CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (WMBD) – The Central Catholic Saints fell one win short.
lost the IHSA 2A boys basketball state championship 65-41 against Chicago DePaul College Prep beat the Saints, 65-41, in the class 2A state basketball title game at State Farm Center on Saturday afternoon.
Saints star Cole Certa was double-teamed for much of the game. He finished with 18 points and four three-pointers.
DePaul jumped out quick on the Saints, who never led during the game. Central Catholic kept it close in the first quarter when Certa hit a jumper with 1:31 left to cut the deficit to 9-8.
But DePaul went on a 9-0 run to extend its lead to 18-8 to start the second quarter and Central Catholic was never able to get closer than five points.
With two seconds left in the first half, junior Charlie Graham hit a three-pointer off the backboard. The Saints trailed 28-19 at the half.
DePaul outscored the Saints 14-5 in the third quarter, which included a 13-1 run. DePaul’s leading scorer was Maurice Thomas, who finished with 17.
The win gave the long-storied Chicago DePaul program its first state title.
The Saints finish the season 26-12 as state runner-ups after finishing fourth in the Illini Prairie Conference. Their run to the state finals was highlighted by edging crosstown rival Normal U-High 72-69 in the sectional final and beating conference rival Pontiac 67-53 in the super sectionals.