Vikings Make History

Article excerpt

Byline: John Lemon jlemon@dailyherald.com

ItAEs time to see how that Sea of Blue looks in Red.

For the first time in school history, GenevaAEs girls basketball team is headed to state u the first time any Vikings basketball team is state-bound in 46 years.

The VikingsAE defense suffocated New Trier early in the Class 4A Loyola University supersectional Monday night, building enough of a lead to overcome a shaky final three minutes and win 54-49.

Geneva (32-0) will play Young at 8:15 p.m. Friday in the Class 4A semifinals at Redbird Arena in Normal. Young won on a 3-pointer at the buzzer 78-76 in double overtime over Marian.

"WeAEre so excited, we canAEt believe it," Geneva senior Taylor Whitley said. "Each game weAEre getting more excited. I never thought that it (state) would come. WeAEve always wanted to and always said how awesome to get to state and now to get here is so cool."

New Trier (30-5), like Lake Park in a 23-point loss in last weekAEs sectional championship, never knew what hit them while falling behind 24-9 at halftime.

"We dug a 10-foot whole and only had a 9-foot ladder," New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said. "They are a great team, very quick, very aggressive. They put us on our heels a little bit. That was disappointing. WeAEve played games that quick before. That second quarter cost us the game."

This yearAEs undefeated girls team joins the Geneva boys teams from 1908 and 1963 as the only ones to get to state. Because that 1963 team lost to Carver in the quarterfinals, this Geneva team has now advanced farther than any other.

Pretty good, pretty exclusive, company.

"I almost canAEt believe it," Geneva coach Gina Nolan said. "I said when the fourth quarter started it would be the longest eight minutes of my life. They put a good fight at the end and got hot shooting but I credit our composure. At this point of year it doesnAEt matter how pretty it is at end, it just matters who wins. …