ICCP drops sectional championship game
There was plenty of offense to see at Thursday night's Class 2A Timothy Christian girls basketball sectional title game between Butler College Prep and IC Catholic Prep.
Butler, though, had a little more scoring punch in a 62-49 victory in Elmhurst. The Lynx (26-9), of Chicago's Noble Athletic Conference, will face the winner of Friday's Peotone sectional final between St. Joseph-Ogden and Minonk Fieldcrest in a supersectional showdown Monday at Morton College in Cicero.
IC Catholic Prep ends its season at 24-9.
"They had a lot more size and it showed," said Knights coach Todd Fisher.
The Lynx had one starter, 6-foot-1-inch Cristin Brewer, who was one of three Butler players to score in double digits with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds. The first two Lynx players off the bench were both 6-3.
Both squads came out roaring on offense in the opening quarter with Butler shooting 10 of 14 from the field while the Knights were 6 of 15, but trailed just 23-18 at the end of it.
IC Catholic senior Claire Wagner scored 11 points in the first period including three 3-point baskets and finished with a team-high 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
"She's a four-year varsity player and reached 1,000 points this season," Fisher said. "She's a terrific player and got a lot of accolades at tournaments." Wagner will continue her playing career next season at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
With 3:09 remaining until halftime, the Knights cut the Lynx advantage to three at 29-26 on Kelsey McDonough's second 3 of that frame.
However, Butler closed out the half on an 8-0 run to lead 37-26 at intermission.
The Lynx never led by less than 11 points during the third quarter, but the Knights got it down to single digits with just over four minutes left in the contest on Analisa Raffaelli's 3-pointer. She finished with 11 points.
However, IC Catholic had to start fouling and Butler made enough free throws to add a little more padding to its lead as time ran out.
"It was a great season, a great group. It's a young team," Fisher said. "We started a senior, three sophomores and a freshman.
"This stings, but we'll get back to work. The kids are hungry. We peaked at the right time. We just ran into a very good team tonight."
The sectional title had even more meaning for Butler. It was the first team from the NAC to win a sectional in any sport in the 23-year history of the league.