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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