2017 IHSA Girls BBall Teams to Watch

Posted on December 29, 2017. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who should you watch out for this season?

November 2017

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1. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-3): Even after losing seven, but there are many leaders in waiting. Keep an eye out for Senior point guard Aireal Dickson, Arianna Garry-Bell, Kaitlin Lee, Zarrea Coleman and sophomore Imani Mitchell bring more backcourt speed. Whew… should be tough!!!!

2. Marist (28-5): Just like H-F, RedHawks graduated a lots of talent, but have an all-conference pick in senior point guard Ally Corcoran as a leader on both ends of the court. Juniors Stef Schied, Abby Callahan and McKenna Kallianis are all proven shooters. Guard Sydney Affolter should be one of the area’s top freshmen.

3. Mother McAuley (22-8): Six players who started games last season including point guard Tara O’Malley has been the leading scorer since her freshman year. Senior Vanessa Gavin is a tough defender. Junior Grace Hynes is the definition of explosive, but can also step back and shoot the three. Senior Kelly Gallagher and juniors Lauren Ramsey and Hannah Swiatek add experience.

4. Lincoln-Way East (19-11): Coach Jim Martin has a lot of experience to work with in his 17th and final season. Senior guard Carolyn Waleski has great instincts, and holds the school record for steals in a game with 11. Senior forward Lauren Hunter is hard to handle under the basket. Senior guard Delani Grayer was the first off the bench last season. Junior guard Katchie Savic was an impact player after Christmas.

5. Argo (22-7): Division I recruit senior Chatori Tyler returns at forward after averaging 22 points. Junior point guard Tadriana Heard is a two-time all-conference player who’s is also being courted by big colleges. Senior forward Shannon Wilbourne is a nice addition after three years at Queen of Peace.

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6. Marian Catholic (18-14): The Spartans are young, but experienced, with four girls who have started 20-plus varsity games. Senior guard Carmen Jackson, a Hampton recruit, will have some tall targets underneath in 6-0 junior Shannan Mitchell and 6-1 sophomore Kennedy Harrell. Sophomore guard Kaylen Evans will help fill the backcourt needs.

7. Morgan Park (11-17): The Mustangs, who overcame discipline issues to advance to the Class 3A Elite Eight, will regroup under new coach Joshua Brown. They return speedy junior point guard Destiny Hall and 6-1 shooting guard Jordan Aikens. Back with the program is 6-0 senior guard Kolby Underwood, who sat out last season. A newcomer to watch is junior Charisma Robinson.

8. Crete-Monee (14-12): The defending Southland Athletic champions return four seniors, headed by all-conference center Shamarre Hale. At 6-2, she is a dominator in the middle. Forward Ariel Henry is an aggressive rebounder, while Ceairra Smith runs the point. Guard Arriyon Phillips will be counted on to step up on offense.

9. Lincoln-Way West (24-6): One thing the Warriors lack is height. One thing they have in abundance is long-distance shooting. Junior guard Tara Hastings and sophomore guard Taylor Gugliuzza return after combining for 103 3-pointers. Sophomore Guard Sydney Swanberg is yet a third threat from beyond the arc. Tara Gugliuzza will follow her older sister as a freshman on the varsity.

10. Lemont (19-9): The Indians won the South Suburban Blue title last season, and return two of the key cogs in senior guards Sarah Knoepfle and Emma Bozue. Between them, the duo averaged 17 points. The frontcourt will have senior leadership in Mairead Ruane and Claudia Sikora.

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20 PLAYERS TO WATCH

Abi Baumgartner, Lincoln-Way Central, junior, forward; Ally Corcoran, Marist, senior, guard; Aireal Dickson, Homewood-Flossmoor, senior, guard; Erin Foley, St. Laurence, senior, forward; Shamarre Hale, Crete-Monee, senior, center; Destiny Hall, Morgan Park, junior, guard; Tara Hastings, Lincoln-Way West, junior, guard; Tadriana Heard, Argo, junior, guard; Lydia Howard, Oak Forest, senior, guard; Grace Hynes, Mother McAuley, junior, guard/forward; Nade’ge Jean, Rich South, senior, center/forward; Sarah Knoepfle, Lemont, senior, guard; Kaitlin Lee, Homewood-Flossmoor, senior, forward; Shannan Mitchell, Marian Catholic, junior, forward; Ryann Ogarek, Providence, junior, forward/guard; Tara O’Malley, Mother McAuley, senior, guard; Natalie Stavropoulos, Sandburg, junior, guard; Chatori Tyler, Argo, senior, forward; Carolyn Waleski, Lincoln-Way East, senior, guard; Tanea White, Bloom, senior, guard.

 

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2013 HS Girls Basketball State Finals

Posted on March 2, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Knock knock…. who’s there? March…

March who? MARCH MADNESS!!!!!

