2012 IL Girls 3A Championship: Montini 56, Vernon Hills 38
2012 Girls Class 3A Basketball Championship Game
Montini dominated in the Girls 3A State championship game against Vernon Hills, 56-38, and obtains back-to-back-back championships.
From the tip, the Broncos control the tempo of the game jumping out to a 16-3 lead. From here they were able to extend this lead at the half to 31-10 holding the Cougars to single digits in each early period.
I don’t believe Vernon Hills has seen a team like this season, and it showed, as the Broncos jumped out early and extended their lead to as much as 26 (52-26) in the fourth period.
Jasmine Lumpkin led the Broncos with 14 points, followed by Tianna Brown and Kateri Stone who both added 13.
Sophomore Sydney Smith went up for a layup to give Vernon Hills its first field goal of the Class 3A championship game 9 seconds into the third quarter. Before this field goal, they (Cougars) were on pace for one of the worst offensive performances in a state title game after shooting 0-for-15 from the field in the first half of their 56-38 loss to Montini.
“When we got to halftime we realized we needed to loosen up more,” Smith said. “We’re at state. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity maybe for everyone. We just had to pick it up. We came out with intensity.”
Smith led the team with 17 points.
“No one expected us to get this far,” Vernon Hills 6-foot-2 junior Meri Bennett-Swanson said. “Little Vernon Hills who had never won a regional before this year won a sectional, won a supersectional, is second in state. We couldn’t be happier.”
Bennett-Swanson recalled installing hand signals for the Cougars’ offenses and defenses at the beginning of the season and joking they would use them when they made it downstate for a noisy semifinal.
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