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Posted On: 03/4/19 8:00 AM
The IHSA Class 3A state championship and third-place game were both full of excitement as Nazareth Academy took down Sacred Heart-Griffin for third, and Morton shot past Glenbard South in route to their fourth State Championship in the past five years.
Nazareth Academy 61, Sacred Heart-Griffin 54.
After losing a tough game to eventual State Champion, Morton, Nazareth came in the press conference determined to come back the next day and end their season with a win. The Roadrunners led by just two after the first quarter but clamped down and only allowed eight second quarter points to SHG, to take a 7 point lead at half. Nazareth knocked down free throws late (16-21 for the game) and escaped an SHG comeback in the fourth quarter to get the win.
The difference in the game: Annie Stritzel. The Harvard commit took control of the game early on and dropped 30 points to lead Nazareth to a 3rd Place finish. Stritzel can score at every level and defend nearly every position with her size and athleticism.
MVP: Annie Stritzel – 30 points (8-18/1-4/13-17), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals.
Nazareth impression: Naz’s only loss in 3A this season was to Morton in the State Semifnal. They play mostly a 4A schedule, so are always battle-tested when the postseason arrives, and it shows. The team full of upperclassmen is very composed and well-rounded throughout the lineup. Jovanna Martinucci (2019) was a great addition to Annie Stritzel’s dominance.
Sacred Heart-Griffin impression: After playing a slow-paced game against Glenbard South in the semifinal, SHG had to be prepared for a much faster game against Nazareth. It took them a little while to settle in, but they were eventually able to play at that fast pace and make a run in the fourth quarter to make things interesting. Sophie Lowis (2021) and Payton Vorreyer (2019) were excellent down the stretch for the Cyclones.
Morton 35, Glenbard South 21
Morton got off to a hot start and put the game away early on. After leading 17-3 after the first quarter, the Potters added to it in the second and were up 24-5 at halftime. Morton spent much of the second half running through their motion offense and taking time off the clock to rid the possibility of a Glenbard South comeback.
The difference in the game: The First Half. With Glenbard South typically slowing the game down and trying to win the game with their half-court offense, a comeback in the second-half was improbable. GBS outscored Morton 16-11 in the second half, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make things interesting.
MVP: Tenley Dowell – 10 points (2-5/0-0/6-6), 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists
Morton impression: The first half could not have gone any better for the Lady Potters. Morton forced Glenbard South to run the court and get outside their comfort zone, and they just couldn’t keep up. Dowell and Katie Krupa (2022) dominated down low and at the free throw line to lead Morton with 10 points each.
Glenbard South impression: GBS was playing catch up from the beginning, so they really weren’t able to effectively play the game that they wanted to. Drake-bound Maggie Bair was efficient from the floor, but not given many open looks due to the stingy Morton defense. I was really impressed with GBS Point Guard Lauren Cohen (2021) as someone who can handle the ball well but also score in the lane and from beyond the 3 point line.