PEORIA - The Rockford East E-Rabs fell to the Evanston Wildkits 94-82 in Friday's Class 4A boys basketball State Semifinal.
"We talked about how it was important for us to get off to a good start because this was a team with the way they can score the basketball that you can find yourself in a pretty big hole pretty quickly and that hole would be too big for us to dig ourselves out of," East's Head Coach Roy Sackmaster said. "We kind of got away with it in our game in the Super-Sectional against Geneva but we knew with the firepower that this team had that if we put ourselves in a position like that, that we'd be in for a tough night."
East's junior forward Sincere Parker had a rough first half, only scoring two points. The usual high-scorer finished the game with just 13.
"We just had to stay optimistic and play our game but unfortunately things didn't go our way," Parker said. "We played hard and we left everything on the floor. We did everything that we could."
Senior Chris Burnell finished with 26 points. He says his team simply has to start and finish with the same high energy they ended with in Friday's game.
"I think it was a good game," Burnell said. "We just came up a little short and we just started off a little slow."
The senior has confidence the E-Rabs can pick up their game to bring home a third place trophy.
"We've just got to keep our heads high and just come in with the same mentality that we had the second half and just close it the right way," Burnell said.
The E-Rabs play Curie for third place on Saturday at 5:30 PM in Peoria from the Carver Arena.
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