A final thought on the 28 teams that were still alive when the state boys basketball tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus.
Such a sad ending for the best team in school history. The absolute sky was the limit for the Trojans. Frank Jakubicek and Beau Frericks were terrific in the double-overtime win against Huntley in the sectional semis. This could have been the second team in Fox Valley history to advance to state.
Thanks to ALL the coaches, Tim, Mark and Kent. Coach Fritz! My oldest friend Coach Adams and Coach Theberge, who did so much for our team.Thanks to the seniors who set the bar higher than could be imagined.— Coach McCloud (@CaryGroveHoops) March 13, 2020
2020 FVC champs
Most wins in FVC history
Proud to #beCG pic.twitter.com/XzAlihnd5X
It’s hard to overstate just how brilliant the Condors were during the regular season. And they were playing their best basketball in March, even without suspended coach Mike Oliver. Ramean Hinton, Saiveon Williams and Elijah Pickens were poised to bring a state title back to Pulaski.
Not the ending we expected for 1 of the best teams in our history. Very proud of the great season our CONDORS had! We will miss the senior class which were part of an awesome 64-4 (32-1 v CPS) record, multiple tournament championships, and city title during the last two seasons. pic.twitter.com/5WSwola6Dz— Curie Basketball (@CurieBBall) March 14, 2020
East Aurora (24-10)
No one paid much attention to the Tomcats during the regular season. That changed in a hurry in March. Amarion Savage and Jacques Kelly led upsets of Oswego East and Bolingbrook on the way to the sectional final.
Not the ending they deserved, but the ending they got anyway. We are proud of U! U restored pride in the school & community & restored basketball on the East side. Thank you for your hard work & all you did. Seniors you’ve laid the foundation, thank you. #TomcatPride #WaveTheFlag pic.twitter.com/Nr1DemUHzO— EastAurora Athletics (@EATomcats) March 13, 2020
The Wildkits were robbed of a chance at three consecutive state finals appearances. The core of the team, juniors Jaylin Gibson, Blake Peters and Isaiah Holden, all return next year and the goal will be a state title.
It’s hard to fathom what’s transpired in the last couple of days, but thanks to everyone who supported Evanston basketball throughout the season. It wasn’t supposed to be our year, yet we proved everyone wrong and did incredible things. Can’t believe we’ll be seniors next year...— Blake Peters (@ballerblake34) March 13, 2020
Joliet West (29-4)
Jeremy Kreiger’s first season at the helm was a remarkable success. The Tigers outdid everyone’s expectations and were the favorites to win the Lockport Sectional and then faced a very winnable game in the ISU Supersectional. Jamere Hill was one of the season’s breakout stars, going from an unknown to a Toledo recruit.
Lake Park (25-8)
The Lancers were favored to win the Addison Trail sectional and had the firepower to wind up in Peoria with a good performance in the supersectional.
Lake Park wants to sincerely thank @LPBoysBBall the coaching staff, @lplancersnation and entire LP Community for outstanding season. No one expected it to end this way. Thanks seniors for your contributions to our program. Lancers 4 Life you will be missed but never forgotten pic.twitter.com/GKCPIEoBco— Lake Park Athletics (@LPAthleticDept) March 13, 2020
How far would the Ramblers’ top-notch defense have taken them in the tournament? We will never find out. They had already knocked off Evanston, the sectional final opponent, in the regular season.
Uncommon Times-Require Uncommon Leaders. This Team of 23 Ramblers-9 Seniors, excelled as Leaders in Our School, In Service all year long and on the Court. I have never been more Proud of a TEAM. Ramblers for Life-Brotherhood 2020!! Love You Guys. pic.twitter.com/gjUUR8OkhG— Rambler Basketball (@LAMensBBall) March 13, 2020
Marian Catholic (25-8)
Mike Taylor slowed it down and beat Bloom in one of the biggest shockers of the playoffs. Who knows how far the Spartans would have continued on after that burst of confidence.
This exciting, junior-laden squad was denied a chance at major playoff experience. It would have been extremely valuable for next season, when Conor Enright, Scottie Ebube, Jack Bikus and Trey Baker all return.
All Good things come to an end!— Mundelein High School Boys Basketball (@mustangsboysbb) March 13, 2020
1. Best team in school history
2. 30-4 record
3. Sweet 16 finish
4. 1st place at Mundelein Thanksgiving tournament
5. 2nd place at Collinsville Tournament
6. Bringing basketball back to Mundelein!
We will be back next year! #MundyvsEveryone pic.twitter.com/qGlhuMKRAT
Naperville Central (23-10)
Lake Park would have had its hands full with the Redhawks in the Addison Trail sectional final. They knocked off a very hot Glenbard East team to win a regional.
St. Charles North (24-9)
There really was no favorite in the McHenry sectional final. It’s possible the North Stars or Cary-Grove would have won it. The winner would have been the favorite in the supersectional. Luke Scheffers, Christian Czerniak and Connor Linke played a rugged schedule and were ready to compete in Peoria.
