PEORIA—East St. Louis star Terrence Hargrove has the longest sideburns seen on a high school basketball court since the 1970s and a skillset nearly as outlandish.
The 6-7 senior was dominant in the Flyers’ 57-48 win against Peoria Manual in the Class 3A state semifinals on Friday at Carver Arena.
Hargrove finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. He played all 32 minutes and then delivered a message to Bogan, East St. Louis’ opponent in Saturday’s state championship game.
“We are going to get the state title tomorrow,” Hargrove said. “At all costs.”
Hargrove has been one of the state’s best players over the past three seasons, but this was his first time in the spotlight and his school’s first state appearance since 2000. The Flyers have had an impressive season, beating highly-regarded St. Louis Vashon and losing to Curie in overtime.
“We knew we were going to be good,” Hargrove said. “We kept working all summer and during the season, we didn’t stop. We proved everybody wrong who doubted us, all of our haters. That fuels our fire.”
Jashawn Anderson added 14 points for East St. Louis (29-6) and Richard Robinson and Traeveion Jones each scored eight points.
“We just kept fighting, we didn’t give up,” Hargrove said. “We knew this game would be tough. We knew what was expected. A couple of my guys fouled out, but I didn’t let that get to me.”
Manual (19-12) was a surprise guest in its hometown’s tournament. The Rams’ playoff surge was led by junior Rolando “Pee Wee” Brown. He scored 24 and grabbed 10 rebounds Friday.
“We ended up going to a half-court press, and threw them off-balance a little bit,” East St. Louis coach Mark Chambers said. “We wanted to make every shot that they got a tough shot, and we were pretty much able to accomplish that.”
Manual lost the game at the free-throw line, shooting just 15-of-33.
“That’s a lot of [missed] free throws,” Rams coach Willie Coleman said. “We hit nine or ten of them and we win the ballgame.”
East St. Louis may be perceived as an underdog against Bogan by most Chicago-area fans. But any team that won the rugged Southwestern Conference should not be discounted.
“We made history today,” Jones said. “We’ve been talking about this for the longest time and now we are here. We have one more game.”Tags: East St. Louis, peoria manual