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NORMAL -- In terms of wins and losses, not a lot went right for the IC Catholic Prep girls this weekend at Redbird Arena.
But perspective can help soothe.
The Knights got just two points from their two leading scorers and the offense stalled to a season-low output as they fell to Teutopolis 32-28 in the third-place game of the Class 2A state tournament on Saturday night.
Yet, they're one of four teams in Illinois coming home with state hardware and a 25-8 season. And the momentum for a program making its first state appearance can't be measured.
"Would we have liked to have been in the championship game? Absolutely," said Knights coach Aubree Schuett. "Did we play as hard as we could tonight? Absolutely. But to finish fourth and to be here is an amazing accomplishment. We're thrilled and fortunate with this opportunity."
The Knights shot just 29.8 percent from the field and scored the fewest points all season. The previous low was a 32-point output against York on Jan. 3.
"We missed some bunnies," Schuett said. "(Friday) we were a little shellshocked, but tonight we were more at ease and kept shooting."
Senior guard Grace Vitek, the Knights' leading scorer, hit a 15-footer for her only basket of the game that gave IC Catholic Prep a 22-20 with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter.
But Teutopolis (29-6) rallied behind a 3-pointer from Cierra Thompson and a steal and layup from Danielle Repking to stretch the lead to 27-22. The way the game was being played, that lead felt much more comfortable than five points.
"That was the turning point," said Teutopolis coach Laurie Thompson, whose team allowed opponents 31 points per game this season. "That steal is what our team is all about. I was extremely confident at that point."
Anna Hartke got inside for a score that stretched the Shoes' lead to 29-24 with 1:52 to play.
With fouls to burn before putting Teutopolis into the bonus, the Knights scrambled back to cut the lead to 30-28 on a driving basket from junior guard Erin Maloney with just five seconds left. Maloney finished with 8 points.
"This whole season was awesome," said senior forward Rory Manion, who was held scoreless on 0-of-11 shooting but had a team-high 7 rebounds. "It was so much fun with all of these games. We never separated into cliques or anything like that. I couldn't be more happy with the season."
The Knights were led by senior guard Abby Radoha's game-high 14 points.
"Abby, Rory and I have played together since fifth grade," Vitek said. "I feel so lucky to play with these girls."