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CLASS 3A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Montini 64, Hillcrest 53
NORMAL — This was Hillcrests' first state basketball title
appearance and they went all out to make this a memorable experience.
Hillcrest took an early double digit lead,
27-15, in the second quarter, but couldn't hold on to it as Montini went
on a 13-0 run and took a 33-31 lead going into halftime.
Hillcrest battled back and forth all game to keep it close, but Montini
was hitting all of their outside shots. They only went 39% from downtown
for the game behind the hot hands of Illinois State recruit Alison
Seberger, who knocked down 18 - all of her points from behind the arc,
but it seemed like every shot went down for them during one stretch of
‘‘It’s the best feeling in the world and
to do it now for (teammate) Michala (Johnson, who has a torn anterior
cruciate ligament), we wanted to do this for her,’’ Seberger said.
‘‘[The three] is a big shot and to get our team pumped up, that’s what
you have to do.’’
The third quarter got started with a quick
score by the Lady Hawk's senior and co-captain Kristin Marshall’s that
tied the score at 33. Right after that Montini knocked down three
3-pointers, two by Seberger and one by Whitney Adams.
Then Hillcrest took a major blow when senior, Uniquah Hampton collided
with Holloway at half court (press row side). There head-to-head
collision opened up a large gash on Hampton’s forehead resulting from
her to receive medical attention. After them game, Hillcrest coach John
Maniatis said Hampton needed 50 stitches to close the wound and was
taken to Bromenn Medical Center in Normal.
Hampton left the game with 14 points and was 4-of-7 from behind the arc.
With the DePaul recruit out of the game,
the Lady Broncos' took advantage and began spreading their defense and
executing shots within their comfort zone.
‘‘I think their defense was different,’’ Holloway said. ‘‘Uniquah was a
factor there in the middle so [Hampton’s absence] let me get to the
basket a little more.’’
The Lady Hawks were able to rally to get the game within 4 points,
but Seberger answered with another signature three-pointer. The Lady
Broncos had an answer each time Hillcrest tried to rally.
Montini was led by Whitney Adams who finished the Class 3A championship
game with a double-double: 20 points and 10 rebounds, followed by
Whitney Holloway who added 12 points.
Shannise Heady led Hillcrest with 18,
followed by sophomore phenom Samirah Ali who added 11 points.
After the game, Marshall shared her
thoughts about fellow teammate, ‘‘we’ve been playing together since
seventh grade and I was hoping she was OK, but once we knew she was
out we wanted to step it up and do it for her," she said holding
back tears. "She's one of the best players on the team, and (her
loss) kind of stopped our momentum."
updated March 8, 2010
It was reported that from Hillcrests' pep rally which was held Saturday
night that Hampton received a standing ovation.
‘‘(Holloway) was coming down the sideline and I tried to step over her
to take a charge,’’ Hampton said. ‘‘I guess her head went into my head
and I just fell. I thought I was OK, but when I looked at my hand I saw
‘‘I thought they could fix me up and I could go back into the game. But
when the trainer told me I couldn’t, I just started crying.’’
"I wasn't worried about my head. I just wanted them to put a Band-aid on
it so I could get back in."
Springfield 65, Oswego 41
NORMAL — Springfield was determined not to
repeat 2009, where they were unsuccessful in obtaining a victory at the
So, from the tip, they played aggressive behind the play of Zahna
Medley, who knocked down 17, followed by Kasi Korza who added 15.
Oswego never seemed to find any rhythm on either side of the ball. The
Panthers truly hoped to be one of just two teams to end their season
with a win, but, the fourth-place trophy is the first of its kind for
the girls basketball program and caps the best season in school history.
“It’s great. It’s awesome,” coach Chad Pohlmann said. “We set a goal to
come down here after our sectional final loss last year to Freeport. We
set a goal right away to come down and the girls put in tons of time,
played 250 games probably between then and the start of our season and
worked extremely hard to get to this point. It’s well deserved, and I
couldn’t be prouder of the group.”
Oswego was led by Paige Harmon, who scored a double-double: 16 points
and 11 boards.
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