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2010 Eighth Grade IESA Girls Basketball State Finals Begin Saturday

For the second straight week the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) will crown four girls basketball champions, this time in the 8th grade state series. Competition in the Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A and Class 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday (December 11) and concludes the following Thursday (December 16) at four sites. This is the fifth year of IESA four-class girls basketball.

Class 1A will be hosted by East Peoria Central Junior High School. Class 2A will be hosted by Clinton Junior High School. The 3A tournament will be hosted by Monticello Middle School while Rochester Junior High School will be the host of 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. The four quarterfinal winners will meet in semifinal games late 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, December 16 with the third place game set for 6:00 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Any changes in the playing status of each of the four tournaments will be posted on the IESA Web Site at as each tournament progresses. Results will be posted on the web site after each game. Should weather become a factor, any change in the status of the tournaments will be posted on the IESA website.

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 girls basketball began in 1979. There was one-class competition from 1979-86, and in 1986 separate state series were conducted for seventh graders and eighth graders for the first time. From 1990-2005 there were Class A and Class AA state series for both seventh grade and eighth grade. Beginning in 2006, the current four class system has been in place.

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

Here is a look at each of the four 2010 Eighth Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A

The first quarterfinal game will feature two teams that will not be strangers to each other. First time participant in the 8th grade tournament, Flanagan, will square off against Bartonville Monroe. And, in a truly ironic twist, these exact two teams will be facing each other for the 7th grade Class 1A championship Thursday night. Monroe had a tough test in the sectional final and won by two points to reach the state tournament. The 11:30 a.m. game will showcase undefeated Ottawa Marquette and Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes. This will be the first appearance in the tournament for Marquette. Cairo vs. Bourbonnais Maternity BVM will be the third quarterfinal game of the day. Both of these teams are newcomers to this tournament and will be looking to leave their mark. BVM comes to the tournament with an unbeaten record. The last quarterfinal game of the day will also feature a pair of first time participants. Springfield Little Flower and Cissna Park will take to the hardwood to see who will earn the final spot in the semifinals.

Class 2A

The Class 2A tournament has one team that participated in last year's eighth grade tournament, Onarga Iroquois West. They will take on Champaign St. Matthew who won this tournament in 2008. Both teams come to the tournament undefeated. These same two teams will play each other for 3rd place honors in the 7th grade Class 2A tournament Thursday night. Normal Metcalf and Springfield Christ the King will be on the floor for the second quarterfinal game. Metcalf is making their first appearance at this tournament and Christ the King will try to better their third place finish from 2007. The third undefeated team in the Class 2A bracket is Winchester. They will take the court in the third quarterfinal game of the day against first time participant Palestine. The last quarter final game of the afternoon will pair Brimfield and Table Grove VIT, which is in a co-op with Astoria. This will be the first appearance for Brimfield; VIT will be making their first appearance since 2007.

Class 3A

To kick off the Class 3A tournament, Farmington Central will put their undefeated season on the line. They will have a tough first game against the defending Class 3A champion, Teutopolis. In the 2009 8th grade tournament, the Wooden Shoes defeated Green Valley Midwest Central, 19-17 to claim first place honors. In the 11:30 a.m. quarterfinal game, Clinton will face off against Lockport Kelvin Grove. Clinton had a great performance in the sectional championship by scoring 60 points to advance to the state tournament. Kelvin Grove will be making their third appearance since 2007 and will be looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time. The third quarterfinal game will pit Tuscola East Prairie against Pleasant Plains. In the final matchup of the day, Litchfield, with just one loss in the last two seasons, will play Wenona Fieldcrest. If Litchfield and Pleasant Plains win their quarterfinal games, they will meet in the semifinals for a rematch of the 2009 7th grade Class 3A championship game. Litchfield won that game, 42-24.

Class 4A

The Class 4A tournament is loaded with many great teams. To start the day off, undefeated Frankfort Summit Hill will go back and forth with Chicago Heights Washington. Summit Hill finished in third place last year. The second quarterfinal will feature two new participants to this tournament--- Effingham JHS and undefeated Mendota Northbrook. In the third game of the day, Chatham Glenwood will play Lockport Oak Prairie. Together these teams only have a total of four losses on the season and are both first time participants in this tournament. Fans should not leave their seats for the last quarterfinal matchup of the day. Normal Parkside will take on East St. Louis Lincoln which should be a great game between two teams who want to extend their seasons.

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