Washington dominates Mid-Illini tourney amid COVID

WASHINGTON — Washington reached the mountain top in a season filled with pandemic-laden valleys. With no…

WASHINGTON — Washington reached the mountain top in a season filled with pandemic-laden valleys.

With no Illinois High School Association postseason, the Panthers refocused their energy, charged through a perfect Mid-Illini Conference boys basketball season and dominated the first-ever league tournament.

Washington completed a 17-1 season by winning the three tourney games by an average of 32.7 points — capped by a 69-52 victory Saturday against No. 2 seed Metamora in the finals.

“We never used the term Mid-Illini tournament, not a single time in our locker room,” Washington coach Eric Schermerhorn said. “We didn’t let that be known in public, but we were playing the state series (Saturday). We looked at this as the state tournament.”

All the scores:Mid-Illini, Big 12 basketball tournament results

The Panthers journey started like every other team, with curiosity as to how this most unusual of seasons would go.