Sunday, January 26, 2014

103rd McLean County Tournament concludes

In McLean County Illinois, the granddaddy of local basketball tournaments has been held for 103 times in 104 years.  It's changed a lot over the years as school districts grew larger or small and many consolidated.  The current day tournament is a coed tournament including boys and girls brackets.  The schools filling those brackets are from the county or from the Heart of Illinois Conference (HOIC).  County proper teams have dwindled over the years as consolidation erupted.  Schools that currently have a McLean County presence are Heyworth, LeRoy, Ridgeview, Lexington, El Paso - Gridley, and Tri Valley. The only non-Bloomington-Normal school I can think of that has students from the county but isn't included in the tournament is Olympia.

This year, the Ridgeview Mustangs entered the tournament undefeated and with Coach Rodney Kellar looking for his 500th win.  He got that win as Ridgeview defeated El Paso Gridley in the semi-final.  Ridgeview stood up against the Blue Ridge Knights in the final.  The game was an epic battle that tied at 49 in regulation.  The Knights managed a score with 6 seconds left in OT that went unanswered leaving them ahead by one point as the buzzer sounded.

In the girls brackets, El Paso - Gridley's Lady Titans took home the 1st place brass for the 4th straight year.  Watching Codee Schlipf, The Ehresman girls and the rest of the team is a real treat.  It wasn't all roses during the championship game for the girls.  They faced off against HOIC foe - Tremont Turks.  It was a back and forth battle with both sides sharing lead changes.

Images from all games can be found at Alan Look Photography, and a few presentation and other small video links can be found there as well.

20140125 Tremont Turks v El Paso Gridley Titans Girls Basketball Championship game photos - Images by Alan Look

20140125 Blue Ridge Knights v Ridgeview Mustangs Boys Basketball Championship game photos - Images by Alan Look

 - Chimper -

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