Saturday at Red Bird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University, the Chicago Public League ruled as Marshall high school captured the Illinois High School Association girl’s 3-A basketball championship and Whitney Young high school nailed down the C
“This is just great,” said Public League sports administration chief Calvin Davis. “This is a very historic moment for high school basketball in the City of Chicago.” Getting a chance to bring home more than one state title was the reason the Public League relinquished its automatic berth in the state finals a few years ago.
“In Chicago, we play the best high school basketball in the state and this shows it,” Davis added. For legendary Marshall high school head coach Dorothy Gaters, the winningest high school basketball coach in state history with 881 career victories in 33 years, it was her eighth state championship.
For seventh- year Whitney Young head coach Corry Irvin, it was her first girl’s championship and the first ever girl’s title for the school. Ironically, Marshall and Whitney Young have been bitter rivals for the past few years in the Windy City West Conference of the Public league.
However, just a few hours after winning their class 3- A title, Gaters and her Lady Commandos were in the stands at Red Bird Arena rooting the Lady Dolphins on to their 4-A title. “It just shows how great Public League basketball really is,” said Public League girl’s basketball coordinator Clarence Notree.
“Two teams from the same conference winning state championships on the very same day. “It is just outstanding” Gaters said this title victory was more for her players than herself. “This is for them, not for me,” Gaters said. “I know what it is like to win a championship, they don’t. This is their first title of any kind in four years.
It’s great for them to finish their high school careers as state champions.” Irvin, like Gaters, gave credit to her players for the title. “They’ve really worked hard for this,” Irvin said. “I’m so happy for them.” Leading Marshall to their title was senior Sarah Rogers, who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in the title-clinching victory over Freeport.
“This is a special win for us and it’s my first championship and I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Rogers said. “You want to live up to the expectations as a Marshall champion. You want to be a part of that history and tradition. It feels good to have a piece of metal in the trophy case.” Marshall senior Terrianka Reynolds said winning a state title was also special for her.
“Words really can’t describe how it feels to win a state championship,” Reynolds said. “It makes all the hard work we put in worthwhile.” Marshall almost didn’t reach the title game. Trailing most of the game, they rallied to defeat Notre Dame High of downstate Quincy, 76-73 in overtime of semifinals play.
Whitney Young, meanwhile, defeated Buffalo Grove, 38-32 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game. Leading the way for the Lady Dolphins in the titleclinching win over Bolingbrook was guard Ashlee Anderson, who had 14 points. “This is what we’ve worked for,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot of work to be a Whitney Young Dolphin. All the running, all the practices. It’s all worthwhile after winning the championship.”
Guard D’Frantz Smart added nine points and completely frustrated her opposition with her quickness. “It feels better than awesome, better than great…I don’t even know the words,” Smart said. “I’m so happy for the team and so happy to be here. I’ll have my name on the championship banner at school forever.”
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