PEORIA—Bogan senior Rashaun Agee spent the past four months proving all the doubters wrong. Bengals coach Arthur Goodwin made a habit of publicly challenging his star player last year, always pushing him to do more and be better. Agee responded passionately this season and became the area’s dominant big man.
That fire was still burning on Saturday afternoon, even after Bogan lost a heartbreaker to East St. Louis in the Class 3A state title game at Carver Arena.
Flyers senior Terrence Hargrove was too much for the Bengals to handle. The 6-7 Saint Louis recruit scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead East St. Louis to a 68-63 win in overtime.
But Agee wasn’t ready to hand out any praise when asked about his matchup against Hargrove.
“He’s a human just like I’m a human,” Agee said. “I don’t have any thoughts on it.”
Agee and the Bengals led until the final seconds of regulation.
Flyers junior Jashawn Anderson missed a crucial free throw with four seconds left and his team trailing by two points. His teammate, 6-7 senior Richard Robinson, grabbed the rebound and slammed it home to send the game to overtime.
“I just grabbed it and the rest is history basically,” Robinson said. “I just saw the rim. It was really all a blur, it happened so quick.”
Bogan (30-4) led by three halfway through overtime but East St. Louis (30-6) closed things with a decisive 10-2 run.
“We make our free throws and [it’s] game over,” Goodwin said. “We didn’t do the little things to finish this team off. But that’s a good team. Rashaun battled all the way to the end. It was a good game, we gave everyone a nice show down here.”
Agee led Bogan with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Junior Antonie Bloxton added 10 points and senior Jordan Booker scored eight.
“When you don’t finish the game off, this is what happens,” Goodwin said. “This was part of March Madness. You have to make free throws, box out and can’t turn the ball over.”
Hargrove was phenomenal at times. He may be the state’s most difficult player to guard.
“[Flyers coach March Chambers] kept telling me attack, attack,” Hargrove said. [Agee] couldn’t stay in front of me. I just kept going at him and my shot started to fall.”
Anderson finished with 13 points for the Flyers, and Robinson added 11 points and 10 rebounds. This is East St. Louis’ first state title.
“That is a great team over there,” Chambers said. “You hate to see anyone lose that game. Just like all year long, my guys found a way. You can’t coach that. You listen to them talk, you see them work and that is where it all comes from—believing in greatness.”
This was Bogan’s first appearance in the state title game. The Bengals were attempting to become the third Public League school to win the Class 3A state title (Marshall, Morgan Park). Public League teams have won 13 of the 22 state titles in 3A and 4A.
“We played hard,” Goodwin said. “We came down here and gave it all we could give.”