ELGIN, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–For the third time in eight years Byron will have a team playing in the IHSA Class 2A Girls State Basketball Tournament. Monday night the Lady Tigers earned a trip to Normal and the Final Four by defeating DePaul College Prep 52-45 to win the Elgin Community College Super-Sectional.
The Lady Tigers led throughout the game, but they were only up by four points with 3:28 to play. But they made just enough free throws down the stretch, and they continued to play solid defense to hang on for the win sending some Byron students spilling onto the court as the girls received their Super-Sectional plaque.
Freshman Macy Groharing scored 21 points for Byron. Senior Ava Kultgen was next with 18 points.
“I think we put in a lot of work to get to this moment,” said Byron senior Ella Grundstrom. “We knew this could happen if we put our minds to it.”
Groharing said the Lady Tigers kept their poise throughout the game. “(Coach) Yerly talked to us before about how you need to stay calm. You don’t want to get amped up because if you get amped up you usually will probably go down. Towards the end of the game, you will lose all your energy, so we just stayed calm the whole game.”
“Oh it means everything,” said Brittyn Bielskis of the trip to State. “This has been our goal since the beginning, but we were taking it one step at a time, and by the end of the day we really executed this game, and I couldn’t be prouder of our teammates for getting the job done.”
“It’s so exciting,” said Kultgen. “We’ve been working the last four years us seniors, really just putting in the time to get where we are today.”
Byron, which is ranked #3 in the State in 2A will play in the state semifinals Thursday at Illinois State University against #4 ranked Chicago Noble/Butler. That game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff. The other 2A semifinal following that game will have #1 Quincy Notre Dame playing Breese Mater Dei.
For highlights of Byron’s Super-Sectional win watch the media player above.