State Title Saturday! Four Games. Four Titles. We recap it all here in State Championship Saturday Notebook! Don’t have a subscription? Try it out at a special discounted rate of 30% by using code “Scottburgess30”. Gibault Catholic Takes Home 1A…
State Title Saturday! Four Games. Four Titles. We recap it all here in State Championship Saturday Notebook! Don’t have a subscription? Try it out at a special discounted rate of 30% by using code “Scottburgess30”.
Gibault Catholic Takes Home 1A Crown
The day opened up with the 1A championship as Gibault Catholic took on Scales Mound. The game was a two point contest at the half. In the second half Gibault Catholic blew it open and never looked back winning by a final of 65-45 over Scales Mound. The star of the day was Kaden Augustine. The senior guard was almost perfect in the title game as he had 24 points (6-7 FG) (3-4 3PT) (9-10 FT). Gavin Kesler brought the toughness for the 1A champs as he recorded 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Guard Hudson Blank also stepped up with a big game for 15 points (6-8 FG) (3-4 3PT). As a team in the title game they were 7-11 from deep for 63%
On the Scales Mounds side they got a nice outing from their star Thomas Hereau recording 24 points in the loss as he hit 5-7 from distance in the loss.
DePaul Prep’s Defense and Balance Lead to 2A Championship
The 2A state championship game featured a big time defense against a big time scorer. It also had 3 D1 2024 prospects who are teammates during the summer. DePaul Prep got out early behind their defense and never looked back as the Rams won the 2A state title 65-41. They face guarded Certa, pressured the ball, got in passing lanes, and played help D to win the title. Unsigned senior Maurice Thomas Maurice Thomas 6'1" | PG DePaul Prep | 2023 State IL is going to see his recruitment at the small college level pick up after the way he played at state. In the championship game he had 21 points along with numerous dimes and steals. Excellent defense making Certa work for everything. As a distributor he kicked to shooters and found McElroy inside for dunks. Of course he can score as he hit three triples along with getting in the lane and to the line. Inside their 2024 star big man Jaylan McElroy Jaylan McElroy 6'7" | PF DePaul Prep | 2024 State IL controlled the glass snatching them with ferocity and threw down big dunks. His defense both laterally and vertically was impressive in an a 11 point and 11 rebound outing. Their other D1 junior Payton Kamin Payton Kamin 6'8" | SG Worcester Academy | 2025 NLG got his 10 points in the flow of the offense making plays getting to the rim. PJ Chambers proved to be an x-factor for this team with his ability to get to the line and hit open shots for 8 points. Really like the upside of 2025 post Jonas Johnson Jonas Johnson 6'6" | PF DePaul Prep | 2025 State IL who flashed at state including the title game with 4 points.
For Bloomington Central Catholic Cole Certa Cole Certa 6'4" | SG Bloomington Central Catholic | 2024 #127 Nation FL tried everything he could to keep his team in the game. DePaul held him down about as well as you can, but the #3 junior in the state still managed 18 points including four triples with several coming from well beyond NBA range. Mixed in a couple floaters. High-major recruit that proved he can shoot it on a Big 10 floor.
Metamora Avenges Loss in Title Game A Year Ago
This was expected to be a classic and that it was. Metamora vs Simeon for 3A crown with so much on the line. Simeon wanted to send coach Robert Smith out on top and at the same time defeat Metamora who sent them home a year ago. Metamora was looking to win the state title after losing a heartbreaker last season in the title game.
Simeon was in control for most of the first half. They were getting the shots they wanted and defense was on point. A 10-0 run to start the second half changed everything for Metamora. Then it was on. Both teams threw haymakers back and forth. It went to overtime after Metamora used all their fouls to give to run Simeon down to a last second shot. In overtime Metamora made the key plays down the stretch including half court execution that won them the game. Metamora won 46-42.
Tyson Swanson Tyson Swanson 6'2" | SG Metamora | 2023 State IL was phenomenal in the second half. There were spurts where he put them on his back as the senior 6’2” shooting guard drained big threes that swung the momentum. Scored effectively from all three levels with a reverse layup, runner, two sweet mid-range jumpers, and those 3 triples. He had 20 points (7-10 FG). Tyler Mason Tyler Mason 6'2" | SG Metamora | 2024 State IL is a strong bodied junior two guard that put it on the deck for scores and on cuts to the hoop. He had 16 points.
Simeon didn’t end it quite how they wanted, but they still had a phenomenal season. Jacksonville point guard commit Jalen Griffith Jalen Griffith 5'10" | PG Simeon | 2023 State IL finished his fantastic high school career with another great outing. His slick ball handling, playmaking, and big shot making was on display especially in the mid-range as he had 15 points, 4 dimes, and 3 steals. Loyola signee Miles Rubin Miles Rubin 6'7" | PF Simeon | 2023 State #243 Nation IL controlled the game in the first half with his rebounding, shot blocking, and scoring inside. The big man had 12 points (5-8 FG), 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks.
Moline Captures First State Title in Win of #1 vs #2 in 4A Title Clash
Nine months ago at the Ridgewood Live Event on Day 2 in front of tons of D1 college coaches Moline scored an emotional victory over Whitney Young. Waiting next to the court was Benet to play them in a back to back for Moline. Moline didn’t have the energy they did in the first game and got blown out. Who would have thought 9 months later they would get a rematch for a state title?
Moline and Benet were the top 2 teams in 4A heading into the tournament. They played on Saturday night for the championship. Benet kept it close early as the two star point guards went back and forth. Iowa commit Brock Harding Brock Harding 6'0" | PG Moline | 2023 State #222 Nation IL for Moline and Johns Hopkins commit Brayden Fagbemi Brayden Fagbemi 5'11" | PG Benet | 2023 State IL for Benet traded baskets in the first half. Moline left no doubt in the second half with their play. I said before the year Moline was this years Glenbard West and they showed it with their passing, selfless play, and defense. They went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter, fouled out the majority of Benet’s team in the fourth, hit free throws, and won 59-42.
Iowa commit Brock Harding Brock Harding 6'0" | PG Moline | 2023 State #222 Nation IL was the best player in Champaign all weekend. He was masterful in the championship recording 28 points (7-11 FG) (3-6 3PT) (11-14 FT). Harding got whatever he wanted with his elite handles, shot making off the bounce, and floater game. Also got to the charity stripe at a super high clip. Their other Iowa commit Owen Freeman Owen Freeman 6'10" | C Moline | 2023 State #179 Nation IL had 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 dimes in the championship game. He controlled the glass, passed it well, and ran the floor. Role players did their job as always for this team. Senior sleeper Jasper Ogburn is a guard that scored through contact and hit the glass for 10 points. Grant Welch Grant Welch 6'1" | PG Moline | 2023 State IL went 6-6 from the line for his 8 points. The physical and versatile Treyvon Taylor Treyvon Taylor 6'4" | PF Moline | 2025 State IL rebounded in his area and scored when opportunities presented themselves as he went for 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Benet point guard
5'11" | PG
Benet | 2023
carried his team in the first half scoring all 12 of his points in the first two quarters. Hit a three to end the first quarter and showed off his slick handles. Andy Nash had a nice weekend in Champaign. In the championship he had 12 points including a pair of threes and a nice euro step. Tough game for Dartmouth commit
6'5" | SF
Benet | 2023
as he struggled to finish at the rim finishing 5-18 from the field for 10 points while grabbing 5 boards.