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Moline basketball fans supporting championship-bound team to the very end

The Moline Maroons are now just one step away from making history in their quest for a state championship.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — March Madness is taking over from around the bi-state region as the Moline Maroons are now a step away from making history in their quest for a first-ever State championship after beating Downers Grove 50-36.

"It was phenomenal," long-time fan Tracy Hughes said. "It was a phenomenal experience. I was born and raised in Moline. We follow Moline sports for as long as I can remember."

Hundreds of fans continue to drive the team to success as the support filled the stands at the State Farm Center in Champaign. 

"It was just a flood of Moline," Hughes added.

People decked out in their maroon attire lined most sections around the arena.

"It's just been a real pleasure and joy to watch them play as a team," Hughes said. "This team is absolutely solid. I've never seen such a solid, well-built team together in unity."

She said it's not just strong players on the court, but also from the fanbase, and Moline fans young and old were there to back that up.

"I'm here for the experience," a student said. "It's really cool to see them come this far."

"When adversity is against them, they work as a team," another student said.

Moline students were given a half-day of school Friday to travel to the tournament.

This is the Maroon's first appearance in the championship match since 1951 and the first time they've made it to the tournament since 2004.

The Class 4A championship match between the #2 Moline Maroons and #1 Lisle Benet Redwings will tip off at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 11 at the State Farm Center.

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