Archive for March 1st, 2012

2012 IL Girls 4A Championship: Whitney Young are champions again and go undefeated

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 4A Basketball Championship Game

March 3, 2012

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Whitney Young Dolphins (34-0) wins the Girls 4A State championship 63-51 over Edwardsville (34-2) behind the hot hands of junior guard Linnae Harper, who had a double-double, 14 points and 14 boards. Coming into this game, Young had 6’2″ Emmonnie Henderson at the top of their chart in order to win.

“(The plan was) just to play hard, try to get around her, try to find her weakness,” Harper said of Henderson, who set the Class 4A tournament record Friday with 20 rebounds. “I tried to see what I could do knowing that I was smaller than her. I just had to box out and use my strength against her.”

The Tigers might have known they were in trouble early in the first half, when Henderson drove the lane into three defenders and was called for traveling. Edwardsville committed 11 first-half turnovers.

The Dolphins were in full control of this contest jumping out to a 24-9 lead with 4:51 to play in the second period. Their fast-paced, guards Janee Thompson (McDonald’s All-American) and Harper, are just too much for Edwardsville (34-1) physical play and height. They are able to get them off their spots and score the ball in the paint. The Dolphins scored 22 points in the paint in the first half to the Tigers 10, and on top of the height difference, Young control the boards 25-18 including 15 offensive.

At the half, it’s the Dolphins with a commanding lead of 34-12 with Alexis Lloyd with the hot hand. She has 9, followed by Harper who has 7. On the other side of the ball, Aaliyah Covington has the high score of 5. Also for Edwardsville, 6’2″ junior Emmonnie Henderson has 4 fouls, which shorten her play in the first half.
“Our plan was to stop (Thompson) and (Lloyd), and we did a good job on that,” Henderson said. “It was just the rebounding we had a little trouble with. Yeah, (Harper) is a good player, but that was on our part she got so many rebounds.”

On a positive note, Ashia Jones’ 12 fourth-quarter points helped cut the deficit down but not enough to be a threat. In addition, the Tigers outscored the Dolphins in the third period 13-9, and 26-18 in the fourth. Overall, neither team shot the ball well, 40.3% for Young, and 41.7% for the Tigers.

Jones finished the game with a quiet double-double of her own: 18 points, 11 rebounds.

 “I’m sure this will go down in history as one of the best teams in Illinois,” coach Irvin said. “I’m proud of this team.”

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2012 IL Girls Semifinals: Loyola-Edwardsville

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 4A Basketball Semifinals

March 2, 2012

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At the half, it’s Edwardsville 25, Loyola 17. Edwardsville jumped out to the early lead and have yet to let it go…

We’ll see if they can maintain this on the court effort in the second half.

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2012 IL Girls Semifinals: Young-Bartlett

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 4A Basketball Semifinals

March 2, 2012

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The first of two Class 4A semifinal contest feature Whitney Young (32-0) against Bartlett (31-1). In this game, the Dolphins were just too fast and too big as they put Bartlett away easily 67-43 in Normal, IL at Redbird arena.

Things got started early and stayed consistent as Young struck out to a double digit lead at the half, 30-18, and never looked back.

Senior, Kentucky-recruit Janee Thompson leads all scorers with 18, 12 of which came in the first half, followed by Linnae Harper who added 16.

“Janee took over the game for us,” said coach Corey Irvin after the game. “We just expect that from her. She did a good job.”
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Coming into this game, coach Irvin wasn’t worried about the potential let down from the big win over Bolingbrook in the Super-sectionals either. “We wanted to beat them but continue to play our game.”

Tonight the Dolphins played their game indeed, sending a big body blow to Bartlett early and a steady jab from their guard play, as well as crashing the boards, including holding them to just six offensive boards total.
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In the third period, Bartlett went cold from the field for almost three minutes as Young got hot with inside scoring, including a nifty layup and jump shot by Harper and a 8′ jump shot by Taylor Brame.
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“We knew we couldn’t stop her (Thompson) completely but we just couldn’t contain her,” coach Denise Sarns shared after the game. “She’s a good player.”

