2014 Girls 4A 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!
Rolling Meadows 44, Whitney Young 60 (title game)
NORMAL, Ill. — It was a sophomore who led them to this years’ championship – none other than 5’8″ Kiara Lewis, who secured the Class 4A girls basketball state championship Saturday evening and their third state championship and second in three years.
She knocked down 20 points and was 8-for-13 from the field, including perfect from the charity stripe.
Lewis scored seven points in the third quarter and her 3-pointer and assist to Taylor Malone on the ensuing possessions gave the Dolphins a 40-24 lead. During this period, they never looked back.
“I just came out real intense and I wanted a state championship after what happened last year and not being able to play,” Lewis said. “I came out strong. The whole weekend we came out fast and strong.”
What a fantastic way to end this season especially as Lewis missed all of last season with a knee injury.
“She was huge for our team this year and today,” Young coach Corry Irvin shared about Lewis. “As a team, I thought our defense on Alexis (Glasgow) was huge, and Jackie (Kemph) had to work extra hard to get shots off.”
On the other side of the ball, the Mustangs (29-5), senior Jenny Vliet, played her heart out keeping them in the game as best she could. They even received a surprised gift when Texas A&M recruit, Khaalia Hillsman fouled out on a normal foul (her fourth) then she received a quick technical. This all occurred with a little more than 4 minutes left in regulations, but the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize only scoring just two points the rest of the game.
Vilet finished the game with the game-high of 21 points to go with 10 boards.
“I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say they’ll be the best group that I’ll ever coach,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “It will probably be the best group to go through Rolling Meadows, and maybe the Mid-Suburban League.”
The Dolphins (32-3) opened and closed this season in an ironic manner – first game (December 7) they defeated the Mustangs 54-40, defeated them tonight for state bragging rights.
FUN FACTS: To date, the Dolphins are on a 16 game winning streak.
Marian Catholic 45, Geneva 34 (third place game)
NORMAL, IL – It wasn’t perfect but it was a victory as the Spartans defeated the Vikings 45-34 in the third place state finals.
Marian Catholic stretched out to a lead and never let it go behind the play of senior, DePaul-recruit Ashton Millender, who knocked down 16 points and 7 boards.
“As a senior I was out there enjoying my last moments of playing basketball in high school,” Millender said. “We just said to forget about Friday. We can’t do anything about it, so we just have to move on and win tonight.”
But this contest was a tale of 2 halves because in the third quarter, they went super cold, and only scored three points to the Vikings 11, making the score 26-21. All of the Vikings points except two were from the free throw line.
The Vikings did get the game down to three points at the 7:40 mark in the fourth when Abby Novak nailed a couple of shots from the charity stripe making the game 26-23.
Shortly after that, sophomore guard Gabrielle Cooper knocked down a big three, 29-23. Geneva scored a field goal and Ms. Cooper did it again – nailed a needed three. This stopped the Vikings momentum and slowed down the tempo, and the Spartans will return to Chicago Heights 1-1 in this years’ state finals.
After last nights loss, this was a good win for the young team to develop from.
“I thought we got a couple of good looks, but we missed a couple of layups and some shots within the paint,” Marian coach Dan Murray said. “The biggest thing in the third quarter was that we couldn’t get into some of our pressure [defense] and it became a little bit of a half-court game, which worked to the strength of Geneva.”
Geneva was led by Abby Novak who scored 13 points.
Geneva 43, Rolling Meadows 51
Nice win for the Mustangs behind the play of there three-headed monsters: Jackie Kemph (13 pts), Jenny Vilet (11 pts), and Alexis Glasgow (18 pts).
The Vikings lost some of their momentum when 6’1″ senior Sidney Santos fouled out with 2:54 left in regulation. She finished the game with 2 points and 4 assist, but her presence in the point was huge.
Rolling Meadows will face the winner of the next contest between Chicago’s Whitney Young and returning champs, Marian Catholic.
Young 60, Marian Catholic 20
In a word… thorough! What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Spartans jumped out early and often against the Dolphins, this year, TOTAL opposite as they advance to the state finals today winning 60-20 Friday night at Redbird arena.
“The feeling of last year always lingered with me, so I’m glad we were able to pull this out,” Young senior center Khaalia Hillsman said.
Marian (27-5) shot 3-for-23 and Ashton Millender was held to four points during the first half. Young made 15 of its 26 first-half shot attempts for a 35-8 edge.
Marian Catholic didn’t reach the double-digit mark until Kauai Bradley’s 3-foot running banker in the lane 44 seconds into the second half.
Kiara Lewis led all players with 15 points and 10 boards, followed by teammate Hillsman, who also had a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Dolphins will face Rolling Meadows Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. for the Girls Class 4A title. Young defeated the Mustangs 54-40 in its first game this season.
To see there road traveled to the Illinois State semifinals… click here!
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