DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) The E-Rabs punched their ticket to state after a 70-62 victory over Geneva in the 4A NIU Super-Sectional Tuesday night.
East overcame a 14-point deficit to make its first trip to the state semifinals since 1978.
The E-Rabs trailed 31-17 in the second quarter before ending the half on a 10-2 run.
"Everything was going against us but our guys just didn't quit," said head coach Roy Sackmaster. "We just kept preaching remember what got us here, stick together and we've been through so much as a group. I knew coming out of halftime, I knew we were going to come out and win this. They were just a different team and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Junior Sincere Parker led the way for the NIC-10 champions with a game-high 27 points.
Seniors Chris Burnell and Sha'den Clanton added 16 points and 14 points respectively.
"Coach [Sackmaster] yelled at us," Clanton said. "He normally doesn't yell at us like that so we had to do something different. We had to bring a different momentum to the game."
East shot 14-of-17 from the field in the second half.
"When we went into the locker room, I just told them to "stay together, stick together and just keep fighting,"" said Burnell. "We're brothers and we're family and if we just stick together and play to the buzzer, we should be ok."
The E-Rabs will play Evanston in the state semifinals at Carver Arena in Peoria this Friday at 5:30 p.m.