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Thursday, February 27

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Basketball Fri Mar 15 2013

Simeon, Morgan Park, and Orr After Glory in Peoria

php8vRhQNAM.jpgThough all level-headed people agree the Illinois High School Association made a serious blunder in moving to a four-class system (four classes meaning four "state champions") in boys' and girls' basketball, people in Chicago shouldn't complain. The post-two class era has been a boon for area schools -- in five years, six titles have gone to Chicago schools. After this weekend, that number should hit eight.

Morgan Park and Simeon are overwhelming favorites to capture hardware in the 3A and 4A classes, respectively, this weekend in Peoria. If Simeon can get past Proviso East -- last year's runner-up to the Wolverines -- in tonight's semifinal game, they should cruise to their fourth consecutive state championship.

Morgan Park, much too good for 3A, should walk to their first title since 1976. Orr is also in the semifinals of 3A, but some morally questionable decision-making on the part of the IHSA leave them vulnerable without solid senior Marquise Pryor.

Though I'm a bit biased about these things, having gone to the state tournament in Peoria my entire childhood, I can't help but think that the IHSA's horribly short-sighted decision to award four state championships robs basketball fans -- and players -- of a truly great (hypothetical) state championship. Can you imagine a third Morgan Park-Simeon game? Unfortunately, the IHSA can't -- Simeon, with 38 more students than Morgan Park, is placed in a class for "larger" schools. Morgan Park simply couldn't compete!

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

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