2013 HS Girls Basketball State SemiFinals

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Knock knock…. who’s there? March… March who? MARCH MADNESS!!!!!

March 1, 2013

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It’s that time again basketball fans…. March Madness time as our calendars turn to March in a couple of days Illinois features the best of the best Girls 3A / 4A basketball teams on one court at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal – Friday and Saturday, March 1-2. This is the 37th annual edition of this tourney, the 22nd consecutive year that Redbird has served as the host and the sixth year of the four-class system.

Here’s our recap of Friday’s semifinals:

Class 3A

FINAL: Vernon Hills 48, Montini 45 OT

montini vernonhills

NORMAL, Ill. — Call it an upset? Sure…. But as many coaches always say, experience sometimes is the best learning tool a young team could ever have. Well, this proved to be the winning formula for Vernon Hills as they knocked off State finals foe Montini 48-45 in overtime at Redbird Arena Friday afternoon in the IHSA Girls Class 3A semis.

The Cougars showed their growth with a composed and methodical team effort as team leader Lauren Webb knocked down 21 points from Lauren Webb, followed by Meri Bennett-Swanson, a DePaul recruit, who added 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and Alina Lehocky, who contributed 7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals.

“A lot of the experience from last year really carried forth,” Vernon Hills coach Paul Brettner said. “The little things, like we don’t go out for a timeout. Little things when they are not new, make you more comfortable.”

Montini (34-2) made just six of its first 30 shot attempts and didn’t take advantage of some shaky ballhandling by the Cougars in the first half.

The Cougars led 35-24 after three quarters, but Montini junior Kelly Karlis scored seven straight points late in regulation to give the Broncos a 40-38 lead with 1 minute, 22 seconds left. Webb made two free throws and Sydney Smith missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for Vernon Hills.

“I thought we struggled in all phases of the game today,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “I think our defensive rebounding was absolutely a killer.”

Vernon Hills outrebounded Montini 50-23, including 21-9 on offense. And in overtime, the Cougars scored the first six points in overtime, and Webb made all six of her free-throw attempts in that span.

The Cougars (31-2) advance to Saturday’s 2 p.m. title game against Quincy Notre Dame, a 67-51 winner over Morton. Vernon Hills avenged last year’s state title loss to Montini, ended the Broncos’ quest for a record-breaking fourth straight championship and halted their winning streak at 21.

3A CHAMPIONSHIP — Vernon Hills vs. Quincy Notre Dame, 2 p.m. Saturday.

GAME NOTES
Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith (13.1 ppg), Lauren Webb (12.6 ppg) and 6-2 DePaul recruit Meri Bennett-Swanson (10.9 ppg) — who all average around 11 points per game — should get theirs against Montini. Montini’s 6-4 Malayna Johnson (8.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and the Broncos’ young depth, featuring freshman sharpshooter Lea Kerstein and 6-1 sophomore Rainey Kuykendall, could be the difference, along with junior guard Kateri Stone (11.7 ppg).

Montini has won state titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012, compiled a 136-10 record over the last four years and has chance to become the first girls team in Illinois history to win four consecutive state titles.

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LIVE GAME STATS: We are providing ALL of the LIVE action including play-by-play for this game – click here

Quincy Notre Dame 67, Morton 51

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Morton (30-5) vs. Quincy Notre Dame (29-0)
Quincy Notre Dame was able to potentially extend their state championship streak to three after defeating Morton Friday afternoon at Redbird Arena 67-51.

Jordan Frericks (12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals), Kassidy Gengenbacher (15 points) and Kristen Gengenbacher (13 points) led QND (29-0). Chandler Ryan had 18 points in the Morton (30-5) loss.

There winning treak dates back to back-to-back titles at the Class 2A level before moving up to Class 3A this year. Prior to this contest, Morton won 18 in a row behind 6-2 Illinois recruit Sarah Livingston (27 points, 12 rebounds in the super).

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Class 4A

whitneyyoung2 mariancatholic

Marian Catholic 63, Young 39


GIRL ON FIRE….

NORMAL, Ill. — Ashton Millender was truly in the matrix during the Illinois Girls Class 3A semifinals against highly-ranked Whitney Young, as she knocked down 29 points to lead the team to the championship game against Rolling Meadows.

“I knew that I had to get touches,” Millender said. “I had to get my teammates involved, but I had to shoot the ball.”

The 5-foot-10 Millender made five straight baskets in Friday’s game, spanning the first and second quarters.

It just seems as if the Dolphins (26-5) didn’t have a sufficient game plan for Millender who played several possessions at point guard. Millender closed the first half by driving to her right, crossing over to her left and hitting an off-balanced, underhanded, left-handed scoop banker at the buzzer to extend Marian Catholic’s lead to 29-12.

“I just knew I had to keep shooting,” Millender said. “But one person doesn’t win a basketball game. It was fun out there. ”

On the defensive end, the Spartans made life miserable for Young in the paint. Young’s Linnae Harper, a McDonald’s All-American selection, finished the contest shooting 3-for-19 from the field and nine points.

“I thought Ashton played phenomenal defense on her,” Byrne said. “She did a great job of keeping her in front of her, containing her, staying low instead of falling for things.”

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And from here the Spartans never let up and stretched out to as much as a 25 point lead in the second half. The game play and lack of favorable calls forced Young to come undone as they received three technical fouls, two on players and one on coach Corry Irvin.

“A lot of things went well,” Marian coach Annie Byrne said. “We definitely beat them on the battle of the boards (43-33), and that’s something we had talked about.

This was the Spartans (32-1) 19th straight victory… they need just one more against the only team they lost to early in the season (December 21, 61-55).

“We want revenge and to get them back,” Marian Catholic senior forward Megan Walsh said of playing Rolling Meadows. Walsh finished this game with 15 points.

NOTE: Whitney Young was NOT available for post-game comments and questions.

4A CHAMPION GAME — Marian Catholic vs. Rolling Meadows, 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

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Rolling Meadows 61, Huntley 44

RollingMeadows Huntley
Rolling Meadows (30-3) vs. Huntley (26-7)
With both teams making their first appearance in the state semifinals. you could see early they were nervous but Rolling Meadows was able to shake that off and get several runs to defeat Red Raiders and proceed too the finals Saturday evening against Marian Catholic.

Jackie Kemph had 12 points and 6 assists, Jenny Vliet had 18 points and 9 rebounds, and Alexis Glasgow added 16 points for Rolling Meadows (30-3). The Andrews sisters – Ali Andrews (16 points) and Sam Andrews (11 points, 7 rebounds) led Huntley (26-7).

NOTE: Rolling Meadows is the only team to beat Marian Catholic this year, and seems to have recovered from consecutive losses to Quincy Notre Dame (in OT) and Fremd to end the regular season.

IMPORTANT NOTES

The games will air live on the IHSA TV Network (click for local listings – http://www.ihsa.org/NewsMedia/IHSATVNetwork.aspx) and will also be carried live on the internet at www.IHSA.tv. Fans can also get unprecedented coverage of the state finals on Twitter by following @IHSAState. Lee Hall and ISU legend Jill Hutchison will bring viewers the 3A action and Dave Bernhard and Patricia Babcock McGraw step in to call the 4A games. Matt Rodewald will handle the hosting and sideline duties, along with the Class 3A and 4A finals of the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown on Friday and the Country Financial Queen of the Hill three-point shooting on Saturday, which pits the four class winners head-to-head.

You can listen LIVE to ALL of the game via the Internet by SportsTownChicago.com

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