Annawan 7th-grade boys one win away from IESA state championship


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 8:41 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
Nearly four years after placing fourth in the IHSA Class 1A state boys' basketball tournament, could the Annawan Braves be back on track to play in Peoria once again?

That could be a possibility within the next several years if the success enjoyed by Annawan's 7th-grade boys is an indication. Coached by former Annawan multi-sport standout Joe Schmitt, with former varsity coach Zach DeMay as his assistant, the young Braves are one win away from an Illinois Elementary School Association state title.

Annawan takes a 21-2 record into Thursday night's 7:30 championship game against Dieterich (22-2) at St. Joseph Middle School, just east of Champaign-Urbana. Forward Ben Buresh -- whose older sister Kelly is the Annawan varsity girls' all-time leading scorer -- has tallied 43 points in two games as the Braves topped Champaign Next Generation 33-24 and routed Mulberry Grove 42-12 in the semifinals.

The one and only state-tourney appearance for Annawan's varsity boys came in 2009, when the Alex Coppejans-led squad finished 27-8 and topped Newark in the DeKalb Super-Sectional after winning the program's second sectional title, its first since 1986.

-- By Terry Duckett













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