St. Anthony advances to state title game

Sports

PEORIA — Adam Levitt and Alex Deters combined to score more than half of Effingham St. Anthony’s points as the Bulldogs beat Chicago Hope Academy 43-34 in the Class 1A state semifinals Friday at Carver Arena.  Levitt netted a game-high 16, Deters pitched in 11, as St. A improved to 29-5 on the season.

“It was a different-type game for both teams,” St. Anthony head coach Cody Rincker said.  “I think both of us are using to getting up and down the court and running and scoring in the sixties and seventies and that was definitely a different feel.

“But I think that was both teams defense.  We’re both very good at defense.  We able get after people on that end of the court. I think both of us understood that if our shots weren’t going to fall, we’re going to have to go to the hoop early, and that’s kind of the way the game went.”

“I mean, it’s clear the offense wasn’t exactly there,” St. Anthony senior forward Drew Gibson said.  “A lot of teammates stepped up and made some big buckets.  I guess, at the end of the  stretch, just try to take a deep breather then hit the free throws at the end.”

“It feels really cool,” Rincker added.  “Obviously we’re really proud of the accomplishment.  I think humbles a little bit. So, it’s something we appreciate.  We’re not taking (it) for granted.  We’re ready for the challenge.”

St. Anthony will play Okawville in the state championship game Saturday at 12:45 p.m.  The Rockets beat Newark 63-48 in the other semifinal Friday.

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