2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/23/2017 10:18 PM

Montini wins 14th consecutive sectional title

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  • Kaylee Bambule

    Kaylee Bambule

 
 

Fourteen consecutive sectional championships means 14 straight girls basketball supersectional appearances for Montini.

Yes, it really is that simple.

For a team with four state championships, it's all about win and advance. In the case of Thursday's 67-52 victory against Whitney Young in the Class 4A Argo sectional final, it's about advancing to Monday's supersectional at Mother McAuley High School on Chicago's Southwest side against the No. 4-ranked team in Illinois, Homewood-Flossmoor.

"What I like about it is the consistency," Montini coach Jason Nichols said. "It says a lot about the kids. You're going to have turnover every few years. ...I'd like to think that we have great kids that follow our lead a little bit and we're blessed. It's a great thing."

The Broncos know what it is to get stopped at the supersectional. They didn't get to state last year because of a supersectional loss to Trinity.

"Last year we won this game and lost the next one, so we wanted to get back to supers and get this thing done," Montini senior guard Kaylee Bambule said. "It means a lot to us."

Top-ranked and top-seeded Montini (31-1) never trailed against No. 6 Whitney Young, jumping out to a 29-17 lead midway through the second quarter on Illysse Pitts' basket. The Dolphins closed the half on an 11-1 run, however, then tied the game at 30 on the first basket of the second half.

"We talked at halftime about the three things that we knew could get us beat," Nichols said. "Transition (offense), the glass and turning the ball over. And we shored that up and got separation again. And we were able to hang on late because we got them in foul trouble because we were attacking the basket. So when we attack the basket, good things happen."

That tie was the Dolphins' best shot. Montini scored the next 8 points to retake control and led 50-40 after three quarters. Whitney Young never got closer than 8 points again.

"I thought we followed our game plan for a while," Dolphins coach Corry Irvin said. "We were able to get it to the right kids. We kept them off the 3-point line. I thought we lost it when the refs took over the game. I don't have the type of team that's used to that. We kind of lost it for a few minutes and never really got it back."

"We knew that we had to stop their transition because that's what most of their points were," Bambule added. "So Coach made a really big emphasis on getting back on defense and I think in the second half we really did a better job of getting back and stopping their transition."

Bambule led both teams in scoring with 15 points, adding 5 assists. Claudia Kunzer and Sam Mitchell added 12 points each, with Mitchell dropping four 3-point shots.

"She stepped up big," Nichols said of Mitchell.

All seven Broncos who played scored at least 5 points.

Senior Danyelle Williams led the Dolphins with 14 points, and Kyla Jones scored 11.

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