NORMAL—Young pulled an outside job on Rolling Meadows to win its third state title in eight years Saturday.
Sophomore point guard Kiara Lewis and junior shooting guard Madinah Muhammad combined for 36 points as Young defeated Rolling Meadows 60-44 to win the Class 4A state title at Redbird Arena.
“Amazing,” said Lewis, who watched last year’s state finals from the sidelines after injuring early in the season. “I feel good. We came out hard. We wanted to win so much. Everybody came out hard. It’s just amazing”
Young (32-3) used a couple of big runs to open a 28-14 halftime lead. The Dolphins opened the game on an 8-0 spurt with Lewis scoring four of her nine first-half points during the run.
Rolling Meadows (29-5) pulled to within 12-8 on a three-pointer by Alexis Glasgow, but Young answered with a 8-0 run that included a jumper from the right wing by Muhammad, two free throws by freshman Finesse Jackson and a rebound basket by Lewis.
Rolling Meadows ran off six consecutive points capped by Jenny Vliet’s three-point play to close within 20-14 with 2:11 remaining in the first half. The Dolphins responded with an 8-0 run to end the first half highlighted by a long three-pointer from Muhammad with 33.3 seconds left.
Lewis extended Young’s lead to 41-22 with a long three-pointer late in the third quarter, and the Dolphins took a 45-30 lead into the fourth quarter. Rolling Meadows closed to within 51-39 with 5:30 remaining and 53-42 with 4:12 remaining, but Young closed on a 7-2 run.
Lewis led Young with 20 points and Muhammad added 16. Khaalia Hillsman finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Dolphins. Young went 22-for-47 from the field and made its first 13 free throws before finishing 14 of 17.
“This means a lot,” Young senior Taylor Brame said. “We wanted to prove a point. Last year was tough. We came out so strong tonight. We wanted it more. It’s something we needed to have. We didn’t control the glass like the last time we played them, but we came though.”
Rolling Meadows finished second for the second time in two years, after Marian Catholic’s Kauai Bradley beat the Mustangs at the buzzer in 2013.
“They’re too good to get into that kind of hole,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “We asked the kids to make some adjustments at halftime and they fought like they do every day in practice, but you got to have some things go your way and it wasn’t happening tonight.”
Vliet led Rolling Meadows with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Glasgow added 10 points. Meadows held its own on the boards, losing the rebound battle 40-35. But the Mustangs went 13-for-56 from the field and 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.
Young closed the season with only one loss to an in-state team, a 56-52 setback at Trinity on January 11. The Dolphins won their last 16 games to capture their third state title under coach Corry Irvin.