IHSA State Finals and season review!!!!!!
Crazy year ended with a surprise at State Finals and lots of discussion about possible changes.
Chicago Public League goes a second straight year without a state champion. From 2006-2019 they had at least one champion in a classification. 2020 and 2021 no tournament because of COVID19. Is this a trend? They did get four teams in Supersectionals this year but none won a title. Simeon Career Academy did lose in overtime in Class 3A title game, but the fear of playing Chicago Public League Red Division teams have disappeared.
Only one Chicago Area team won a State Title this season and that was DePaul College Prep (Chicago). Of course you do not usually see a team from the Chicago Area winning in Class 1A, but usually see them in Class 2A-4A. I think this years shows there's talented players and talented teams all over the state of Illinois.
Mid Pro Academy players showed out: Independent travel team based in Central Illinois had three players from their Independent National Championship team win state titles.
Ethan Kizer, Metamora
Brock Harding, Moline
Owen Freeman, Moline
At least one player from their younger players (maybe more):
Braden Freeman, Moline
Congrats to program director and coach Gavin Sullivan for the development of these players.
Illinois Wolves had State Champs:
Payton Kamin, DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
Jaylan McElroy, DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
Cole Certa, Central Catholic (Bloomington)
Meanstreets had players in Final Four:
Wes Rubin, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago)
Miles Rubin, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago)
Sam Lewis, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago)
Richard Barron III, St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago)
Breakaway Basketball had multiple players from North (Downers Grove) Jack Stanton the main player.
Class 1A: Gibault Catholic (Waterloo)
Class 2A: DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
Class 3A: Metamora (currently on a 32 game winning streak)
Class 4A: Moline
I received many tweets and DM's blowing up my phone during the State Finals about the Shot Clock. I did a video on my Facebook page about it. Made some suggestions. I may do a writeup in here with a synopsis of what I discussed. A hot topic though.
State Tournament schedule:
There was discussion about the format especially the third place games with teams playing hours after the semifinals were played on same day. Lots of people voiced their displeasure about that part of the format. Not sure what the fix is, but most agreed that something has to be done.
Interviews with the players were great the winners and losing teams were very gracious with the press. The media asked some great questions and the coaches and players gave some informative answers in the pressers.
On the floor:
It was great being on the floor up close seeing the celebrations of the winners on Championship Saturday and excruciating seeing the losing teams in tears on the court. This is why you compete though in Americas Original March Madness. It means so much to these players and coaches.
Robert Smith of Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) goes out not quite a champion:
HIs team may not have won on the court, but he's a champion in life. He gave every ounce of his energy to his team and the school to bring them another title. He's the GOAT of coaches in the state of Illinois with his record 6 State Titles, 8 Chicago Public League Titles and 512-89 in 18 years of coaching. Tim Flowers takes over the reins with a lot of live up to.
North (Downers Grove) making it to the State Finals for the first time.
Marmion Academy (Aurora) had it's best season in 47 years making the Supersectional
Central (Grayslake) making the Supersectional for the first time.
Perspectives Leadership (Chicago) making it to Supersectional for the first time and history for Chicago Public League Charter schools.
Jake Fiegen breaking the all time scoring record for career and season at New Trier (Winnetka)
East (Oswego) making the Supersectional for the first time.
I'm sure there are some accomplishments I missed but these immediately come to my mind.
Finally thanks to Matt Troha and all the staff at the IHSA for the hospitality and media access in Champaign at the State Farm Center. God willing all of us will be back next season. Take care and God Bless.