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Large schools eye finals in Peoria this weekend

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Mooseheart bested Heyworth and took home the first place trophy at the Class 1A boys finals in Peoria this past weekend and Bloomington Central Catholic holds the 2A hardware after a thrilling three overtime win over Nashville.

The large schools in Class 3A and 4A now hope to do the same this coming Friday and Saturday. One item remains on each team's agenda before heading to Peoria, however, and that would be a victory in the elite eight tomorrow night.

Peoria Notre Dame will take on upstart Rockford Lutheran at DeKalb on Tuesday in Class 3A with a trip to the finals on the line. Both teams were not expected to be here, but, now that they are, will be going for broke. Cahokia faces Lincoln at Springfield in the other half of the top bracket. The lower bracket features a great match up in Bogan vs. Morgan Park at Joliet and an equally tantalizing game in Orr vs. North Chicago at Hoffman Estates. Morgan Park is loaded with talent and is trying to defend last year's 3A crown while Luwanne Pipkens has heads spinning for Bogan. Orr may be without Tyquon Greer, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the calf a week ago, but they still have big Marlon Jones to rely on.

The 4A bracket is loaded from top to bottom with great teams and talent to match. Jahlil Okafor, Paul White and company will lead Whitney Young against an outstanding Loyola outfit at Chicago State on Tuesday. The winner will face the winner of Rockford Auburn vs. Lincolnshire Stevenson who will meet in DeKalb. Stevenson, of course, is led by Jalen Brunson and Auburn, while being without Wichita State's Fred Van Fleet this time around, still has plenty to impress. In the bottom half of the bracket, Edwardsville will take on Tyler Ulis and Marian Catholic at Normal and Benet, led by big Sean O'Mara, will face somewhat surprising Glenbard North and Jeremiah Fleming. North survived what may have been the most hard fought and exciting sectional last week at Bartlett.

All in all, it makes for an exciting week of high school basketball ahead. Good luck to all teams.

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