2014 Girls 3A State Finals

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Below are the updates from Friday – the semifinal games…

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.

“You have to keep fighting, and we found a way to win,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “It was not pretty.”

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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2014 Girls State Final Preview

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

100 Days Later – 8 teams still stand – four from each class: 3A / 4A

March 6, 2014



Burlington Central (27-4) vs. Montini (32-2), 12:15 p.m.

Burlington Central is making its first appearance in the state finals, but it’s not likely to be the Rockets’ last. The Rockets’ has lots, I mean lots of young talent in the pipeline led by 6-foot sophomore Samantha Pryor, 5-8 sophomore guard Shelby Holt and 6-foot junior Alison Colby. They are facing a playoff-veteran, and State champion caliber team led by a pair of four-year players – 6-1 Kateri Stone and 6-2 Kelly Karlis – and featuring a deep and talented bench.

“Burlington Central is a nice young team that’s going to be hungry and eager to knock us off,” Nichols warned.

Joliet Catholic (27-2) vs. Quincy Notre Dame (29-3), 2 p.m.

Maybe it’s not the same team that won the Class 3A state title last year – 6-2 Jordan Frerichs and Kassidy Gengenbacher have both moved on – but there’s still enough talent at Quincy Notre Dame to make a serious bid for a fourth straight state title. The leaders of this year’s group are 5-11 senior Mary Beth Hugenberg and 5-10 senior Kristen Gengenbacher, who get a lot of help from 5-9 senior Cassidy Foley and her younger sister, freshman McKenzie Foley. Joliet Catholic has not been downstate since 1985. Quincy Notre Dame hasn’t missed since 2009. On the other side of the court, is a championship roster as well led by Michigan State-recruit Jasmine Lumpkin, who is averaging 18.3 points and 9.2 boards. And to add a little more fire power, teammate, Nicole Ekhomu, has superb court-vision orchestrating the offense and breaking down defenses. And to top it off, she’s a sophomore who’s averaging 14.3 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.8 steals per game.  This should be an exciting game.

3A players to watch: Burlington Central –- Sam Pryor, 6-0, So., F (14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds); Alison Colby, 6-0, Jr., F (8.2 points, 6.0 rebounds). Montini – Kateri Stone, 6-1, Sr., G (11.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 93 3-pointers); Kelly Karlis, 6-2, Sr., G (9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds). Joliet Catholic – Jasmine Lumpkin, 6-0, Sr., F (18.3 points, 9.2 rebounds); Nicole Ekhomu, 5-9, So. G (14.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 steals). Quincy Notre Dame – Mary Beth Hugenberg, 5-11, Sr., F (16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds); Kristen Gengenbacher, 5-10, Sr., G (15.7 points, 3.5 assists).



Marian Catholic (27-4) vs. Young (30-3), 8:15p.m.

Dolphins seek revenge after being caught by the Spartans last year on the same court, same game as they loss 63-39…

Coach Corry Irvin said it plain and simple “We were horrible!”

Top-ranked Dolphins (30-3) will get a chance to avenge that loss when they face defending state champion Marian Catholic (27-4) in a Class 4A semifinal at Redbird Arena Friday at 8:15 p.m. The game will follow the 6:30 p.m. semifinal between Rolling Meadows (28-4) and Geneva (26-5).

Marian Catholic is riding a 14-game winning streak heading into the state finals. The Spartans have not lost since a 60-33 thumping at the hands of Incarnate Word (St. Louis, Mo.) back on Jan. 11, although they needed a little late heroics to turn back Oak Lawn in overtime in the sectional finals. Teniya Page and Ashton Millender have carried the offensive load for first-year coach Dan Murray.

Geneva (26-5) vs. Rolling Meadows (28-4), 6:30 p.m.

Is there a hotter team around than Geneva? The Vikings have won 14 in a row and recently got Michaela Loebel back off the DL. Grace Loberg has been a revelation for the Vikings. Since coming up to the varsity, the 6-2 freshman has averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game. But the Vikings are facing a team that has a little bit of incentive after losing in the final seconds of the 2013 state title game. “We’ve used that game as motivation,” Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph said.

4A players to watch: Geneva — Grace Loberg, 6-2, Fr., C (14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds); Morgan Seberger, 5-11, Sr., G (11.0 points, 53 3-pointers). Rolling Meadows — Jackie Kemph, 5-6, Sr., G (21.2 points, 8.3 assists); Jenny Vliet, 6-2, Sr., F (14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds). Young — Khaalia Hillsman, 6-5, Sr., C (13.4 points, 14.4 rebounds); Kiara Lewis, 5-8, So., G (12.1 points, 8.3 assists). Marian Catholic — Ashton Millender, 5-10, Sr., G (16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 62 3-pointers); Teniya Page, 5-7, Sr., G (15.1 points, 4.7 assists).


To see there road traveled to the Illinois State semifinals… click here!

People also read the following…


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