PEORIA — Nick Norton became a big part of Bloomington Central Catholic history in a short time.
Norton, who transferred from Missouri before the start of his senior season, scored eight of his game-high 25 points in the third overtime to lead Bloomington Central Catholic to a 76-62 victory against Nashville in the Class 2A state title game on Saturday at Carver Arena. The Saints (27-6) never had placed at state in four previous state appearances.
"I couldn't have asked for a better year," Norton said. "These guys accepted me, and we went through some ups and downs and we came out state champs."
Norton attempted just four shots and had two points at halftime, but he made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help bring his team back from a 48-37 deficit.
Norton made five 3-pointers, shot 8-for-10 from the free-throw line and racked up five assists and four steals. The Saints connected on 14 of 44 3-point attempts, with Jake Reinhart (19 points) and Parker Goodlick (15 points) both making four 3s.
Sophomore Royce Newman led Nashville (27-8) with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Mooseheart 63, Heyworth 47: On a team with a college-sized frontcourt, every player on Mooseheart looks up to 5-foot-8 sophomore point guard Freddy Okito.
After he missed nearly 5 minutes of the third quarter with a nose injury Saturday during the Class 1A boys basketball state final against Heyworth, Okito helped ignite a 15-0 run that propelled Mooseheart to its first team state title.
A year after winning the program's first regional title, the Red Ramblers (29-3) won their last 10 games this season to earn a special place in the lore of a school that opened in 1913.
Six-foot-7 Mooseheart senior guard Mangisto Deng culminated a big weekend with a game-high 27 points, and 6-10 senior Makur Puou collected 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.