- Scott Powers, Reporter
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PEORIA, Ill. -- UIC coach Howard Moore, a former Chicago prep star, expressed his displeasure with four-class Illinois high school basketball during the state tournament on Saturday.
Moore graduated from Taft in 1990, and his high school career was played when the state only had two classes. The IHSA expanded basketball to four classes during the 2007-08 season.
“I’m not a fan of four classes,” said Moore, who attended the state tournament on Friday and Saturday. “I just think it really takes away from the strength of the state. When you split everyone up and dissect the talent and make different classes play against one other, I just think it really dilutes what we got in our state. I think it takes away from some of the natural rivalries and matchups that you would historically see.”
Moore watched in the front row of Carver Arena as Peoria Central defeated North Chicago in the Class 3A state championship on Saturday afternoon. Despite its state title, Peoria Central will likely still be considered to rank behind Class 4A finalists Simeon and Proviso East.
Moore was disappointed Peoria Central wouldn’t have the opportunity to prove whether it was better than the two Class 4A teams. Peoria Central had won three previous state titles in the two-class system.
“I just think if you get back down to two classes, then it’s even more competitive,” Moore said. “It’s even more exciting to see these kids go at it and compete. Why not see Peoria Central play against Proviso East in matchup? That’s a great matchup. It’s too bad they had to go to two more classes.”
Despite disagreeing with the four-class system, Moore enjoyed being at the state tournament.
“I think it’s great down to be here,” Moore said. “I think it means a lot. It’s our state’s Final Four if you want to put in that nature. It means a lot to our kids, our programs, our schools. This is a great venue.”