State Stories

04

MARCH MADNESS: 2015 Class 3A & 4A Girls Basketball

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Last weekend's state title games were memorable affairs, and now it's time for the Class 3A and Class 4A finalists to show their stuff at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal on Friday and Saturday, March 6-7.

The Country Financial Three-Point Showdown continues Thursday at Redbird Arena, as prelims will whittle competitors down to four shooters from each class. The final four shooters from Class 3A and Class 4A will shoot for their class titles between semifinal games on Friday. On Saturday, , with the winners returning on Saturday, March 8 for a chance to be the all-class champion Queen of the Hill.

The games will air live on Comcast SportsNet, Comcast SportsNet+ and IHSA TV Network affiliates (click for local listings). The games will also be carried live on the internet at www.IHSA.tv, which will also stream the post-game press conferences 

Dave Bernhard and Patricia Babcock McGraw call Friday's 3A semifinals, before handing things off to Lee Hall and former Glenbard West star Kristi Faulkner for Saturday's finals. Matt Rodewald and Chloe Barnes will bring fans all the Class 4A contests, while Hall and Elise Menaker will handle the hosting and sideline duties, along with the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown.

CLASS 3A
MONTINI CATHOLIC BRONCOS (30-5)  vs.
MORTON POTTERS (31-3)

A year ago, Montini used a veteran squad to capture the school’s fourth state championship in the past five seasons. Jason Nichols’ team reloads this season with what might be his deepest squad to date. Sophomore guard Kaylee Bambule (10.1 ppg) is the lone Bronco player averaging double-figures scoring, but seven other regulars are scoring three points or more per game, while Rainey Kuykendall (9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg) provides senior leadership from her forward position. Two of Montini’s five losses this season have come against teams playing in the 4A finals this weekend (Benet, New Trier).
Bob Becker’s Morton squad makes it second state final appearance in three seasons behind standout junior guard Chandler Ryan. As a freshman playing in the state finals in 2013, Ryan scored 27 points in two games at Redbird Arena and will now try to lift the Potters to the title game for the first time in school history. Morton features a guard-oriented attack that has seen 5-11 sophomore forward Brandi Bisping take on a big role in the frontcourt (13.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg). Morton enters having won 17 of its last 18 since dropping back-to-back games in late December.

ROCHESTER ROCKETS (32-2)  vs.
BOGAN BENGALS (22-9)
After reaching the Sectional final a year ago, Rochester takes the next step in 2015, advancing to state for the first time under head coach J.R. Boudouris and the third time in school history. The Rockets reached the finals in both previous appearances, finishing second in 2007 and 2008. If the team is going to make it again, it will count on big games from senior guard Laryn Sapetti (13.o ppg, 86 assists) and 6-2 sophomore forward Angela Perry (11.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) in Friday’ semifinals. The Rockets lost by two points to top-ranked UHIGH in February, before avenging the loss with a 40-39 win in the Sectional final.
Bogan carries the torch for the city of Chicago into Redbird Arena, as the Bengals become the first CPS school not named Marshall or Whitney Young to reach the finals on the second weekend of state tourney (Class AA/3A/4A) since Washington High School in 2000. Gary Bell has posted at least 17 wins every season since he took the coaching reigns in 2002, but has the program in the state finals for the first time in school history in large part because of a pair of seniors in guard Brittany Byrd (21.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and center Jamee Denman (12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Take out losses from aforementioned Marshall and Whitney Young, and Bogan is 15-1 since the calendar turned in January.

CLASS 4A
BENET ACADEMY REDWINGS (32-3)   vs.
HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR VIKINGS (20-6)

Benet will make its second state final appearance and first since 1998 this weekend under first-year head coach Joe Kilbride. The Redwings feature three players who are averaging double-digits scoring, including senior guard Emily Eshoo (16.4 ppg) and senior forward Emily Schramek (15 ppg). Eshoo will get a preview of playing on the Redbird Arena court, as she will play collegiately within the conference at neighboring Bradley University. Speaking of the Redbird Court, the Redwings hope to follow the lead of the school’s girls’ volleyball program, which won the Class 4A state title there in November.
Homewood-Flossmoor head coach Anthony Smith won four IHSA state championships and seven total trophies during a prolific run at Bolingbrook from 2001 to 2012. He now has the Vikings at the state finals for the second time in school history in just his second year at the helm. Homewood-Flossmoor is paced by the dynamic senior scoring tandem of Duke recruit Faith Suggs (15.3, 6.3 rpg, 46 assists) and UMASS commit Bria Stallworth (11.7 ppg, 100 assists). Homewood-Flossmoor is 20-1 this season against in-state competition, with the lone loss coming to Bolingbrook, who Benet knocked off in Sectional action.

FREMD VIKINGS (28-4)   vs.
NEW TRIER TREVIANS (30-1)

Fremd placed third in the inaugural IHSA state tournament in 1977 and has played just one game in the state finals since (quarterfinal loss in 1990). Dave Yates’ team ran into 2013 and 2014 state runner-up Rolling Meadows in Sectional play the past two seasons, before rolling through the current State Series with five double-digit victories. The Vikings feature 2,000-point scorer Haley Gorecki (22.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 96 assists), a 6-0 senior guard who will play collegiately at Duke, alongside junior guard Bryana Hopkins (9.9 ppg), who is a Northwestern recruit. Fremd could rematch Benet in the championship, one of two Illinois teams to defeat the Vikings this season.
New Trier head coach Teri Rodgers owns second- and third-place trophies from two of her three previous state final trips and now vies for the first state title in program history. The Trevians success starts inside with the play of 6-3 junior Jeannie Boehm (15.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg), whose family name litters the New Trier athletic record books. Boehm is flanked by two other juniors averaging double-digit scoring numbers, including guard Haley Greer (11.2 ppg, 139 assists). New Trier owns wins over half of the Class 3A state final field, having tallied victories over Bogan and Montini during the regular-season.














TOURNAMENT HISTORY
39th annual State Series
24th year at Redbird Arena


SITE

Redbird Arena (Normal)
Directions


SCHEDULE

Friday, March 6
Session 1
Class 3A Semifinals
12:15 p.m. - Montini
vs. Morton

2:00 p.m. - Rochester
vs. Bogan

Session 2
Class 4A Semifinals

6:30 p.m. - Benet
vs. Homewood-Flossmoor

8:15 p.m. - Fremd
vs. New Trier

Saturday, March 7
Session 3
Class 3A Finals
Noon - Third-Place
2:00 p.m. - Championship

Session 4
Class 4A Finals
6:30 p.m. - Third-Place
8:15 p.m. - Championship

WATCH
Live on Comcast SportsNet & Comcast SportsNet Plus. Click here for channel schedule & information.

Internet
www.IHSA.tv



LISTEN
WFMB 1450 AM (Springfield)
Rochester
Internet Broadcast


EXPERIENCE

Twitter:
@IHSAState
    #IHSA

State Final Photos

State Final Gear


RESULTS & LIVE STATS

IHSA Girls Basketball Page



COUNTRY THREE POINT SHOWDOWN
Thursday, March 5

5:00 p.m. - 3A/4A Prelims

Friday, March 6
1:45 p.m. - 3A Finals
8:00 p.m. - 4A Finals

Saturday, March 7
Queen of the Hill
1:45 p.m. - All class champions


TICKETS
$10 per session (general admission)


HISTORY & RECORDS
2015 Road To Redbird

Record Book & Past Champions