Boys Basketball

West climbs to No. 2 in Class 4A state poll

Belleville West junior EJ Liddell has led the Maroons to a 29 wins and the No. 2 rank in the Illinois class 4A high school basketball poll.
Belleville West junior EJ Liddell has led the Maroons to a 29 wins and the No. 2 rank in the Illinois class 4A high school basketball poll. Jimmy Simmons

The Belleville West Maroons climbed one spot to No. 2 in the Associated Press' Class 4A boys basketball poll Wednesday.

West, which clinched the Southwestern Conference championship Friday with a victory over Collinsville, defeated Alton 82-55 on Tuesday to improve to 24-2 overall and 13-0 in the league. The Maroons will play host to Granite City at 7:30 p.m. Friday in their final tuneup before the postseason begins next week.

"It is (an honor) and I think it's a credit to our kids and how consistent they've been all year," West coach Joe Muniz said of the poll. "Right now, we just have to make sure we stay consistent and take it one game at a time — and have a long postseason run. Our kids are excited. They want to finish the conference slate Friday the right way, and hopefully have an undefeated conference season."

West collected 75 points in the poll, 15 behind No. 1-ranked Simeon. The Maroons overtook Curie, which slipped to No. 3 with 74 points after a 71-59 loss to Orr on Friday. Orr is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.

The Maroons have been ranked third most of the season. Jumping one spot is nice, Muniz said, but it isn't West's focus.

"It's a great honor, a great tribute to the kids and our program," Muniz said. "(But) it's people's opinions who haven't seen us a lot. We don't really get too caught up in polls.

"We don't talk about state rankings. I don't think I've mentioned it one time all season. It's not something that motivates our kids. ... But any time you get ranked like that, it makes you proud."

Alton Marquette is sixth in the Class 3A poll, followed by Centralia. In Class 2A, Pinckneyville is third and Wesclin is 10th. Okawville received a vote in the Class 1A poll.

Class 4A

School W-L Pts Prv

1. Simeon (9) 25-3 90 1

2. Belleville West 24-2 75 3

3. Curie 22-3 74 2

4. Danville 23-2 67 4

5. Whitney Young 22-7 52 T5

6. Normal West 21-6 28 T5

7. Quincy 19-4 21 T10

8. Bloomington 18-7 15 8

9. Evanston Township 20-5 14 7

10. New Trier 22-3 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Moline 11. Niles North 10. Benet Academy) 10. St. Viator 5. Niles West 4. Naperville North 4. Maine South 2. Rockford Jefferson 1.

Class 3A

School W-L Pts Prv

1. Morgan Park (7) 18-9 88 2

2. Springfield Southeast (2) 22-3 82 1

3. Marian Catholic 20-4 67 4

4. Hillcrest 21-5 57 5

T4. Springfield Lanphier 22-3 57 3

6. Alton Marquette 28-0 44 6

7. Centralia 21-4 32 7

8. DePaul College Prep 20-6 31 8

9. Champaign Central 17-7 13 10

10. Decatur MacArthur 18-8 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 6. Burlington Central 6. Bogan 3.

Class 2A

School W-L Pts Prv

1. Orr (11) 23-4 110 1

2. Warsaw West Hancock 22-2 83 3

3. Pinckneyville 25-3 76 T4

4. Winnebago 24-2 75 2

5. Monticello 22-1 69 6

6. Leo 19-5 65 T4

7. Bloomington Central Catholic 21-6 42 8

8. Effingham St. Anthony 25-3 23 7

9. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 24-3 12 NR

10. Wesclin 24-4 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Eldorado 7. Corliss 6. St. Joseph-Ogden 6. Bureau Valley 5. Chicago Uplift 5. Teutopolis 4. Williamsville 3. Quincy Notre Dame 2. Farmington 2. Casey-Westfield 1.

Class 1A

School W-L Pts Prv

1. Aurora Christian (9) 22-1 108 1

2. DePue (1) 24-2 85 2

3. East Dubuque (1) 26-3 80 4

4. Annawan 25-3 75 5

5. Payson Seymour 26-2 68 3

6. Sterling Newman 23-4 57 6

7. Colfax Ridgeview 24-4 48 7

8. New Berlin 25-3 33 8

9. Cairo 21-5 22 9

10. Nokomis 21-7 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Newark 8. Quest Academy 5. Milford 4. Cissna Park 2. Okawville 1.

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