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2013-'14 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 2/13/2014 10:48 PM
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Sullivan, Christian Liberty net regional title
 

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Sullivan, Christian Liberty net regional title
 

To say Megan Sullivan has had a banner sports career at Christian Liberty Academy could not be any more fitting.

The Chargers senior guard became the first girl in school history to help hang a regional banner in Grace Gymnasium in three different sports.

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Sullivan's 20 points, 10 steals and 6 assists helped the CLA get its first regional title in girls basketball with a 56-21 victory over Chicagoland Jewish in the Chargers' own Class 1A regional.

CLA (13-12), which became an IHSA member in 2009, advances to Tuesday's 6 p.m. semifinal of the Harvest Christian Academy sectional in Elgin.

The Chargers will face the winner's of today's St. Benedict regional championship between the host Bengals and Luther North.

"My gosh, this is amazing," said Sullivan, who has also won regionals in volleyball (outside hitter) and softball (pitcher). "Especially considering where we were to start the season and how much progress we've made.

"This has always been our goal. We just wanted to hang a banner up. And I couldn't have done it without my whole team."

Junior Mikala Pipping, who did not play last season, added 14 points and 9 rebounds while freshman Jasmine Marsh added 11 points, 13 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 rebounds.

Pipping scored 10 points in the first quarter as CLA raced out in front 19-7.

"Mikala has really come out of her shell in the last two games," said Chargers coach Steve Rowland. "We keep telling her the backboard is your friend."

A lot of the Chargers' success comes from friendship.

"We're more than a team, we're a family," said Chargers sophomore Samantha Amedin, one of only three players back from last year (Sullivan and sophomore Jessica Brezski).

Sullivan almost didn't come back.

"She wasn't going to play her senior year but she came to me and asked ‘What do you think I should do?,' " Rowland said. "I told her, ‘Yes you should play, but you are going to have be patient with this group of girls (eight freshman), be a leader by example and bring them along slowly'."

Sullivan, the only senior on the roster, played that role with perfection.

"She has been amazing," Rowland said. "She's been like an assistant coach. She has always been there for all the girls. When they need something, they come to her. She has sacrificed points, assists and whatever just to make sure the team has gotten where it has.

"Without Megan, this would have been a different season. We have been blessed by having her with us."

Rowland got all 13 of his players into the game, with Brezski, Eve Rho, Chrystal Monasterio, Isabelle Wolke and Angie Nichols (4 steals) all getting points on the scoreboard.

Putting the most points on the board for Chicagoland Jewish (2-14) was senior Alana Spellman (11 points).

"Christian Liberty plays hard and really plays well together," said Chicagoland Jewish coach Justin Cartwright, the son of former Bulls coach and NBA player Bill Cartwright. "Those are the most important things. "They beat us in two ways -- rebounding and turnovers."

The Chargers surely won't forget their final home game this season.

"At the start of the season, I never thought we could do this," said Amedin, who makes the trip to school every day from Skokie. "It's honestly amazing and such a privilege to play with all these girls. They teach me things every day. We just kept practicing hard and now we have this banner."

And the banner girl.

"Everyone has made so much progress," Sullivan said. "This is just a perfect ending for our last home game."

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