The Class 1A and 2A state champions will be crowned on Saturday in Illinois as the state finals for girls’ basketball get underway. Friday’s games saw two close games in Class 1A with Freeport Aquin beating Annawan in the closing seconds 39-38 and Mt. Pulaski defeating Cowden-Herrick 49-41. The Class 2A games weren’t even close as Nashville beat Walther Lutheran 50-29 and St. Thomas More shut down El Paso-Gridley 62-48. With the third place and championship games ahead, here are some players to be watching for during Saturday’s action…..
Sophie Brunner, Freeport Aquin: Brunner scored the winning basket on Friday during a 21-point, 12-rebound performance that carried her team into the championship game. Brunner made ten of the 17 shots the team made for the day.
Micah Jones, Cowden-Herrick: Jones did everything in her power with 26 points and 21 rebounds in a dominating performance that went unappreciated as Cowden went down to defeat. Jones made 11 of the 15 shots the team had and Jones may need to score 30 points with 25 rebounds if Cowden wants to avoid finishing fourth.
Morgan VanHyfte, Annawan: VanHyfte had 16 points to lead Annawan and may need help from her sister Celina if Annawan wants to win third place in Class 1A.
Jessica Awe, Mt. Pulaski: Awe had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Mt. Pulaski in their win. Awe along with Andrea Dickerson, who scored 18 points Friday are going to need to lead another win to the title.
Dana Turner, Walther Lutheran: Turner scored 16 of the 29 points for the night for Walther Lutheran. Turner was one of the few players to make baskets with seven of the team’s ten made shots.
Shaye Harre, Nashville: Harre had 19 points during Nashville’s win in Class 2A while making eight of her 12 shots. Nashville is very potent at 32-2 and could have the inside track to the title.
Tori McCoy, St. Thomas More: McCoy had 24 points and 14 points on Friday night in the team’s win while being impossible to stop on offense.
Codee Schlipf, El Paso-Gridley: Schlipf scored 14 points to lead the team and will need to do more of the same in the third-place game.