2014 Girls 3A State Finals
It’s March which means it’s State Finals Time…
March 8, 2014 – updated
March 7, 2014
Four teams came down…. two are left to play for the Title!
Montini 57, Joliet Catholic 44 (title game)
NORMAL, IL – The Broncos (34-2) shot with lots and lots of confidence from behind the arc to win this years’ Class 3A state title game against Joliet Catholic, 57-44.
They shot 11-for-20 from downtown led by Kelly Karlis, who knocked down four, and teammates Lea Kerstein and Kateri Stone tagged teamed for three each.
“We saw a tendency in their defenses, and we used our bigger kids to that side,” coach Jason Nichols said after the game. “We did a little bit of shifting to there, and our girls had easier looks off that. … We put shooter to shooter on the same side. That’s where they have a tendency to shift their smaller girls, and that’s where we shifted.”
Kerstein finished the game with 13 points, while Stone added 12.
Cross-court, senior Michigan State-recruit Jasmine Lumpkin finished the game with a double-double, 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals, but that wasn’t enough
“They shot the ball well, and when they’re shooting like that there’s nothing we can do,” Lumpkin said after the game in Normal. “They were hot and they were hitting them. They really had that corner 3 knocked down.”
The Angels (27-3) did cut the deficit to two late in the third quarter following a needed basket by Nicole Ekhomu’s, but the Broncos Kaylee Bambule and Kerstein responded by drilling back-to-back 3s to end the third.
In the end, the Angel leading scorer was sophomore Nicole Ekhomu, who scored 14 points.
FUN FACT: Montini seniors Stone, Karlis and Sara Ross wrapped up their careers with a 138-10 record.
This is Montini’s fourth Class 3A state title in five years after placing third last season, and will be moving to the Class 4A bracket beginning next season. This is due to Illinois High School Associations new success advancement formula.
Quincy Notre Dame 64, Burlington Central 40 (third place game)
NORMAL, IL – Quincy Notre Dame leaves the state finals with a win as they run past Burlington Central, 64-40, in the IHSA Girls 3A 3rd place contest Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders were led by Kristen Gengenbacher, who scored 20 points, followed by teammate Mary Beth Hugenberg, who added 19.
The Rockets were led sophomore Sam Pryor who scored 10 points. Burlington Central is the only team here at State that doesn’t start any seniors and they made this much noise? Wow, they have a very bright future ahead of them and should have a few more trips back down here.
Burlington Central 26, Montini 34
NORMAL, IL – Slow game, but the Broncos did enough to hold on and advance to the IHSA State Finals behind the play of Ohio University-recruit Kelly Karlis, who scored 10 points 5 boards and 3 steals. Teammates Lea Kerstein knocked down 8 points, followed by Kaylee Bambule who added 6.
The Broncos only scored six points in 16-plus minutes spanning three quarters. Unheard of for their style of play. Then, senior guard Kateri Stone, a veteran of three previous trips to state, ended her own scoreless drought with a steal at midcourt that was followed by a layup.
Inspired by Stone’s steal, the Broncos scored seven points in 49 seconds to rally back into the contest and seal the win.
The Broncos (33-2) will face either Joliet Catholic or Quincy Notre Dame at 2 p.m. Saturday, the program’s fourth title game appearance in five years.
On the other side of the ball, the Rockets were led by Sam Pryor who scored 11 points and 6 boards.
Joliet Catholic 70, Quincy Notre Dame 59
NORMAL, IL – This game presented lots of trivia-style questions that no one “would” have ever thought “would” happen: Would the return State Class 3A finalist, Quincy Notre Dame, come out rusty on the big stage? Would the Lady Spartans captain, Jasmine Lumpkin, who have fouled out of a State semifinals game? Or would the size of Joliet Catholic be a little more than Quincy ND could handle?
Lumpkin, a Michigan State recruit, finished the game with almost the game high as she scored 15 points and snagged 6 boards. Nicole Ekomu led the the team with 16 points, 6 boards, and 3 steals, followed by Jnaya Walker who added 15.
In the end, it was the size of the Angels that won the game, and defeat last years’ champs. They will face Montini tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. Lumpkin won a couple State Championships with them prior to this weekends festivities… should be interesting!
“I’m not shocked because of their experience in summer ball, and we never bought into that philosophy,” Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof said of his team’s youth. “I was confident. We’re 30 games into this season.”
Can the Angels win their first State title? Or, will Montini be able to win another Class 3A title?
To see there road traveled to the Illinois State semifinals… click here!
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