Welcome to Championship Day! Three teams have the opportunity to win back-to-back titles when they play later today — Camp Pt. Central/Augusta Southeastern girls, St. Joseph-Ogden boys and Normal Community girls.
All games today will be held at Illinois Wesleyan’s Shirk Center. Third-place games will be played in the morning, with championship games starting at 3:30 p.m.
Small School Girls: 3:30 p.m.
Newcomer Galena will take on top-seed Camp Pt. Central/Augusta Southeastern. In the semifinals, Galena outlasted Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, 25-21, while Camp Pt. Central/ASE outscored Kankakee Bishop McNamara 21-8 in the second half for a 39-25 victory. This will be the 5th tournament trophy for CSE who has participated in the Holiday Classic since 1997, all under head coach Matt Long.
Small School Boys: 5:15 p.m.
St. Joseph-Ogden returns to the title game after running away from Pecatonica in one semifinal, 91-61. SJO looks to become the first small school boys back-to-back champion since Quincy Notre dame in 2015 & 2016. Their opponent will be El Paso-Gridley, a 64-33 victor over top-seeded Aurora Christian. EPG last won the Holiday Classic 1992 (participating as just Gridley), placed second in 2021, and made the Grand Championship crossover games in both 1990 and in 1999 when they faced large-school champ South Holland Thornwood and future Chicago Bulls draft pick Eddy Curry.
Large School Girls: 7:00 p.m.
Top-seed Normal Community defeated Washington last night and will now oppose the 7-seed Morton, who outlasted Quincy in overtime, 42-40. The storied Morton program will take home their 13th tournament trophy in 17 appearances, all under head coach Bob Becker. Normal looks to capture their third title in SFHC history. Head coach Dave Feeney was at the helm for the previous two titles in 2003 and again last year.
Large School Boys: 8:45 p.m.
Top-seeded Normal Community takes on first-time SFHC-participant Aurora Metea Valley in the nightcap. Normal squeaked by Romeoville, 66-65. Metea Valley had an equally close semifinal, edging Bradley-Bourbonnais, 59-58. The Ironmen are looking for their 8th Classic championship which would break their own tournament record (7). This championship game appearance ties them for most all-time (10) with Bloomington Central Catholic. Metea Valley is looking to become the first 6-seed in tournament history to win a boys’ championship.
Tidbits from Day 3 action at the 2023 State Farm Holiday Classic
Twice as nice
Normal Community looks to become only the third school in tournament history to win both boys and girls championship titles in the same year. Numerous schools have had both teams in a championship tilt in the same year, but both winning the whole thing has only happened twice:
1997 – both Galesburg teams each won the Grand Championship trophy
2018 – Bloomington Central Catholic teams won both of the Small School brackets
Make that Six
This will be Morton’s sixth Championship game appearance on the girls’ side, which ties them for 2nd all-time with Galesburg and Peoria Richwoods. Bloomington Central Catholic has the most title game appearances with ten.
Last year, Camp Pt. Central/Augusta Southeastern became the first 7-seed in girls tournament history to win a championship. Morton looks to make it back-to-back as they take their 7-seed to tonight’s title game.
Four first-time participants will go home with trophies. In addition to Galena and Aurora Metea Valley in championship games, Pecatonica and Quincy are both competing in third-place games.
Bloomington Central Catholic’s Cate Uhren recorded her 1000th career point in the Saints’ victory over Paris in consolation bracket play.
Plenty of Stars, but Recognizing Stripes
Long-term officials Keith Johnson (Champaign) and Edgar Brummett (Decatur) will be working their final State Farm Holiday Classic. Both have been part of the officiating crew for many years. Johnson will be the referee in the Small School Boys championship, and Brummett will lead the crew in the Large School Boys finale. The SFHC thanks them for their years of service!
Top Scorers – Day 3 (20 points minimum)
Small School Girls
Lauren Emm – Bloomington Central Catholic 23
Kailey Young – Paris 23
Large School Girls
Olivia Corson – Normal Community 24
Addison Tarr – Taylorville 22, 21
Addy Engel — Morton 21
Mia Gaines – Chicago Hyde Park 21
Nikkel Johnson – Kankakee 21
Small School Boys
Coy Taylor – St. Joseph – Ogden 31
Dylan Nowaskie – Stanford Olympia 28
Crayton Schnierle – Bloomington Central Catholic 26
Aidan Coln – East Dubuque 25
Micah Meiss – El Paso-Gridley 23
Vontez Dent – Rockford Lutheran 22, 20
Ed Lorton – Minonk Fieldcrest 21
Ayden Jensen – Downs Tri-Valley 20
Jacob Tanner – St. Joseph-Ogden 20
Large School Boys
Desean Patton – Oswego 36
EJ Mosley, Jr. – Romeoville 30
Luke Smith – Addison Trail 30
Mason Walsh – Machesney Park Harlem 30
Nick Allen – Bradley-Bourbonnais 28
Leshawn Stowers – Peoria 24
Braylon Roman – Normal Community 24
Luca Carbonaro – Wheaton Warrenville South 22
Noah Cleveland – Normal Community 22
Bryce Musgrave – Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin 22
Devarus Spann – Chicago North Lawndale 22