The keys may have been given to four-year starting point guard Brock Harding, but he wasn't alone.
He's had sidekicks along the way during his prep career at Moline High School -- a run that ended with Sunday's welcome home ceremony at Wharton Field House.
There's Jasper Ogburn, the three-year defensive specialist who Maroons coach Sean Taylor called on Sunday, "the toughest son of a gun on our team, in the state."
There's Grant Welch, the three-year starter and four-year contributor who solidified his role as a three-and-D player.
There's Maddux Dieckman and Hyson Bey-Buie, the energizer bunnies on the bench who got to play the final two minutes of Saturday's 59-42 Class 4A title game victory over Lisle Benet Academy at the State Farm Center.
Then there was his best friend, longtime AAU teammate and future collegiate teammate, Owen Freeman, who was the final piece to the puzzle in the Maroons' quest for a state title.
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"We talked about winning conference, the state conversation was something we joked about," Harding said. "Until you actually do it, nobody thinks it is real."
Consider the car parked nice and safely.
Those five seniors, sans Freeman, were in the program from the beginning of a 16-15 mark as freshmen to a 35-3 final record by their senior season that culminated with the IHSA Class 4A state championship in Champaign.
"To climb and do it with this group, it is something special," Welch said. "We left our mark on Moline."
Over the final three seasons, Moline went 79-11. It won its first Western Big 6 Conference title since 2019 with a perfect 14-0 record. It triumphed for back-to-back regional championships and cut down its nets in Wharton Field House after winning a sectional title.
Nothing, to the Maroons seniors, topped the feeling of donning gold medals around their neck.
"This is the best year of my life," Freeman said.
Taylor got emotional after the semifinal victory over Downers Grove North and the final game of Harding's prep career against Benet Academy, calling him the best point guard he's ever seen.
Putting him over the likes of Isiah Thomas and Jalen Brunson, two point guards he saw in person at the IHSA state finals.
"He has given everything and he's done it from day one," Taylor said. "Just been fun watching him lead this team for four years."
Still, that wasn't the only reason Taylor gave Harding the keys to the offense.
"He was not over-matched skillset wise and swag wise," Taylor added.
Harding put up 47 points in two games inside the arena he'll play as a rival when he heads to Iowa City. Him and Freeman pulled out Hawkeyes t-shirts during the trophy celebration.
The 6-foot three-time all-state honoree and WB6 MVP gave it all for a coach that believed in him from the jump.
"He's one of if not the best coach in the state," Harding said. "To put that trust in me, there is no better feeling. The amount of respect I have for that man is insane."
Freeman may have only been in a maroon and white uniform for a year, but he knew the hours that Welch, Ogburn and Harding put in to bring just the second program from the Quad-Cities on the Illinois side to the top.
He didn't leave Champaign without acknowledging that trio.
"I can't even put into words how proud I am," Freeman said. "I love them all to death. They're special players and special people."
Freeman and Harding will team up in Iowa City and Ogburn will continue his football career at Division II power Pittsburg State. Welch stated he does want to play basketball at the next level.
Once the dust settles, he proclaimed he'll take some visits.
With six seniors departing, Welch feels they are leaving a lasting legacy.
"We saw some banners and that hadn't been there," he said. "It is something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Perhaps it was best showcased on Sunday afternoon when Moline was greeted by hundreds of supporters inside Wharton.
Each player and coach were introduced one-by-one and Taylor talked about every single member of his staff and roster. Ogburn, Welch, Freeman and Harding received standing ovations.
They all watched an eight-minute video on the videoboard from the weekend.
"For seven years, it has been an honor to coach this team," Taylor said to the crowd. "It has been an honor to play in front of the best fans in the state of Illinois and the best (gym) in the state of Illinois."
Moline now heads into an offseason where it will build around soon-to-be three-year starter Trey Taylor and sophomore guard Braden Freeman. Four juniors, two additional sophomores and a freshman are expected back next winter.
Coach Taylor feels the cupboard is far from bare.
"These guys will get better," he said. "We got good players coming that are hopefully inspired by this."