The Okawville Rockets will make a second straight trip to the Class 1A state boys basketball tournament and will take on Goreville in the second of two semifinal games at 12:45 p.m. Friday at the Peoria Civic Center.
Annawan will play Sterling Newman in the first game at 11 a.m. The semifinal winners will meet for the Class 1A state title at 12:45 p.m. Saturday. The third-place game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Sterling (Newman Central Catholic) (28-4)
Coach: Ray Sharp (11th season, 225-95)
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Classification enrollment: 231
Conference: Three Rivers Athletic
State tournament history: This is the Comets' second trip to the IHSA state basketball tournament.
Last season's advancement: Lost to Winnebago 67-66 in Class 2A regional final
Key players: Sr. Gehrig Koerner (4.8 ppg, 82 rebounds); Jr. Brycen Bartel (7.3 ppg, 103 rebounds, 82 assists); Sr. Travis Williams (13.8 ppg, 302 rebounds, 88 assists); Soph. Devon House (18.6 ppg, 299 rebounds, 88 assists)
Coach: Todd Tripp (14th season, 284-138)
Classification enrollment: 192
State tournament history: This is the first state tournament appearance for Goreville.
Last season's advancement: Lost to Mounds (Meridian) 75-69 in the regional final
Key players: Sr. Peyton Geyman (3.5 ppg, 93 rebounds, 31 assists); Sr. Peyton Massey (10.5 ppg, 59 rebounds, 35 assists); Sr. Braden Webb (18.5 ppg, 135 rebounds, 133 assists); Sr. Cole Tosh (6.3 ppg, 213 rebounds); Sr. Tanner Dunn (11 ppg, 225 rebounds, 53 assists)
Coach: Jon Kraus (18th season, 364-223)
Classification enrollment: 178
Colors: Royal Blue/Orange
State tournament history: This is the Rockets' ninth trip to the state tournament.
Last season's advancement: Lost to Effingham (St. Anthony) 49-46 in the state championship game
Key players: Sr. Payten Harre (10.3 ppg, 98 rebounds, 113 assists); Sr. Caleb Frederking (7.2 ppg, 102 rebounds, 121 assists); Jr. Will Aubel (7.8 ppg, 101 rebounds, 63 assists); Jr. Wyatt Krohne (8.8 ppg, 61 rebounds, 58 assists); Sr. Luke Hensler (14.5 ppg, 245 rebounds, 58 assists)
Coach: Alex Coppejans (4th season, 91-38)
Classification enrollment: 104
Conference: Lincoln Trail
State tournament history: This is the Braves' third trip to the state tournament.
Last season's advancement: Lost to Aurora (A. Christian) 50-47 in the sectional semifinal
Key players: Sr. Ben Buresh (12.5 ppg, 241 rebounds, 92 assists); Sr. Brendon Shaw (8.8 ppg, 121 rebounds, 71 assists); Sr. Jacob Wolf (6.1 ppg, 121 rebounds, 36 assists); Sr. Owen Landwehr (19.3 ppg, 196 rebounds, 112 assists); Sr. Dante Weathersby (4.1 ppg, 103 rebounds, 58 assists)