'Making it to the Elite Eight is something to be very proud of'

Holy Cross 7th graders fall in state tournament

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EAST PEORIA – Coach Aaron Eddy knew he had a solid group of seventh graders on his Holy Cross boys’ basketball team.

The players knew they could be something special.

When they stepped on the basketball court, they proved it as they won 16 games and only lost three.

The third being an IESA Class 1A State Tournament First Round game against Augusta Southeastern, 47-40, on Saturday, Feb. 3 at East Peoria Central Junior High. 

“At the beginning of the season, the boys asked if I thought they could win state,” Eddy said. “I told them that I didn’t know and that there are a lot of good teams throughout the state. Although, we didn’t win state, we proved that we’re one of those good teams. Making it to the Elite Eight is something to be very proud of.”

Holy Cross found itself behind early as it trailed Augusta, who finished the season 19-4 after losing to Ottawa Marquette in a semifinal, 15-2 after the first quarter and 24-12 at halftime.

The Warriors didn’t give up as they won the third quarter 12-10 and the fourth quarter 16-8.

“We dug too big of a hole in the first quarter on Saturday, but we battled back to turn it into a great game,” Eddy said. “I was proud of the fact that they didn’t throw in the towel and fought until the end.”

Quinn Eddy led Holy Cross with 16 points against Augusta, while Cal Doyle scored 11, Will Augenbaugh tallied 10, and Joe Cackley added three.