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The sisterhood of Bravettes basketball

NORMAL — Annawan Bravettes basketball has become a sisterhood in more ways than one.

This year’s state champions include a pair of sisters in sophomore Morgan and senior Celina VanHyfte, and a set of twins in Cierra and Dominque Davis.

There’s another pair of Bravettes, whose sisters played on Annawan’s 2012 squad that reached the super-sectional. Maddie Jackson is the younger sister of Riley Jackson and Paige Randall is the sister of Kirsten Randall.

Maddie said she has talked to her older sister, Riley, about their two teams.

“Her team got to super-sectionals and got knocked out,” Jackson said. “She said, ‘It’s good for you guys, you got further.’ (But) at first she was like, ‘I’m a little jealous,’ because that’s what they wanted too obviously.”

Paige Randall is happy to share her moment with her big sister.

“She ended her season at super-sectionals and being able to win State my last year, it’s great for her and I, because we both have lot a lot of work into it and so it’s great to share it with it her,” she sad. “I felt bad for them, they ended their season like that, but it’s great at least they get to experience some of it since we got to.”

That sisterhood and family atmosphere helps lifts the Bravettes on the floor, Paige Randall said.

“I think that’s how we come out and win some games, because we act like a family and don’t act like individuals, and we all play together so great,” she said.

Maddie Jackson (eighth-grader Kaley) and Paige Randall (sixth-grader Reece) will remain a part of Bravettes basketball with some younger sisters coming up.

“I got a little sister coming up, too. It’s just great. I can come back and watch her next year,” said Jackson, who plans to study business at the U of I.

Slow start: While the Bravettes’ victories were never in doubt, their cheering section got off to a slow start. A group of Annawan fans unfurled a Bravettes No. 1 banner across the mezzanine of the upper bowl of Redbird Arena prior to Saturday’s IHSA Class 1A State. Just one problem, they hung it over the Carrollton cheering section.

It soon was removed and taken across the arena to the Annawan side.

Encore performance?: While the Bravettes graduated four starter and six of their top seven players, there’s at least one person with one expections for the Bravettes to return to State again next year.

“I’m going to expect another next year with my sisters and our team that’s going to step up, because they have the potential to do this if they work hard. I know they can,” senior Celina VanHyfte said.

Annawan will bring up a sophomore class which were undefeated Lincoln trail F/S champions under the direction of coach Caitlyn Corwin, a 2005 graduate of Bureau Valley High School. They will also be adding another VanHyfte sister with the addition of freshman, Jade, next year.

Family trifecta: The Corwin family has enjoyed their own triple crown this year. Caitlyn has taken part in Annawan’s State championship run, her mom, Pat, led her Bureau Valley South girls basketball team to the BVEC championship, and her father, Al, learned Friday he’s gained his first assignment to officiate the upcoming 1-2A boys state championship.

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