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PEORIA -- Stevenson put aside the distractions and defeated Edwardsville 70-63 on Saturday to claim third place at the IHSA Class 4A boys basketball state finals at Carver Arena.
One day after scoring 56 points in a semifinal loss to Whitney Young, junior Jalen Brunson was held to just 18 points. But the Patriots (32-2) had four players in double figures as they pulled away in the second half.
After an 18-18 tie at the end of the first quarter the Patriots forged to a 38-33 advantage at halftime then extended the advantage to 54-42 by the end of the third quarter. Stevenson's largest lead of the game was 62-44 with 4:27 to play after a Connor Cashaw layup.
Brunson, the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year who averaged nearly 26 points during the season for the Patriots, was initially suspended by the IHSA after video surfaced of him making hand gestures late in the semifinal loss toward the Whitney Young crowd, but was allowed to play just moments before the start of the third place game after the IHSA board of directors overturned the original ruling made by IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman.
Cashaw scored 17 points, Matt Morrissey had 16 and Matt Johnson 10 to go with Brunson's 18 for Stevenson, which made just 19 of 51 shots but was 10-for-21 from 3-point range, including 4 of 7 from Morrissey.
Brunson had 7 rebounds as Stevenson outrebounded Edwardsville 32-27. The Patriots also went 22 of 29 from the free-throw line while Edwardsville was 10 of 11.
The Tigers (30-4) got 21 points from Trevor Clay, 16 from Shawn Roundtree and 15 from Armon Fletcher.
Associated Press contributed to this report