MOLINE, Ill. — The cheers could practically be heard all the way in Moline from the State Farm Center in Champaign on Saturday night as the Moline Maroons entered the stadium in the Illinois State Basketball Championship.
The Maroons took home the state championship title against the Lisle Benet Redwings 59-42. It took 72 years for the team to make it to a championship game, and now they finally have that title.
The team is expected to be back at the Wharton Field House Sunday between 1:30 and 2 p.m. They'll have a police escort bringing them to the Field House from 41st Street down Avenue of the Cities at 1:45 p.m. The field house will open to the public between 12:30 and 1 p.m.
It was quite the journey for the Maroons this year, who sat at 33-3 before Saturday night's game against Lisle, who had a 34-1 record.
Moline led Lisle 17-15 after the first quarter and 32-25 heading into halftime. Senior Brock Harding led all scorers with 17 points by half. Harding would go on to finish with 28 points.
Moline's starting five of Harding, Owen Freeman, Treyvon Taylor, Jasper Ogburn and Grant Welch stymied Benet with excellent defense while each adding valuable contributions on the offensive end. Braden Freeman also contributed to the Maroons' scoring effort.
This Moline team has etched its name into Illinois prep sports history with dominant victories throughout the postseason. The Maroons are just the second Illinois Quad Cities boys' team to earn a state championship, joining the 2011 Rock Island Rocks squad that achieved the same feat in class 3A. Joining Belleville West, Moline is one of just two non-Chicagoland programs to win the class 4A title.
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