PEORIA | A second championship in five years for the Seton Academy boys basketball team was not to be Saturday night.
The Sting could not sustain a 10-point first-half lead -- in part due to emotions that unravelled -- as Harrisburg rallied for a 50-44 victory in the Class 2A state championship at Carver Arena.
Harrisburg (33-1) won its first state title by surviving an edgy first half that featured three technical fouls, 29 team fouls and a player ejection.
Seton (22-11) lost leading scorer Mark Weems Jr. with 2:05 left in the first half after he was whistled for consecutive technical fouls. The first was for unsportsmanlike conduct and the second for making contact with an official as he protested the call.
Weems, who averages a team-best 17.7 points per game, led Seton with eight first-half points. Guard Kamal Shasi led Seton with nine points on 3 of 12 shooting.
After Weems’ technicals, Harrisburg senior Capel Henshaw drained four straight free throws and Snjolfur Bjornsson scored on a slash through the lane as part of Harrisburg’s 10-1 run that cut Seton’s lead to 24-23 at halftime.
Harrisburg, which outscored Seton 27-20 in the second half, took its first lead since the game’s first basket with 3:15 left in the third quarter on Tyler Smithpeter’s 3-pointer from the wing. Seton never got the lead back after that. Smithpeters, a Division I prospect, had a game-high 23 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the free throw line.
Harrisburg 6-foot-6 center Dakota Upchurch picked up three fouls in the first period, including one technical. The two teams combined for 29 fouls in the first 16 minutes as Seton went 3 of 11 from the foul line, while Harrisburg converted 13 of 17, including 9 of 10 by Henshaw, who finished with 13 points.
Seton opened a 23-13 lead with 3:22 left in the first half with baskets on three straight possessions. Kamal Shasi capped it with a 3-pointer.
The Sting, which started the season by losing five of its first 10 games, finished fourth last year after winning the title in 2009.
Seton head coach Brandon Thomas was not available for comment after the game. Seton left the court without getting its second-place trophy.