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Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Sun-Times
11 Mar 2023

NextImg:DePaul Prep beats Bloomington Central Catholic to win its first state title

CHAMPAIGN—While DePaul Prep waited for star juniors Jaylan McElroy and Payton Kamin to get healthy, an unheralded group of players kept the team heading in the right direction and prepared for success when all the pieces were in place.

Senior Maurice Thomas, junior PJ Chambers and sophomore Makai Kvamme didn’t receed from the spotlight when McElroy and Kamin returned last month. The trio became key players on a team destined for the Class 2A state championship.

Kvamme ran the show, Thomas and Chambers scored and all three defended well as the Rams knocked off Bloomington Central Catholic in the 2A title game Saturday at State Farm Center.

It’s the first state championship for DePaul Prep (23-12), which finished third in Class 2A in 2022 and 2019. The Rams lost the Class AA title game to King back in 1990 when the school was known as Gordon Tech.

DePaul Prep led 28-19 at halftime and dominated the third quarter, limiting the Saints (26-12) to just five points and two baskets. The Rams led 42-24 heading into the fourth quarter.

Thomas led DePaul Prep with 17 points. McElroy, an athletic 6-7 forward, added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Chambers scored 11 and grabbed four boards.

Bloomington Central Catholic junior Cole Certa was the highest-rated prospect at the State Finals. The 6-5 guard led the Saints with 18 points, he was 4 for 13 from three-point range.

Bloomington Central Catholic won the Class 2A championship in 2014 and finished third in 2018.

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