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Sister Act

VanHyftes lead Bravettes back to state

BLOOMINGTON — It was a sister act Monday that propelled the Annawan Bravettes back to Normal.

All-state senior center Celina VanHyfte (22 points) and her sophomore sister Morgan (20) combined for 42 points to power the Bravettes past Cissna Park 71-52 in Monday’s Class 1A Bloomington Super-Sectional at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The No. 1 ranked Bravettes (28-4) will face Lanark Eastland, at 2 p.m. Friday at Redbird Arena in the 1A State semifinals. Eastland beat Hinckley-Big Rock 36-33 at the DeKalb Super-Sectional. Annawan made its first appearance to state a year ago, placing third.

“It’s great,” said Annawan coach Jason Burkiewicz, a 1999 graduate of Hall High School. “A lot of times teams are lucky to get one.”

“Last year, we were one of the new teams with a couple of teams having state experience. This year we will be one of the teams with experience, plus we will be healthy,” senior Annawan senior guard Megan Foes said in reference to Celina VanHyfte’s badly sprained ankle a year ago.

Annawan got off to a fast start behind Morgan VanHyfte, who scored 19 points in the first quarter to spark the Bravettes to an 18-10 lead.

The Bravettes held a 36-22 lead at halftime, struggling to find their mark a bit (13 of 34 from the floor) at the Shirk Center, which has not exactly been the friendly confines for the Bravettes. They were 1-1 in previous super-sectional contests and 2-4 overall, including the State Farm Classic tournament.

“I said at halftime, everybody has been thinking it but nobody has mentioned it, we struggle shooting here. We have to go down low to Celina and play off of her,” Burkiewicz said. “We couldn’t get anything to fall early so we went to our all-stater, and she took care of us tonight.”

What the VanHyfte sisters didn’t provide, senior Cearra Davis did, adding 15 points to the mix.

Cissna Park (22-9) managed to close within 11 at 38-29 in the third and 55-44 early in the fourth, but the Bravettes were able to pull ahead to victory. Davis (15 points) converted a three-point play and Celina VanHyfte scored to put the Bravettes back ahead 60-44.

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