Persistence paid for Okawville.
The Rockets, who came up short in overtime of last year's Class 1A state championship game, took the suspense out of the outcome this year by handling Annawan 59-48 in the title matchup at Carver Arena in Peoria on Saturday.
Okawville (27-8) got five 3s and a team-best 18 points from Wyatt Krohne, and Payten Harre (14) and Luke Hensler (11) also scored in double figures.
The key was the third quarter, when the Rockets outscored Annawan 19-6. It was tied at 24 at the half.
"They had 16 minutes to redeem ourselves and what we did last year and how we finished the game last year -- they had 16 minutes to be state champions," said Okawville coach John Kraus. "With this group, that's all I had to say.
Owen Landwehr scored a game-high 20 points for the Braves (31-4).
The Rockets made each of their final 12 free throws.
"We played really, really hard -- I can't say that enough," said Annawan coach Alex Coppejans. "It characterizes our team that we just had to battle all game long because these guys work so terribly hard on the floor."
• In the Class 1A third-place game, Sterling Newman Central Catholic (29-5) got a 20-point, 13-rebound effort from forward Travis Williams to defeat Goreville 65-50.
Chicago Orr repeated as state champs in Class 2A by rolling past Winnebago 76-49.
The only loss for the Spartans (30-4) over their last 17 games of the season was a 69-59 decision against Class 4A supersectional qualifier Simeon in the Chicago Public League tournament.
Dannie Smith led Orr with 22 points and teammate Chase Adams had 17. The Spartans forced the Indians (30-3) into 16 turnovers and also out-rebounded them 52-35.
"Tonight was very emotional, especially for my seniors," said Orr coach Louis Adams. "They've been through so much. We played a pretty good basketball team tonight. The first half we struggled a little, but I know with a bunch of seniors they would get the job done. They got the job done tonight. It's been a hard-fought road, but we did it."
Winnebago's top scorers were Andrew Morrissey (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Ty Waller (12 points).
"Finishing second in state is a tremendous honor, we're real proud to be here," said Winnebago coach Joe Murphy. "We would have loved to win the ballgame. We're all competitors, we all want to win. But they had a better night than we did. We're real proud of the kids and the fact that they worked real hard. It's awesome to be here."
• Bloomington Central Catholic took third place in Class 2A by edging Pinckneyville 69-61.
Austyn Ellison paved the way for BCC (26-7) with four 3s and a game-high 22 points.
"Those boys have been through battles before, they've played all over the state of Illinois in a lot of different atmospheres," said Bloomington Central Catholic coach Jason Welch. "We've got a lot of seniors up here, and today, that senior leadership really paid off."
Pinckneyville (31-5) was paced by Grant Jausel with 16 points. The program had most recently made the state's final four in 2008.
"It's important to be a Panther, it's important to be from Pinckneyville," said Pinckneyville coach Bob Waggoner. "It's important to our community, these kids grow up dreaming of being here. They fulfilled a dream that most people just dream about -- they lived it today, they lived it this weekend. There was no way were going to go off that floor without giving everything we had."