I want to start by thanking the team I was so grateful to be apart of. We made history this year boys. No one can take that away from us boys. For it to end this way is crazy. 2 games away from our goal. I love this team. #23 out ❤️ @bluefangroup @SCNBoysBB— Christian Czerniak (@cczerniak2020) March 13, 2020
One of the teams that was truly robbed of something special. Pat Ambrose was coaching his two sons, senior Matthew and junior Evan. The Patriots’ path to Peoria may have consisted of Mundelein and Loyola, two teams that they had already defeated.
Coach Ambrose, Coach Swan and the @SHS_BHOOPS team were scheduled to play for the Class 4A sectional title tonight. Instead, we are remembering their season.— Stevenson HS (@stevensonhs) March 14, 2020
•More team photos: https://t.co/Xh36JrtiTc
•Impact of COVID-19 on playoffs via @lcsportstalk: https://t.co/RrMIsdPe5O pic.twitter.com/aifJv1c0sy
Seeing Bloom lose must have opened up all the possibilities for DJ Williams and the Wildcats. Tai Streets’ gritty team were a joy to watch this season and deserved a chance to continue proving everyone wrong.
Love this team man. Best team in the state & 1 of best in Thornton history. Love being around this group and seeing them compete. Unfortunate way to have the season end. Thanks seniors for everything. My fav team ever. Amazing group of kids. La Familia 32-1 #TTHS @TthsVarsity pic.twitter.com/IkL3vrTVPC— Richie Rich (@KingRichie13) March 13, 2020
The Dolphins didn’t have many meaningful local wins in the regular season but that wasn’t stopping them from rolling through the playoffs again. DJ Steward was a giant-killer in the sectional semifinal against Simeon and it is entirely possible he would have led Young to the state title.
@WYoungBoysBball Seniors. This was their year but the world got in the way. ❤️ and gratitude to the players, coaches, families, and the Chicago community @YoungBBCoach @JonathanJames23 @MrsJBeard @michaelsobrien pic.twitter.com/Kb7nJVm8uV— Elizabeth Skinner (@easkinner) March 13, 2020
No one would have been surprised if the Redwings had found a way to upset the Red-South/Central powers and ended up playing for the state title. Coach Gene Heidkamp had an excellent blend of outside shooting and post scoring, led by Jack Prock and Colin Crothers.
Congratulations to Coach Heidkamp, his staff and the Varsity Boys Basketball Team. A very unfortunate end to a great season. A special shout-out to our Seniors for a great 4 years. @BenetHoops pic.twitter.com/yA3OMr1r32— Benet Athletics (@BenetAthletics) March 13, 2020
Antione Bloxton and the Bengals split with Morgan Park during the regular season and lost to Notre Dame by just two points so the Class 3A state title was clearly a real possibility for the Proviso West Holiday Tournament champs.
Hats off to our 9 seniors!! They finish with a 59-7 record over the last 2 yrs including: 2 Thanksgiving Tournament Champs, 2 Proviso West Tournament Champs, 2 Regionals, 1 Sectional, 1 Supersectional, State Finals runner up. pic.twitter.com/YiiWRDU6y2— Bogan Basketball (@BoganBasketball) March 13, 2020
Throw out the up and down regular season. Bryce Hopkins and Trey Pettigrew were an absolute load in the postseason. It’s likely the Friars would have given Notre Dame all it could handle in the supersectional and after than anything would have been possible, even a state title.
Tough end to a great season! 27-7(12-3), 3rd most wins in school history, Sectional Finalists, Regional Champs, CCL Runner Up, 5 CCL award winners including Lawless POY. Thanks to 3 amazing senior players (Sean Walsh,Ryan Planek,Cal Malchow) & Senior Mgr (Miles Bishop) @FenwickAD https://t.co/AyYkgfru9h pic.twitter.com/m7VpyNNGhl— Fenwick Basketball (@FenwickHoops) March 13, 2020
Cary-Grove wasn’t the Fox Valley’s only shot at Peoria. The Whip-Purs knocked off Rockford Boylan on the road in the sectional semifinal. Keep an eye on sophomore Keynan Davis, who scored 15 in the regional final win against Plano.
Thanks to all the players that put every ounce of themselves into this team. Thanks to the people that supported the program especially the parents of our players. To the seniors, sorry you can’t wear the Hampshire jersey 1 more time. We are proud of you & you will be missed #WE pic.twitter.com/iYr0fioyz9— Hampshire Basketball (@whipsbball) March 13, 2020
Hinsdale South (30-3)
The picture of Billy Durkin sitting alone at center court after the state tournament was canceled said it all, for everyone. It was the best season in school history for the Hornets and deserved a better ending.
