RIVER FOREST – It’s been a good year for girls sports at IC Catholic.
On the heels of the girls volleyball team’s Class 2A state title in the fall, the girls basketball team earned its first trip to state by defeating Seton Academy 40-38 in a 2A supersectional at Concordia University Monday night.
The Knights (25-6) led the entire game and held off the Sting (19-9) down the stretch. IC led 26-15 at halftime, but the Sting gradually got back into the game.
Following Seton’s potential tying 3-pointer in the final minute, Grace Vitek made two clutch free throws to extend the lead. After Alfatinee Boyd drained a three with 7.3 seconds left the Knights were able to play keep away and kill the clock without being fouled.
“This has been our goal all season,” Vitek said. “Me, Abby [Radoha] and Rory [Manion] have played together since freshman year and we’ve been dreaming of getting to state so it’s a dream come true.”
The senior trio led a balanced attack for IC. Vitek and Manion scored 10 points each. Radoha finished with eight points.
Manion was a key player for the girls volleyball team and now gets to go back to state for the second time this school year. She will return to the site of the volleyball championship, Redbird Arena.
“Getting to state is amazing,” Manion said. “It’s something that my sisters haven’t done in their high school careers for either sport so getting it for both sports in my senior year is just absolutely indescribable and awesome.”
Vitek is a 5-foot-11 guard that presents match up problems for opponents thanks to her all-around game and length. Manion is a physical 6-foot forward that leads the team with 9.4 rebounds per game.
“Grace and I are partners, basically,” Manion said. “We’re always running the pick and roll. We’re always working as a team.”
In the state semifinal, the Knights will take on Prophetstown, which is about 40 miles northeast of Moline. Prophetstown has won more than 20 games in 14 of the past 16 season, but this is their first state appearance
The Lady Prophets enter with a 30-2 record and have a 23-game winning streak dating back to a Dec. 11 loss. Meanwhile, IC has rattled off 16 wins in a row since falling to York on Jan. 3.
Regardless of the results in Normal, the Knights will be claiming their first ever state trophy.
“This is just great for the school,” coach Aubree Lawrence-Schuett said. “This has never happened in school history for us so I’m thrilled for the kids, I’m thrilled for the community. This is going to be fantastic. I’m looking forward to it.”
Class 2A state semifinal
Who: IC Catholic vs. Prophetstown
When: 8:15 p.m. Friday
Where: Redbird Arena, Normal