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Members of the PBL Special Olympics basketball team pose for a photo on Sunday after winning the Special Olympics Illinois Senior 15 state championship at Illinois State University’s Horton Fieldhouse.

NORMAL — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda Special Olympics basketball team won the Special Olympics Illinois Senior 15 state championship at last weekend’s tournament at Illinois State University’s Horton Fieldhouse.

On Sunday, the Panthers defeated the Jacksonville Wolverines 31-21 in the state championship game.

"This win was definitely a team effort," PBL coach Alex Goudy said.

Chris Steiger had 10 points, including a 3-pointer, for PBL while Jack Vinyard also had 10 points.

Michael Snow had five points, including a 3-pointer, while Mark Rexroad had four points and Tyler Weersing had two points.

"Coach (Dave) Jackson and myself stayed to watch them play on Saturday after our game. After scouting them, we realized that they had one key player that we had to shut down," Goudy said. "We decided to play a box-and-1 on this player. This worked really well and shut him down. Michael Snow did a great job of staying with him."

On Saturday, PBL won 41-38 over the Bessemer Gummy Bears.

The Panthers led by 18 points before the Gummy Bears started a rally. They led by one point with 35 seconds remaining in the game before Vinyard made a jump shot to extend PBL’s lead to three points.

Michael Snow finished the game with 13 points, including three treys, while Weersing and Vinyard each scored in double figures as well with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Jace Arnold scored four points while Charman Snow scored two points.

"Everyone played well and they played very good together as a team," Goudy said.

Weersing won the Ron Knisley Spirit of the Games Award for sportsmanship on Sunday. Michael Snow won the award on Saturday.

SATURDAY

SPECIAL OLYMPICS STATE TOURNAMENT

PBL Panthers 41, Bessemer Gummy Bears 38

PBL scoring — Michael Snow 13, Tyler Weering 12, Jack Vinyard 10, Jace Arnold 4, Charman Snow 2.

3-pointers — PBL 3 (Michael Snow 3).

SUNDAY

SPECIAL OLYMPICS STATE TOURNAMENT

PBL Panthers 31, Jacksonville Wolverines 21

PBL scoring — Chris Steiger 10, Jack Vinyard 10, Michael Snow 5, Mark Rexroad 4, Tyler Weersing 2.

3-pointers — PBL 2 (Steiger, Michael Snow).