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Mooseheart takes step toward history

Published: Friday, March 14, 2014 11:44 p.m. CDT
(Fred Zwicky)
Mooseheart forward Makur Puou dunks the ball against Mendon Unity during 1A state semifinal at Carver Arena in Peoria. Mooseheart won 74-61.

PEORIA – Makur Puou doesn't know much about Illinois high school basketball history.

"No, I don't know," the 6-foot-10 Mooseheart senior from South Sudan said.

Still, the Mooseheart senior and his teammates stand on the verge of it for their tiny school of 116 students.

The Red Ramblers defeated Mendon Unity 74-61 on Friday in a Class 1A boys basketball state semifinal at Carver Arena. They will face Heyworth at 2 p.m. Saturday for the 100-year-old school's first state title in the program's first trip to state.

"He doesn't know about basketball history in general," Mooseheart coach Ron Ahrens said. "He's only been playing for 3 years."

Heyworth 57, Sesser-Valier 51: Unable to find its shooting rhythm Friday, Heyworth relied on two aspects it could control: free throws and offensive rebounding.

The Hornets shot 25.9 percent from the field, but made 26 of 35 free-throw attempts and outdid Sesser-Valier 18-8 on the offensive glass.

Hayden Boyd scored a game-high 15 points for Heyworth, while Kaleb Marr added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jake Vanwey led Sesser-Valier with 13, including three 3-pointers.


Bloomington Central Catholic 51, Providence St. Mel 45: Nick Norton scored 16 points, and Austin Holman had 12 points, as the Saints advanced to the 2A state title game.

The Saints (26-6) led 23-21 at half, and gained some breathing room by outscoring St. Mel 15-10 in the third quarter.

Tevin King scored 18 points for St. Mel (25-7).

Nashville 62, PORTA 43: Nashville's path to the Class 2A state title game centered on proximity to the basket rather than distance.

Making just 113 3-pointers in 33 games this season, the Hornets scored 44 points in the paint Friday to beat PORTA in a state semifinal.

Nashville's 6-foot-7 senior center, Clint Johannes, had game-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds. Royce Newman, a 6-7 sophomore forward, scored 14 points for the Hornets.

"They were in a zone, and we did crash the boards pretty good, and our big guys got two or three shots and we finished some of them," said Nashville coach Brad Weathers, who led Carlyle to the 1989 Class A state title.

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