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Recapping the basketball state finals and Glenbard West's magical season

High School Sports Weekly
Good morning,
Glenbard West had a celebration at school yesterday and Yorkville Christian had a parade. There were only two local state champions this season and none from Chicago for the first time in ages. 
It was a fantastic year for suburban basketball that has many fans asking if the Public League was just down this year or if the suburbs have caught up. Most suburban kids I talked to this season said they spent the COVID shutdown working out in private gyms. The city of Chicago took the rims off the outdoor basketball hoops and closed all the schools. Those factors directly relate to what we watched this season. 
Thanks so much for reading and subscribing. The newsletter will be sent out occasionally, not weekly, over the next few months. Enjoy the spring and summer. Football season will be here before we know it. 
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Final Super 25 rankings
Glenbard West players react after winning the game against Young. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Glenbard West players react after winning the game against Young. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
The season is wrapped up. Glenbard West didn’t just win the Class 4A state title in with a dominant performance, the Hilltoppers went wire to wire as the top-ranked team in the area.
That’s an incredibly rare feat. There’s now a great deal of discussion about where Glenbard West ranks with the great teams in Illinois history. We’ll have more on that over the next few weeks.
Thanks for reading all season long. Here are the final Super 25 rankings for the 2021-22 season, with final records and the team’s preseason ranking.
1. Glenbard West (37-1) 1
2. Young (26-10) 2
3. Barrington (29-5) 18
4. Bolingbrook (30-8) 12
5. St. Ignatius (24-13) 4
Glenbard West caps magical season with dominant win in Class 4A title game
Mission accomplished: Yorkville Christian, Jaden Schutt live up to expectations, win Class 1A state title
IHSA state basketball playoff scores and schedule
State finals recap
Following a two-year hiatus with no state champions crowned due to Covid and years of dwindling interest, high school basketball came back with a bang this season. 
Specifically, the sport recaptured some old magic and mystique this past weekend as the State Finals returned to Champaign.
The Glenbard West storyline was a trending one all season, and it was a boon to the state tournament and the IHSA that it continued right up to the final night of the season. 
But there were winners, big moments and storylines even beyond Glenbard West and the four state titles that were won.
Biggest winner: IHSA
Yes, there were four teams that left Champaign with a state championship win and first-place trophy. And that’s what it’s all about. 
But after 700-plus days without any type of Original March Madness, the IHSA needed a big hit this weekend. Maybe it wasn’t quite a grand slam, but it was at least a hustling triple or maybe even a home run.  
There was some clunkiness in getting to championship Saturday; the Thursday and Friday format with early morning semifinals and third-place games at night seemed odd in a variety of ways. But once we got to Saturday it was a huge success.
The State Farm Center, a recently renovated, state-of-the-art venue, is a welcome change and added to the moment for the participating teams and its fans. 
There was a large crowd on hand Saturday and, more importantly, a return of some energy for the four state championship games, especially for the Class 3A and 4A title games Saturday night.  
Hilltoppers' cap season for the ages
What made Glenbard West memorable
There were plenty of people in the high school basketball world that believed Glenbard West was the best team in the state as far back as last June. 
Then there were others who doubted, maybe questioned and needed to see it to believe it. Even throughout the first month or two of the season there were some detractors, almost a missing appreciation for how good this team was. 
Maybe it’s because it was Glenbard West, traditionally a basketball program you just don’t elevate to elite status –– ever.
Just past the midway point of the season, right when Glenbard West dismantled Young in the When Sides Collide Shootout in January, the conversation turned. The Hilltopper machine and hype took off. 
But there were indicators very early how special it could be, starting with an unselfish 6-11 star who was being recruited by national power Gonzaga and the Big Ten. 
If you missed it before...
Ahead of the completion of the IHSA state playoffs, we celebrated the area’s best players with our postseason honors. If you missed them before, check them out below before we move on to the offseason:
Thanks for reading High School Sports Weekly! Is there a high school sports story that we missed? Contact us via email at newsletters@suntimes.com.
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