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.
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.
Watch all of News 8's high school basketball highlights on its YouTube channel