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The Rolling Meadows girls basketball team was recognized Monday night by the village of Arlington Heights for its second-place finish in the state championship earlier this month.
The team lost in the championship game to Whitney Young but became the first MSL team in 38 years to make repeat visits to the semifinals of the tournament since it began in 1977.
"Even though the lady Mustangs came one victory shy, we still think of them as title winner in the village of Arlington Heights," said Mayor Tom Hayes as the team members were recognized.
Hayes mentioned the team's accomplishments off the course as well, including an average GPA of 4.59 for the team and a combined 60 Advanced Placement classes between the eight seniors on the team.
"This is just one step on the road to many accomplishments down the road," Hayes said. "We look forward to many more years and many more accomplishments. Hopefully, we'll see you back in Arlington Heights as a business person, trustee or maybe even as mayor."
Trustee Tom Glasgow, whose daughter Alexis is a senior on the team, had a special message for the team.
"I've watched you guys as you've grown up, I've seen most of you at my house since you were in kindergarten," Glasgow said. "This team is very near and dear to me."
Glasgow spoke of the large crowds of Rolling Meadows fans that would come to every game, much more than would sometimes attend a girls basketball game.
"There was nothing cooler than watching future leaders of this village on the court with a capacity crowd," Glasgow said. "You guys brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people."
Head Coach Ryan Kirkorsky said he only got emotional twice during the team's trip to state: Once when they first entered Redbird Arena at Illinois State University and saw a sea of purple fans, and another time when it was clear that Rolling Meadows wouldn't win the game, but the entire fan base started chanting for them anyway.
"Everyone in the community, businesses and other schools have been so supportive of us throughout the years," said Alexis Glasgow. "It was a pretty amazing experience, and I can't think of a better way to end our senior careers."
Trustee Mike Sidor, a 1975 graduate from Rolling Meadows High School wore a purple shirt for the occasion and said he has enjoyed watching the team's success.
"I couldn't be prouder," Sidor said. "Thank you for what you've given us over the past several years, it's been a joy to watch."