Friday afternoon will bring the beginning of the Class 3A and 4A state championships in girls basketball. There are four interesting matchups ahead for fans to watch beginning at noon. The first game features 30-2 Vernon Hills facing 34-1 Montini. These two teams faced each other last year in the state championship game with Montini winning their third straight title. Vernon Hills will try to use their balanced scoring attack to get past Montini this time around. Sydney Smith is averaging over 13 points a game while Lauren Webb is far behind. Meri Bennett-Swanson also averages in double figures for a Vernon Hills team that hasn’t lost since Jan. 12. Montini doesn’t have the third double figure scorer but does have Kateri Stone that is averaging just under 12 points a game. This could be the year that Vernon Hills gets Montini.
The second matchup at 2 p.m. is a downstate Illinois battle between 28-0 Quincy Notre Dame and 30-4 Morton. Morton has three players who average between 10 and 13 points a game led by Sarah Livingston. Morton hasn’t lost during this calendar year and their scoring balance will be tough to stop. Quincy Notre Dame won the Class 2A state title last season and moves up this season. Kassidy Gengenbacher is averaging 18.5 points a game while Jordan Frericks is right behind at 17.5 points per contest. Quincy Notre Dame is going to be hard to stop but a matchup between Montini and Quincy Notre Dame would be epic.
The Class 4A semifinals begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday night with a battle between two teams making their first finals appearance as 26-6 Huntley faces 29-3 Rolling Meadows. Rolling Meadows is a high-flying team that can score over 70 points every night. Jackie Kemph is averaging nearly 20 points a game while Alexis Glasgow is scoring 17 a contest. Jenny Vliet is averaging ten a game as well along with nearly nine rebounds. Huntley’s chances depend on the Andrews sisters. Sam Andrews and younger sister Ali are both averaging 16 points a game. Ali Andrews is just a freshman and has made all the differences this year for Huntley.
The nightcap at 8:15 p.m. features 26-4 Whitney Young against 31-1 Marian Catholic. Marian Catholic lost their only game of the season to Rolling Meadows around Christmas. Ashton Millender leads the team with 15.2 points per game while Teniya Page is scoring 12.2 a contest. Marian Catholic will need both of them to hit their scoring averages to win. Whitney Young won the state championship in Class 4A last season and is led by Linnae Harper. Harper is averaging 19.1 points, nearly ten rebounds and over six assists per game. Harper is the complete package and will be hard to stop. This should be a very good weekend with three defending state champions all together in Normal.