Schuckman: IHSA eyeing target date to implement shot clock and other prep basketball notes

Zack Evans

Zack Evans and the Winchester West Central boys basketball team won 15 consecutive games after playing in the Quincy Shootout and captured the Class 1A state championship. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — Follow the bouncing ball as the high school basketball season enters its final week …

• The shot clock is coming to Illinois and the Illinois High School Association appears to have a target date for implementing it into the state tournament series.

Kurt Gibson, the IHSA associate executive director who oversees basketball, joined WRMJ’s Sportsline program last Saturday during the boys state tournament in Champaign and said the IHSA is looking to have the shot clock in use statewide by the 2026-27 season.

Currently, the shot clock can be used in Illinois for in-season tournaments and shootouts. The shot clock was featured at the Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament and the Quincy Shootout this past season.

Gibson foresees the IHSA continuing to allow use of the shot clock in those instances, while incorporating it into regular-season play over the next two seasons with the idea it will be a permanent part of the game with use in the state tournament series in 2026-27.

National Federation of State High School Associations guidelines call for a 35-second shot clock for both boys and girls basketball.

• Seeing Jay Driscoll on the Mt. Zion sideline during the Class 3A state tournament was a treat. Seeing the former Quincy University multi-sport athlete and assistant coach celebrate the Braves’ run with his son, Sam, was even better.

Driscoll played basketball and baseball at QU, serving as the Hawks’ starting point guard for three seasons and setting the career record for assists with 627. He helped QU qualify for the NCAA Division II national tournament in 1997 as the Hawks won 72 games in his career.

He also was the starting center fielder on the QU baseball team, helping the Hawks reach the NCAA regionals in 1997 and 1999. He was inducted into the QU Hall of Fame in 2005.

Driscoll spent one season as an assistant basketball coach at QU under Marty Bell before becoming the head boys basketball coach at Mt. Zion from 2004-12, winning 110 games and a regional championship.

He served as an assistant coach for this year’s Mt. Zion squad, which finished fourth in Class 3A with a 35-3 record. Driscoll’s son, Sam, was a senior starting guard who led the Braves with 69 3-pointers made.

• A pair of teams that played in Blue Devil Gym this season won state championships. Two others still have a chance.

Chicago Phillips, which was part of the QHS Thanksgiving Tournament field, won the Class 2A state championship last Saturday in Champaign, beating Benton 54-47 in the title game. Phillips went 2-1 in the Thanksgiving Tournament, losing to Quincy High School 69-58 on Thanksgiving night.

In Class 1A, Winchester West Central and all-state guard Zack Evans captured the Class 1A state championship, beating Mounds Meridian 62-43 in the title game. The Cougars played in the Quincy Shootout in January, losing to St. Louis Principia 74-49.

West Central didn’t lose again, rattling off 15 straight victories to finish 36-3.

The Missouri big class state tournament takes place this weekend at Mizzou Arena in Columbia with a pair of Quincy Shootout participants still in line to play for state titles. St. Louis Vashon is making its 25th state tournament appearance in Class 4 but lost its matchup with Oak Cliff Faith Family of Dallas 56-44 at Blue Devil Gym.

The Wolverines have won 13 of 14 games since.

St. Louis Chaminade is in the final four in Class 6 and has been on a roll since the Quincy Shootout. The Red Devils lost to Imhotep Prep of Philadelphia and Millard North of Omaha, Neb., at the end of a six-game skid. Since then, Chaminade has won 12 of its last 14 games.

In the other Class 6 semifinal is Cardinal Ritter, which lost to Quincy 62-49 at the Highland Shootout in January. Quincy also beat Chaminade 62-54 at the Norm Stewart Classic in Columbia, Mo., in December.

Two other Quincy Shootout participants reached their state’s respective title games. Oak Cliff Faith Family won the Texas Class 4A state championship, while Millard North finished second in the Nebraska Class A state championship.

• The Central Illinois Sports Senior All-Star Game, presented by Blessing Health System, will be held on Sunday at Voshall Gym in Pittsfield. An alumni game will take place at 3 p.m. with the all-star game scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

The game will feature 28 players from West Central Illinois, including three from Class 1A state champion Winchester West Central.

• Muddy River Sports will be publishing its all-area basketball teams, along with Player and Coach of the Year honors, next week. The all-area girls team will appear online March 18 with the all-area boys team to follow on March 19.

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