NORMAL -- Quincy Notre Dame watched one favorite in Montini go down Friday, then wasted no time making sure there wouldn't be another.
The two-time defending Class 2A champions jumped out to a 24-5 lead on Morton after a quarter in Friday's second Class 3A state semifinal and coasted to a 67-51 win at Redbird Arena.
"Morton is a good team. We knew there were four teams that could win this 3A bracket," Quincy Notre Dame coach Eric Orne said.
Orne's Raiders are one, for sure, and can make their own history in doing so. Quincy Notre Dame (29-0), which advances to today's 2 p.m. 3A final against Vernon Hills, will seek to become just the fourth girls basketball program to three-peat, and the first to do so in different classes.
All-stater Kassidy Gengenbacher scored 15 points, Kristen Gengenbacher had 13 and another all-stater, Missouri recruit Jordan Frericks, had 12 for Quincy Notre, which ran its win streak to 52 games. The Raiders haven't lost to an in-state team since the 2010 state championship game, and showed why Friday. Quincy Notre Dame scored the game's first 12 points, and the margin eventually ballooned to 35-8.
"The energy level and enthusiasm we came out with set the tone for the game," Kassidy Gengenbacher said.
Chandler Ryan scored 18 points, Kaitlyn Byrne 15 and Illinois recruit Sarah Livingston 1 for Morton (28-5).
Orne isn't about to overlook Vernon Hills, especially after what he saw Friday.
"We have a lot of respect for Vernon Hills. Obviously this time of year they know how to win," Orne said. "They'll have a size advantage on us at every position and it will be a tough matchup but I can't take a better girls with me."