NOTE: At the time of this writing, IHSA is researching to see if Ms. Thompson set the “State assist record.”

Going into the consolation game tomorrow evening, between Loyola or Edwardsville, Ms. Videckis said “it’s going to be a new day… everyone loses and tomorrow we’ll come out and display the talents we do have.”

In the championship game, coach Irvin, who is not new to this atmosphere and the potential of winning another state championship, will get the team relaxed and focused for one more game. And if Young is able to win tomorrow night in the Class 4A championship, they will be the first time since Peoria-Richwoods to accomplish this feat.

See you are the baseline for the Class 4A championship….

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2012 IL Girls Semifinals: Hillcrest-Montini

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 3A Basketball Semifinals

March 2, 2012

NORMAL – Montini (32-5) came back to knock off Hillcrest (27-4) 52-48 in the Class 3A semifinal game. In short, the Lady Hawks had the game in control with a 9 point lead, two of the Broncos starters on the bench, Nikia Edom and Sara Ross, both fouled out by the fourth period, and only 4 minutes to play, but a big three from downtown by Kaleri Stone gave them the momentum they needed.

Even though Stone struggled from behind the arc, going 0-for12, she got hot at the right time for team scoring two three-pointers, a key field goal with 1:27 left in regulation and four sets of free throws to secure the victory.

“Coach told us that if we are going to lose, ‘leave it on the floor’ and my shots fell towards the end of the game,” Stone shared with us after the game.

Stone and Edom led the team with 14 points followed by Tianna Brown, the only starting senior, who added 10.
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“We had a good come back down the stretch,” said coach Jason Nichols. “I was very emotional… but this (victory) for was for the kids….”

Hillcrest had their fair chances, including starting the game with as much as a 14 point lead in the first quarter, they weren’t able to maintain it. In addition, early foul trouble for Seton Hall recruit Shannise Heady iced her ability to get aggressive.
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“I tried to let my defense lead to offense in order to get the team going,” said Heady… She went on to echo what coach Maniatis said “we just didn’t take care of the ball. ”

For the most part, neither team shot well in the game. The Broncos shot 36.7% from the field, while Hillcrest shot 28.6%, but turnovers hurt both teams (48 total) from capitalizing.

“We faught very hard in this game and in fourth quarter, they capitalized on our turnovers,” said coach John Maniatis. “Our kids played hard on the floor in this heavyweight fight between two quality programs, but in the last 4 minutes, we needed to get to 52 pts and they (Montini) got to it before we did.”

Hillcrest were led by senior Jasmine Sanders who had 13, followed by Samirah Ali who added 12. The Hawks just seemed to let this one get away.

“It hurts,” add Maniatis as he left the press room.

This is a three-peat between Montini and Hillcrest in which the Hawks came up short in each of the past two state championship games and the semifinal game. Will today be different? Or will the Lady Broncos continue their winning ways? I believe the game spoke for itself and Montini advances to the Class 3A finals against Vernon Hills, as Hillcrest will face Springfield in the consolation game which will not be easy.
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Coach Nichols is trying his best to now focus on the championship game tomorrow against Vernon Hills – “they are playing good right now – with no fear. Meri (Bennet-Swanson) didn’t shoot well today but I’m certain tomorrow she’ll be ready. One game situation who knows… we’ll be ready”

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2012 IL Girls Semifinals: Springfield-Vernon Hills

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 3A Basketball Semifinals

March 2, 2012

NORMAL – Vernon Hills not only made the trip to Normal but snagged a close victory over favorite Springfield 49-45.
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The first half was just as close, 26-25, as senior guard Zahna Medley led the way for all players with 13, but was ice cold in the second half – going scoreless and the team shot a mere 25% from the field.

In the second half, Vernon Hills pressure played a big role in the struggling offense of the Senators as they held them to to just 7 points in the fourth quarter. The Cougars were led by Lauren Webb, who knocked down 13 points, followed closely by Sydney Smith who added 12. The team finished shooting (47.5%) a little below their season average but enough to advance.
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Up next for Vernon Hills in the Class 3A Girls championship will be the winner of the Montini / Hillcrest contest up next.
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