High School Lites airs the final episode of the 2018-19 season on Saturday night as we have highlights and features from the IHSA boys basketball state playoffs and Illinois high school hockey.
With boys basketball championships being decided in Class 3A and 4A in Peoria, it will be a busy weekend filled with great teams and huge matchups filled with stars. Be sure to watch NBC Sports Chicago all weekend as we'll have full coverage of both the Class 3A and 4A games beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday.
DePaul Prep vs. Bogan, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- The Catholic League and Public League battle for a spot in the Class 3A finals in this one. DePaul Prep (25-9) is peaking at the right time behind a group of seniors that includes Perry Cowan, Raheem Anthony, Lance Mosley and Pavle Pantovic. The Rams want to keep Bogan under 60 points in this one as DePaul Prep is 0-5 this season when its opponent breaks the 60-point mark. Bogan (29-3) is in the final four for the first time in school history behind a loaded group with big expectations. Senior big man Rashaun Agee is the best big man the Chicagoland area has seen this season while guards Jordan Booker and Antoine Bloxton provide perimeter scoring. Bogan's only three losses this season have come to conference rival Morgan Park (who they beat in the sectional finals in the rematch), Class 2A champion Orr and the No. 1 team in the state Curie.
East St. Louis vs. Peoria Manual, 12:45, NBC Sports Chicago -- Two teams familiar with the state finals go head-to-head in the second 3A semifinal. East St. Louis (28-6) has played one of the state's toughest schedules with wins over Missouri-champion Vashon, Class 2A champion Orr and 4A contender Belleville West during the season. Senior Terrence Hargrove Jr., a Saint Louis commit, is having a strong season. Peoria Manual (19-11) lost three straight games entering the tournament but turned it around for five straight wins. Junior guard Pee Wee Brown had a big game in supersectionals as he's the team's leading scorer.
We’re breaking down the Class 3A &4A matchups! Which teams will bring home the 🏆 this weekend? https://t.co/nBDSK1kIzy— Preps Talk (@NBCSPreps) March 13, 2019
Evanston vs. Rockford East, 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two 30-win teams collide in this opener in 4A. Evanston (31-4) is back in Peoria for the second straight season after last year's third-place finish. Seniors Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost are a huge part of the Wildkit attack as the perimeter trio has played a lot of games together. Rockford East (34-2) is having a monster season behind senior guard Chris Burnell and junior guard Sincere Parker. One of the best one-two combos of the weekend, the E-Rabs are making their first state appearance since 1984.
Belleville West vs. Curie, 7:15 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago
The matchup everyone has been waiting for finally goes down to end Friday night. Defending Class 4A champion Belleville West (32-4) is dominant once again as reigning Mr. Basketball E.J. Liddell, an Ohio State commit, is having another great season. Curie (34-1) has yet to lose to an Illinois opponent this season as they are a balanced team led by star DaJuan Gordon, a Kansas State commit. The Condors have plenty of weapons, including seniors Justin Harmon, Damari Nixon and Trevon Hamilton while junior Ramean Hinton is a threat from three-point range as well. Both of these teams are nationally-ranked as this will be one of the most highly-anticipated semifinals of the past decade.
Just two days left in the Illinois high school basketball season!— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) March 14, 2019
Catch the @IHSAState Class 3A & 4A Semifinals tomorrow on @NBCSChicago.
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