Boys Hoops: East outlasts South Elgin to win sectional title

E-Rabs one win from state

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – The East E-Rabs used a dominant advantage on the boards to beat South Elgin, 64-54, to move one win away from the school’s first state appearance in 41 years.

The Storm were coming off an impressive 57-35 beatdown of Harlem with 6-7 center Vincent Miszkiewicz leading the way with 15 rebounds.

Miszkiewicz was effective Friday in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Rock Valley College but never dominant, and Sha’den Clanton led a team effort on the boards. Miszkiewicz had 11 rebounds, but no other South Elgin player had more than five as the E-Rabs dominated the glass 43-27.

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Andres Thompson led the way with nine rebounds, Clanton had eight and Markarious Luster added seven as the E-Rabs proved to be quicker to loose balls.

Clanton also had the game’s defining play. The E-Rabs built a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter only to see the Storm come storming back to cut the lead to three points. Clanton regained the momentum by throwing down a dunk over Miszkiewicz, drawing the center’s fourth foul, and completing the three-point play. South Elgin would never cut the lead under six again.

Chris Burnell was his usual solid self. He led the E-Rabs with 16 points, including hitting eight-of-10 free throws and four assists with zero turnovers. Clanton had 14 points to go along with the eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Sincere Parker added 13 and Thompson 10.

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This was the second sectional title won by the E-Rabs under coach Roy Sackmaster and just the third since the 1977-1978 season when the E-Rabs made a surprising run to state behind the play of John Griffin and the coaching of Ike Johnson.

The E-Rabs can end that state drought on Tuesday at the NIU Convocation Center. East will play Geneva, which beat Downers Grove North, 75-70, Friday. Geneva is 32-1 with its only loss to Lake Park back on Jan. 11. R.

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