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Article updated: 3/23/2014 1:04 AM
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Balanced Stevenson savors 3rd place
 

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Balanced Stevenson savors 3rd place
  • Stevenson's Jalen Brunson comes off the court in the final seconds of the Patriots' win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Stevenson's Jalen Brunson comes off the court in the final seconds of the Patriots' win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson’s Matthew Johnson, Connor Cashaw,Matt Morrissey, and Parker Nichols begin to relax in the final minutes of their win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Stevenson’s Matthew Johnson, Connor Cashaw,Matt Morrissey, and Parker Nichols begin to relax in the final minutes of their win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson’s Connor Cashaw watches as Matt Morrissey hugs Parker Nichols before exiting the game in the final seconds of their win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Stevenson’s Connor Cashaw watches as Matt Morrissey hugs Parker Nichols before exiting the game in the final seconds of their win over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson fights through the Edwardsville defense in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson fights through the Edwardsville defense in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson is met by his coaches as he leaves the game against Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday.

    Purchase Photo | Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson is met by his coaches as he leaves the game against Edwardsville in the Class 4A state third place game at Carver Arena in Peoria Saturday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report

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

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