NORMAL, Ill. – The first week of March is the time for Illinois high school athletics to crown new champions in girl’s basketball.
That includes one school from the Chicagoland area that returned home a champion at the IHSA State Finals at CEFCU Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.
Nazareth Academy completed a dominating season with a Class 3A championship thanks to a pair of wins in Normal this weekend to capture their first state title in program history.
Entering the finals with a 33-1 record, having not lost since early December, the Roadrunners defeated Peoria in the semifinals 48-35 on Friday and then beat Lincoln 63-52. It comes just a year after Nazareth lost to Carmel in the state championship game.
Olivia Austin led the way for the Roadrunners with 23 points in the title contest with Mary Bridget Wilson & Grace Carstensen getting 11 while Amalia Dray scored ten.
A few other Chicagoland teams also made the IHSA Girls’ Basketball State Finals as well.
Class 4A – Benet Academy (Benet), Geneva High School, Hersey High School (Arlington Heights) – Three of the four teams in Class 4A were from the Chicagoland area, with Benet defeating Geneva 50-48 on two last-second free throws by Samantha Trimberger to advance to the title game. Unfortunately, the Redwings would fall to O’Fallon, who beat Hersey in the semifinals, 62-57 in the state championship on Saturday. Geneva would then defeat Hersey in the third place game 72-61.
Class 3A – Deerfield High School – The Warriors made their first state finals after going 29-5 en route to Normal. In the semifinals on Friday they lost to Lincoln 76-56 and then dropped the third place game to Peoria 86-67.
Class 2A – Butler College Prep – Chicago – The Lynx made their first appearance at the State Finals after a program-best 30-6 record. They ended up finishing fourth as they lost to Byron 55-43 in the semifinals and then dropped the third-place game to Quincy Notre Dame 66-57.