Seniors look back at Winnebago's run to state

PEORIA, Ill. (WIFR) -- Although it's not the finish the Indians would've preferred, the seniors say it's something they'll never forget.

"It's been a dream of mine my entire life, man. It's amazing," said senior guard Ty Waller.

Waller, along with eight other seniors, stepped off the court at Carver Arena in Peoria for the final time as a high school basketball player.

But they achieved something that no Indian has done since 2013 and that's bring home a state trophy.

"Freshman year, stepping into high school, stepping onto that varsity floor for the first time it's always been a dream," said Waller. "And until now, it felt impossible. But we were here, we made it."

Even though the Indians were ranked all season in Class 2A, not many believed in this team.

"Some people even said we weren't supposed to make it passed Chicago Corliss but here we are.You know, we have this in our hands," said senior guard Kenzell Jones. "I mean, it's bitter sweet that our season is over for us seniors, but it's also great because we went out on a high note."

At 6'9", Andrew Morrissey stands out, but his play in the state semifinal showed what the North Alabama recruit could do. He pulled down a record 16 rebounds in a single state game.

"It was just an awesome experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything," said Morrissey. "I love Coach (Joe) Murphy and his staff. I love the team so there's nothing I could ask for differently."

This year's state runner-up matches the school's best finish, accomplished in back-to-back years in 2004 and 2005.

"When the night's over, and they really start thinking about things, second in the state is pretty darn good," said head coach Joe Murphy.

"Ever since, starting in fifth grade, how we had teams together, we were all together," said Jones. "It's a great way to go out as a family, as a unit. it feels amazing right now."