Flyers soar to first state title

The East St. Louis Flyers Boys basketball team set a goal of winning a state championship during the summer of 2018.

The Flyers were able to cash in Saturday night with a thrilling 68-63 overtime victory against Chicago Bogan to win the IHSA Class 3A state championship.

East Side finished a brilliant 2018-19 campaign with an overall record of 30-6, a Southwestern Conference championship and their first state championship in school history.

In front of a huge contingent of East St. Louis fans draped in orange and blue, the Flyers made their community known as the City of Champions proud once again.

First team All-State performer Terrance Hargrove Jr. was not going to be denied in his quest for a state championship this season. The Saint Louis University recruit put on show in front of a capacity crowd as he erupted for 34 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Junior point guard Jashawn Anderson was also spectacular in the championship game with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Bogan’s 6’8” senior forward Rashaun Agee paced the Bengals with 24 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with 21.1 seconds remaining in overtime.

However, this game turned into arguably one of the greatest games in Illinois High School Association basketball history with the score being tied four times with three lead changes. East St. Louis never had a lead in the game until 46 seconds remaining in overtime.

With the Flyers trailing 53-51, Hargrove Jr. rebounded a missed attempt by Chicago Bogan guard Jeremiah Washington with 19 seconds left in regulation. Flyers head coach Mark Chambers took a time-out. Bengals Jordan Booker fouled guard Jashawn Anderson with four seconds remaining that set-up the biggest play in the East St. Louis season.

Anderson made the front end of the two-shot foul. However, the second shot by Anderson rattled off the front of the rim and Robinson crashed the boards with a thunderous dunk off the miss with three seconds left to send the game into overtime and the Flyers’ fans into a frenzy.

In overtime, the Bengals took a 9-54 with 2:35 remaining on a layup by Antonie Bloxton. Both teams went back-and-forth until East St. Louis took the lead for good (64-63) on a jumper by Hargrove with 34 seconds remaining.

A steal by Flyers guard Jashawn Anderson with 21 seconds left sealed the deal for East St. Louis Senior High school and its first State championship in basketball ever. The championship trophy presentation sent the large flyers crowd into a frenzy.

Loyal East St. Louis basketball fans hadn’t experience this feeling in basketball since East St. Louis Lincoln won consecutive titles from 1986-89.

Scott’s Notes from Peoria:

  • Flyers senior Terrence Hargrove Jr. performance in Peoria last week was one for the ages. With the abundance of talent displayed during this year’s finals from Chicago Currie, Evanston Township, Belleville West and Chicago Bogan. Hargrove was clearly the best player last weekend at the Peoria Civic Center in both 3A and 4A classes.
  •  It must be noted that Flyers’ guard Elijah Rice played his best basketball of season. The senior guard’s stock rose during tournament play and he is an excellent student.
  • The Flyers will return several key players for the 2019-20 season. Guards Jashawn Anderson, Jabril Oliveria, Lashaun Johnson 6’4”, 6’8” center Armond Williams, 6’5” combo guard Brian Calhoun, 6’3” guard Kentrell Cox and shooting guard Andre Gillespie will set the stage for another flyer run in 2020.
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