NORMAL — The Annawan Bravettes led the Class 1A race from start to finish, capping the 2013-14 season with a 59-23 win over Carrollton in the state championship at Redbird Arena Saturday afternoon.
After returning five starters from last year’s team which placed third, the Bravettes have been ranked No. 1 in Class 1A since the preseason.
Saturday’s championship game was in little doubt from the moment official Dave Shepard of Wyanet tossed the opening jump. The Bravettes turned a 15-9 first-quarter lead to 30-12 by the half. A 21-4 charge in the third quarter wrapped things up.
“As well as they were playing, I kind of expected to see it. But until it comes to fruition, it’s like, ‘Wow, we really did it,’ because there’s always a little doubt if you never done it before and just to see it happen for them is just very special,” Annawan coach Jason Burkiewicz said.
The state championship is the first in school history in any sport and a moment that will forever be etched in the memories of the girls who made it happen.
“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. It’s the first time we’ve won state in our high school,” senior guard Megan Foes said.
“We’ve been working together for so long, and it’s great to see it paying off. We’re just loving this moment,” senior guard Maddie Jackson said. “Last year we came down here and got third. We wanted to get that big one and that’s what we did.”
“Our team motto is we’re on a mission, and I think we accomplished that mission tonight,” senior forward Cierra Davis said.
“It’s been our goal since the season ended last year to get back here and win it,” senior Celina VanHyfte said.
Annawan’s All-State trio led the way. Third-time First Team All-Stater Celina VanHyfte had a game-high 19 points while second teamer Cierra Davis added 17 points and honorable mention pick Megan Foes had 11.
Jackson said the Bravettes never the let the pressure of being No. 1 ranked get to them.
When you’re at the top, everyone wants to do whatever they can to take you from there. We had to make sure we stayed as a team and we just focused on that throughout the season and let that carry on to the games,” she said.
The Bravettes end the season at 30-4.
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