News-Gazette prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner's recap of prep highlights from the recently completed week:
1. Champaign Central boys' basketball. The senior-led Maroons won two of three games and secured a third-place finish in the inaugural Class 3A state tournament.
Fred Kroner's random thoughts
WHAT CHAMPAIGN NEEDS
PEORIA – They represent three generations of Champaign high school students. They are individuals whose teenage years are known historically for wars and conflicts.
Ted Beach was raised during World War II. Clyde Turner finished his high school career while the Vietnam conflict was on the minds of youngsters. The turbulence during Verdell Jones' time at the school has centered around the Iraq War.
PEORIA – Less than 19 hours earlier, their dreams of being state champions had been dashed.
What was left for the Champaign Central Maroons in a late-morning tipoff at Carver Arena was the prospect of a Class 3A third-place trophy.
PEORIA – Students, parents, teachers and graduates of Central High School filled their corner of Peoria's Carver Arena with maroon Friday afternoon – and with the excitement of seeing their team in the state basketball tournament for the first time in 39 years.
"This is pretty monumental," said junior Sara Salmon. "The fact that it's happening while I'm here (at Central) is lucky for me."
PEORIA -- Champaign Central can still win its final game of the boys' basketball season.
The Maroons will have that opportunity Saturday but not in the game they wanted. Central was thrust into the third-place contest of the IHSA Class
3A state tournament by a Chicago Simeon team chasing a third straight state championship.
Senior voices his desire to be sports broadcaster
CHAMPAIGN – Some of us recognize Chris Lehmann in different ways than others.
He's the Champaign Central senior basketball player who is known for wearing a white head- band, as well as adding inside muscle during the tournament series as the Maroons secured a long-sought state tournament berth.
His 80-foot heave lifted Franklin to eighth-grade title
CHAMPAIGN – Verdell Jones already has one state title on his basketball resume.
Gurnee Warren's Boothe the latest in a long line of standout family athletes.
GURNEE -- If you believe in the power of the genes, then you had to think Sarah Boothe would make a name for herself in athletics.
NAME SCHOOL HT. YR. COMMENT
Brooke Bisping Morton 5-8 Jr. Regarded as best player in Peoria area, led 18-12 team in scoring (21.1) and averaged 6.1 rebounds per game. Has 1,394 career points and 163 career threes.
Sarah Boothe Gurnee Warren 6-5 Sr. Stanford recruit ranked 30th nationally by Blue Star, scored in double figures in 30 of 31 games as a senior; for her 129-game career, averaged 15.8 points.