And it’s the Girls 3A / 4A State CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!

March 2, 2013

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As the headline states “it’s that time again” – March Madness time!

NOTE: Did you know Illinois host the ORIGINAL March Madness? Click here for details.

This weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, the best of the best Illinois Girls 3A / 4A basketball teams were on one court at Redbird Arena, the campus of Illinois State University in Normal. This was 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.

For Friday’s semifinals recap, click here.

    Championship Saturday recap

What a wonderful afternoon of “amateur” sports hosted by Illinois High School Association in Normal, IL at RedBird Arena where their will be two “new” 2013 Class 3A and 4A champions.

Class 4A Championship

Marian Catholic vs Rolling Meadows

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Tip off at approximately 8:15pm CST.

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

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Class 4A Third Place game

Young vs Huntley

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We are unway as the 2012 Class 4A champs come out playing what we are used to seeing – aggressive and attacking basketball. With this form of play the Dolphins jumped out in the first period to a 16-6 lead.

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Class 3A Championship

Quincy Notre Dame 62, Vernon Hills 45


CONGRATULATIONS Lady Raiders on yet another undefeated season 30-0!

The two-time defending Class 2A girls basketball champion, Quincy Notre Dame, moved up this year and put some distance between them an ALL of the naysayers as they won the 2013 IHSA Girls Class 3A championship Saturday afternoon in Normal against Vernon Hills 62-45.

“It’s a great honor to be part of three straight championship teams and win Class 3A undefeated,” said Quincy Notre Dame senior Jordan Frericks, who had 14 points. “We’ll be remembered forever, and created a lot of great memories.”

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Quincy Notre Dame – Class 3A Champions

Kassidy Gengenbacher led the Lady Raiders (30-0) with 20 points.

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Vernon Hills Cougars

Vernon Hills (31-3) finished second for the second year in a row. Lauren Webb finished the game with a double-double – 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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Class 3A Third Place game


Montini 42, Morton 38

Lady Broncos were led by Kelly Karlis, who scored 11 points followed by teammate Pauline Castro who added 9. Junior guard Sara Ross contributed 8 points and 8 boards.

Sarah Livingston had the hot hand for the Potters with a natural double-double – she knocked down 16 points and 12 boards.

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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.

ALL games were broadcasted LIVE via the Internet by SportsTownChicago.com

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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

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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.

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

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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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2012 McDonald’s All-American Girls Basketball Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Best of the Best

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March 28 2012

In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Girls basketball, it was the East on top,79-78, behind the fine play of Alexis Prince who knocked down a team high of 15, followed by Brittney Holmes who added 13. The game ended with a little controversy due to a late foul being called on Katie Collier of Seattle Christian as the buzzer sounded. The foul put Bashaara Graves on the charity stripe, where she knocked down the first shot and missed the second on purpose. This would have been the first ever overtime Girls’ All-American game.

“I thought it was a foul,” said Graves, a Tennessee-recruit, who had seven points and 10 rebounds. “But I was surprised that it was called. It was kind of iffy.”

One could assume since the game was televised, girls game is on ESPN2 and the boys game is on ESPN, overtime would possibly push back the boys broadcast, considered they are the bigger draw.

“I didn’t want it (the game) to end,” Graves said with a big smile. “But it was more important to get the win so…”

Teammate Prince shared the same view of the conclusion of the game. “I wanted to keep playing especially with the best of the best.” Prince is headed to top-ranked Baylor in the fall.

The West were led by Nirra Fields, who finished with 20. Ms. Fields became the first Canadian-born girls’ player to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game. After the game, she shared with us that “I’m just pleased to play here. This was my goal and I wanted this to be an all American.” Fields will be playing ball next year at UCLA.
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Local All-American Morgan Tuck (UConn), out of Bolingbrook, added 18 points, 3 boards in 23 minutes of play. “It was fun to play on the same court as Michael Jordan and now Derrick Rose,” she shared with us after the game. ”

The East jumped out to as much as 16 point lead in the first period (7:36) including an 11-0 run to start the game, but the West slowly picked away at the lead and got it down to six with less than a minute left to play in the first half, but Syracuse-bound Brittney Sykes, knocked down two of the last baskets to closed out the half (40-31).

The West squad never led and trailed 11-0 early on, they stayed with the East for the entire second half. In the second half, the West was able to tie the game on two separate occasions with the inside play of 6’2″ Tuck, once at 50 and another at 78 with 16 seconds left in regulation, but each time they made their run, Breanna Stewart (UConn) was able to stop them by knocking down shots including 7 of the 8 remaining points.

“This was one of the better played all-star games I’ve seen,” said East coach Anne Long of Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.). “There was a lot of unselfish play.”

Ms. Stewart was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), and Ms. Prince was named MVP of the game.

