For the first time in its history, Central A&M is headed to Peoria to play Cissna Park Friday morning at 11 a.m. in Carver Arena. The Raiders advanced with its 79-69 win over Sesser-Valier Tuesday night in the SIU Carbondale supersectional.
The Raiders broke open a tight game in the third quarter to punch their ticket to the Class 1A finals where they are guaranteed no worse than a fourth place trophy.
Griffin Andricks got the Raiders off to a great start scoring seven points and then in the second half Jacob Paradee and Connor Heaton took over as Central A&M exploded for a 53-37 lead after three quarters.
The Raiders now have won 21 straight and 32 games this season to go with three losses, none of which has come to a Class 1A team.
Tuesday night’s victory avenges last March’s loss to Goreville in the SIU super-sectional. The Raiders goal ever since then has been to play this weekend in Carver Arena. Mission achieved. But they’re not finished, they want to bring another state championship to south U.S. 51. Meridian won a Class 1A championship in 2009, which was the second year of the four-class system.
I will be in Peoria this weekend for the Raiders run to what everyone in Assumption and Moweaqua, as well as the entire Central Illinois Conference, hopes is a state championship.
Decatur and Macon County has a history of doing well once they get to Peora’s Carver Arena as Maroa-Forsyth won a state championship in 2007, which was the last year for the two-class system, the Trojans placed third the year before, Meridian won the state 1A title in 2009, St. Teresa was runnerup in 2015 and Warrensburg-Latham has two third places for its appearances there in 2003 and 2005.