Champaign Central will sell tickets to the IHSA Class 3A/4A state tournament in Peoria starting today.
Single-session tickets, priced at $8.50, will be available at the school athletic office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
The schedule for this weekend's Class 3A Final Four at Peoria's Carver Arena:
SPRINGFIELD – Time has a way of changing everything.
Champaign Central hasn't had a boys' basketball team play in a state tournament game during the lifetime of any current squad member.
SPRINGFIELD – One team is returning to the boys' state basketball tournament for the first time in 39 years.
The other is the two-time defending state champion among Illinois' big schools.
CHAMPAIGN – Hey there! Have you heard the story about the Champaign high school basketball team which played the state's No. 1 team?
How about the state-ranked team which made some late- season changes to its starting lineup to make the Sweet 16 with, among others, Mount Vernon?
Staff writer Jeff Huth offers five thoughts on tonight's Class 3A super-sectional matchup between Champaign Central and Mount Vernon in Springfield:
When the Mount Vernon boys' basketball team returned from the season-opening Alton Thanksgiving Tournament with an 0-4 record, Doug Creel was braced for the worst,
"I was worried about us winning five games," the Rams coach said. "There were five, maybe six games we figured we might be able to win."
MOUNT ZION – Donald Stewart began to feel the cramping in his left leg during the second quarter. By the fourth period Friday night, the Champaign Central senior was in serious distress.
Several times Stewart exited not only the game, but the gym – following a trainer out to a Mount Zion High School hallway to stretch the leg and do some light running.
MOUNT ZION – The mood in the Champaign Central locker room Friday was a little different than it was two years ago. Donald Stewart and Verdell Jones, then sophomores, watched as their senior teammates wept after falling to Bloomington in the sectional championship game that year.
"Damien Henderson, our big man, came up to me and V and said, 'Remember this feeling, because when you're back here in two years ya'll are not going to want to feel like this,' " Stewart said.
Verdell Jones cringes at the thought.
He wants nothing to do with suggestions that Champaign Central versus Decatur Eisenhower ultimately is about the matchup between superlative point guards. Ultimately about Verdell Jones versus Lewis Jackson.