Peoria Central Still Class AA Title Favorite Despite Suffering First Loss
January 5, 2003
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Despite losing over the weekend to Indiana’s defending Class 4A state champion, Peoria Central remains the clear favorite to repeat as Illinois Class AA state champion. Before losing to Indianapolis Pike over the weekend, Central had rattled off 40 consecutive wins.
Central now 11-1 has played a grueling early season schedule against some of the top high school teams in the United States. Central’s schedule, which still includes a February 21 matchup against Justin Cerasoli, Shaun Pruitt and West Aurora, should have them more than ready to defend their state title come tournament time.
Central’s smothering defense, and an offensive attack keyed by Shaun Livingston (Duke) and Brandon Lee (Northwestern), makes upsetting the Lions a very difficult task. Chicago Simeon, which features a lineup that is tall, long, athletic and capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter, just might be the team capable of giving Central the most problems. West Aurora, Homewood-Flossmoor, Thornton and Chicago Von Steuben also loom as potential spoilers to Central’s title run.