Area Coaches In Favor Of IHSA State Change

Local Sports

PEORIA, Ill. — Area coaches are giving a thumbs up to the Illinois High School Association schedule change for the girls and boys state basketball tournaments.

The IHSA board of directors voted to approve one-weekend state finals for both boys and girls basketball. All four classifications of girls basketball teams will play their state semifinal and championship games in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday stretch first.

Then the four classes of boys teams will do the same in a three-day tournament finals the following week. Currently it takes four weekends to determine the girls and boys state championships. 

“It will definitely be good for a basketball junkie. You’ve got Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Apparently, it’s going to be an all-day thing,” said Peoria Manual’s Willie Coleman, who coached his Rams to state in March. “You’re going to have games all day. That will be good.” 

The new format will take effect in March 2021.

“To have everybody there, depending on how the logistics are and all that, it should be a positive thing,” said Morton girls basketball coach Bob Becker, who has won three of the past four years. “To kind of bring the whole state of girls basketball together at once, the whole state of boys basketball together at once, to see the best play and compete on that last weekend. It could be a neat thing.”

Currently the girls state finals are played at Redbird Arena and the boys state tournament at Carver Arena in Peoria.

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