Jefferson outlasts Crystal Lake Central to claim regional crown

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's something this senior squad has been part of once before, but as freshmen on the bench.

Jefferson got past Crystal Lake Central 52-42 to win its first regional championship since 2015.

"After two years of losing, you just come out and get one yourself, with your own team," said Jefferson senior MyQuion Garrett. "I mean it was still my team, but it just means something different."

The J-Hawks have been to the regional final six straight seasons, losing to Boylan by one-point in last year's game.

"We sat there at the quarter break between the third and fourth and I was looking at five seniors," said Jefferson head coach Todd Brannan. "I said it's senior year. It's on you guys, how are we going to finish this? And we finished the right way."

Jefferson used a 15-5 run to end the game to exercise its regional demons. Now the J-Hawks can look forward to its sectional semifinal match-up with Dundee-Crown.

"One stat means it's not just one team. It's everybody. We all do this," said Garrett. "Family members, fans, it's all of us, one state. One thing matters and that's the "W"