IHSA Boys Championship SATURDAY!!!!!!
Title time. Four games four champions crowned. Here we go:
Gibault Catholic (Waterloo) vs Scales Mound:
Scales Mound has only 70 students half of what Gibault Catholic has but they are here. Their key players are Thomas Hereau (6'2" junior guard) and Jacob Duerr (6'0" senior guard). Gibault Catholic counters with Kaden Augustine (6'1" senior guard) and Kameron Hanvey (5'10" senior guard). Scales Mound will press and run as will Gibault Catholic. Something has to give here.
DePaul College Prep (Chicago) vs Central Catholic (Bloomington):
Travel teammates Payton Kamin (6'8" junior wing), Jaylan McElroy (6'7" junior forward) of DePaul Prep and Cole Certa (6'5" junior guard) of Central Catholic play for Illinois Wolves on the travel circuit. They are playing for bragging rights as well as a State Title. Key players to me are Maurice Thomas (6'0" senior guard) of DePaul Prep and Collin Hayes (6'6" junior center) of Central Catholic. Whichever has a big game will go a long way toward their team winning the title.
Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) vs Metamora:
Lots of storylines here as Robert Smith will be coaching his last high school game as he's retiring. Looking for his record 7th State Title. Metamora kept them from winning last year with an upset in semifinals, and they are looking for their first title. They lost in double overtime in this game last season so they are very motivated. Have won 31 straight games and have not lost in 2023. Rubin twins Miles (6'10" senior) and Wes (6'9" senior) will be key with their rim protection. Metamora likes to attack the basket off the dribble as well as spread you out and hit threes. Ethan Kizer (6'6" senior wing), Tyson Swanson (6'2" senior guard) and Luke Hopp (6'8" junior) will be key on the glass for Metamora. Point guard matchup of Jalen Griffith (5'10" senior) of Simeon and Tyler Mason (6'1" junior guard) will be worth the price of admission. Get your popcorn ready.
Benet Academy (Lisle) vs Moline:
Benet has not lost in 2023 and only one game all year. Moline has played a tough schedule and has two high major commits both to Iowa (6'0" senior point guard Brock Harding and 6'10" senior center Owen Freeman). Benet has a young man who's committed to a division three school (Johns Hopkins) in point guard Brayden Fagbemi (6'0" senior point guard) who could play at a higher level. Thing is he wants to be a surgeon. They have an Ivy League commit in jumping jack Niko Abusara (6'6" senior wing), a Dartmouth commit. How much will losing Brady Kunka to an ankle injury early in semifinal hurt Benet? Harding vs Fagbemi will be worth the price of admission. Once again get your popcorn ready. Benet also beat Moline in the summer at the Ridgewood Shootout. Fagbemi totally outplayed Harding in that one. Yes it's only summer basketball, but Moline I'm sure has not forgotten.