Idk why I torture myself with this.. but watching the NFHS feed and seeing captain Billy Durkin in full uniform just sit at center court as his career is over really hits you hard. @kevin_schmit @michaelsobrien @doberhelman1 @joehoopsreport pic.twitter.com/Vk09rgZQmX— Hornet Basketball (@HinsdaleSouthBB) March 13, 2020
The Kays were better than everyone thought all season long. They dominated Oak Forest, everyone’s favorite story, in the sectional semis and were just the type of hard-nosed, rugged team that could have upset Morgan Park in the sectional final.
Due to COVID-19, it’s time to reflect on a historic 2019-2020 campaign for the Kankakee Fighting Kays. The Kays finished with the school’s best record ever (27-4) and multiple tournament titles, including their 2nd Regional title in 3 years and a Sweet 16 appearance. pic.twitter.com/QvcK5M1Q9K— Kankakee Basketball (@KaysBasketball) March 13, 2020
Morgan Park (22-9)
A mind-blowing collection of guard talent had started to hit its stride in March. Adam Miller and Marcus Watson Jr., two of the area’s most dazzling players over the past four years, were primed and ready to win a state title.
Notre Dame (29-5)
Teams like this rarely come along. Opportunities to win a state title arrive maybe once a generation for most schools. Sure, the Dons will be great again next season, but it is heartbreaking for the definitive best team in Class 3A to lose their chance at what would likely have been a state championship season.
Even though the world may not see it, @NDCP_Hoops are State Champs for the 19-20 season to all of us. Finishing the season with a record of 29-5! Regional Champs! Congrats! Thank You for an amazing season! #OurStateChamps #WeAreND #GreenBlooded @nddons @nddons_alums pic.twitter.com/QPzLu2JB62— Media Crew (@MediaCrew_NDCP) March 13, 2020
St. Ignatius (24-9)
The Cinderella story of March. No one expected the Wolfpack to beat DePaul Prep in the sectional semi, so why couldn’t Daniel Florey and Kolby Giles pull off another upset against Fenwick?
Thank you everyone for such an incredible season. Our varsity team finished the season 24-9, tying the school record for wins set in 1971. We won a Regional Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000. Our lower levels had a ton of success as well. pic.twitter.com/jMjk1hDnQn— Saint Ignatius Basketball (@SICPBB) March 13, 2020
St. Viator (22-9)
Everyone was looking forward to a St. Patrick vs. Notre Dame matchup in the sectional final but the Lions were having none of that. Connor Kochera and his teammates knocked off the Shamrocks and were smart and talented enough to have given the Dons a real challenge.
Unexpected end to our season, but one we will NEVER FORGET! 22-9 MLK Champs, Regional Champs, & Sectional Finalist! Thank you to our parents, fans and amazing Seniors! pic.twitter.com/KvvXPyhzKn— St.Viator Basketball (@stviatorbball) March 13, 2020
Another team robbed of a chance to continue the best season in school history. The Bulldogs won 20 games for the first time since 1979 and had an excellent chance to win their first ever sectional.
that the season was cut short for @GOWHS_BoysBBall but will be forever grateful for the team’s hard work and dedication. You ALL have changed the face of Wauconda Boys Basketball! Thank you for such a fun season! Thank you for the memories! ❤️Thanks 4 the photos .#WonAsOne pic.twitter.com/a1hziwmeVn— Mrs. Yost (@Mrs_Yost8) March 13, 2020
The Spartans had won three consecutive state titles and were the favorites to win it again. Demarius Splunge and his teammates even made the drive down to Peoria on Thursday. It’s hard to imagine how heartbreaking the drive home was.
Wow what a journey, these last past 4 years I’ve been threw so many ups & downs I were at a point to we’re I wanted to quit basketball. I just wanna thank the whole Orr Basketball staff for making me the person I am now.#2️⃣4️⃣Outtt pic.twitter.com/7dPvpyf8Cb— Demarius Splunge (@DemariusSplung7) March 13, 2020
Timothy Christian (28-5)
It was the first trip to state since 1980 for the Trojans, which knocked off St. Joseph in the playoffs. Scott Plaisier’s team didn’t receive any attention during the season, but played very competitive in losses to Bolingbrook and Benet, so they would have been very tough in Peoria.
Thank you to the TC Community for embracing this years team and being a part of this season with us. While it didn’t finish the way we wanted we know that the memories made and relationships built will last a lifetime and God’s perfect plan for our lives continues. pic.twitter.com/C5rRpgS4rV— TC Athletics (@TCSAthletics) March 14, 2020
Aurora Christian (25-6)
The third time was the charm against Indian Creek. High-scoring Taaj Davis and company was the only team to defeat the Timberwolves all season, so clearly their rugged schedule could have led to a state title.
Devastated for these boys. Did everything they could to get to this point. They truly embodied what a team should look like, played hard / played together. Couldn't me more proud of them. Seniors we are incredibly grateful. State Farm and Confernece Champions, IHSA Final Four.— AuroraChristianBoysBB (@boys_aurora) March 13, 2020