PEORIA -- We're courtside, and we're 30 minutes away from tipoff for the Class 1A state championship boys' basketball game, featuring a Salt Fork Storm team with 26 consecutive victories and a Sessier-Valier team which endured a stretch starting in early January when it lost seven of 10 games.
Sessier brings a 26-9 record into the finals. Salt Fork is 32-1, a school record for wins for the Catlin and Jamaica all-sports cooperative.
The 15-minute warmup clock has not yet started. Numerous area coaches are in attendance, including Westville's Jeff Millis and Watseka's Barry Bauer.
Bauer, incidentally, also coaches softball at Watseka and his school is scheduled to open its season on Monday against Salt Fork.
Madison captured the third-place trophy 75-56 over Lanark Eastland, which fell behind early 14-4 and never caught up. Eastland was without its scoring lader, Tony Dunlap, who dislocated his left shoulder in Friday's semifinal loss to Salt Fork.
Delandus Farrar scored 22 points for Madison and Brad Dunlap had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Eastland.
Kudos to Bismarck-Henning's Stephen Krout, who placed in a tie for eighth in the Class 2A three-point shooting contest. He hit 9 of 15 attempts and was one basket away from joining a shootout for the final four spots.
In the 2A slam-dunbk competition, Paxton-Buckley-Loda's Brandon Heyen placed fourth, four points behind the winner.