As for the other Chicago girls, Janee Thompson, Kentucky-recruit, had 7 points and 2 steals including one 3-pointer; Jewel Loyd finished with 4 points and 8 boards – next stop for her, Notre Dame.
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“We are blessed to play this game and be able to give back like this through the Ronald McDonald game,” Loyd shared after the game. “Right now I’m looking forward to playing with Notre Dame next year. I will be cheering for them in the Final Four game (this weekend in Denver).” In fact, a few of the girls are making a trip to see the game live including Loyd.

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With the 40 year anniversary of Title IX coming, coach Long shared her thoughts “we should be blessed with where we have come from an build on it. The pioneers put us in the right track and we are simply following their paths.”

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Ashley & Courtney Paris, and Maya Moore to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

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2012 IL Girls 4A Third Place Game: Bartlett 61, Loyola 59 OT

Posted on March 4, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 4A Basketball Third Place Game

March 3, 2012

For Bartlett, fans (parents) called this there championship game, considering they faced the top ranked Young team, who easily defeated them in the semifinal game. In this contest, it took overtime to decide but in the end, the Hawks’ claimed third place in the Class 4A finals defeating Loyola 61-59.

The Hawks’ overcame a Loyola’s physical play and a three-point deficit with 19 seconds left in regulation.

“The strength in our team is how we play together,” Bartlett coach Denise Sarna said. “Our strength is all of us playing together, and tonight was another example.”

Palmer had 14 points, 16 rebounds and four steals and sparked the Hawks (32-2) in overtime with seven points. She iced the game with two free throws with one second left in overtime after getting fouled by Michelle Ricolcol (17 points).

“I tried rebounding hard; it was my last game,” Palmer said. “Why not go out with a bang?”

Loyola (26-9) led by six points twice in the third but couldn’t pull away. The Ramblers took 50-47 lead after a free throw by Ricolcol with 19 seconds left, but Conniff (21 points, 6 rebounds) drilled one of her four 3-pointers with 13 seconds left.

Loyola junior Anna Schueler’s 3-pointer at the end of regulation bounced out to send the game into overtime.

“They got an open 3; give credit to (Conniff) for knocking that down,” Loyola coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “This has been an amazing three-and-a-half weeks. It’s been a dream season.”

In closing, senior point guard Baker was very sick all weekend and her illness spreaded throughout the locker room of the Hawks including Kristin Conniff (21 points, 6 boards) and Lisa Palmer (14 points), who were still coughing during the postgame press conference.

“I’ve been sick since last weekend,” Baker said.

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2012 IL Girls 3A Championship: Montini 56, Vernon Hills 38

Posted on March 3, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Montini’s size, quickness and ability to control the boards proved that this young team, will be a force to be dealt with for seasons to come.
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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.

“It’s funny and ironic that the joke has come true,” Bennett-Swanson said.
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Montini celebrating their championship….                                       Vernon Hills captures second place in the state at 3A

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2012 IL Girls 3A Third Place Game: Hillcrest vs Springfield

Posted on March 3, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Class 3A Basketball Third Place Game

March 3, 2012

For both teams, this consolation contest is a bit bitter sweet, as both teams, were very close to playing in the championship game later today. In the end, it was Hillcrest capturing third place in the Class 3A, 70-54, against Springfield.

“Today was a character check,” said coach John Maniatis after the game. “It would have been very easy to give up… each of these ladies put their heart on display today.”

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At the half, Springfield led Hillcrest 32-29. The Lady Hawks had the early lead through the first quarter until the final seconds of the period when senior guard Zahna Medley threw up a shot from half-court that was treated like a pass to teammate Mel Bremhorst, who was under the basket, and scored a short shot with ease. In addition, in the second quarter, the Senators out scored them 15-12 with lots of second chance shots.
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In the second half, Hillcrest stretched out to score 20 points to Springfields’ 8, to make the score 49-40, going into the final 8 minutes of play. During this period, Jahmia Phillips, Long Island University recruit, got hot where she scored 6 of the 20 points. She finished the game with 8 points.

“We had to step on the court and finish hard,” added Phillips.
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Seton Hall recruit, Shannise Heady, was her normal aggressive self today. She went 7-12 from the field, 5-7 from the charity stripe, and snagged 8 boards.

“I was able to play my game and I didn’t have to worry about fouls,” said after the game with her big smile.

During this time, the Senators went cold in fourth not scoring a basket for close to 3 minutes, which made the difference, as Hillcrest stretched out to a comfortable double-digit lead (16) and victory.

For the Lady Hawks, this is their first time leaving Redbird Arena with a victory and it marked the 101th win for all of the seniors.
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“I’m very proud of all 15 players, our coach staff and administrators… they all played a role in picking up each player.”

You can see Hillcrest receiving the third place IHSA Class 3A Girls trophy by clicking here.

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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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