mokena (19-2) at 12:30 p.m.

Meanwhile at Normal Parkside, five of the 20-game winners play Saturday. In the day's first game Metamora GS (17-7) battles Morton JHS (20-2) in the opener at 11:000 a.m. In game 2, it's Quincy (22-1) vs. Bourbonnais UGC (20-1) at 12:30 p.m. Ottawa Shepherd (19-3) battles East St. Louis Younge (19-3) at 2:00 p.m. and in the final game of the day, Springfield Grant (20-1) meets Macomb (21-1) at 3:30 p.m.

Three of the teams have won the 7AA title before. Markham Prairie-Hills won in 2001, Springfield Grant in 1993 and 1995 and Morton JHS has won twice, in 1989 and 1990.

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