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Lady Broncos clutch third place title



IMG_0628Montini came into the state tournament thinking about one thing:  a state title.  The program took the 3A honors the past three years and a fourth win would make the program the first to win four times in a row.


That thought was crushed Friday as the Lady Broncos fell to Vernon Hills to lose their spot in the finals.    They came into Saturday’s game with lukewarm excitement, obviously feeling third place was below them.


“We are the standard.  People want to beat us,” bragged Montini coach Jason Nichols.


But despite their indifference, Montini came out Saturday and won a back-and-forth battle with Morton, taking a 42-38 victory.


Like in Friday’s game, forward Kelly Karlis led Montini’s offensive and defensive efforts with 11 points and four steals.  On Morton’s side of the ball, all-state selection Sarah Livingston fueled the Potter offense, racking up 16 points.  Unfortunately for Morton, the only other major offensive force was freshman Chandler Ryan who totaled 9 points.  Needless to say, they needed more.


“That’s another great team that we just played and our kids went toe to toe with them,” said Morton coach Bob Becker.  “You saw more of the team today that I envisioned.”


Both teams have mixed feelings about this year’s seasons, but they have high hopes for their futures.  Morton will be losing Livingston and Montini will be losing center Malayna Johnson, but younger players should fill the gaps for both teams.


Montini will be hoping to return to their regular presence at the state championship game while Morton just hopes to establish themselves as a viable program.


“I think our future is very bright,” said Becker.  “Nothing is easy, but our goal will be to get back here again.”


We’ll see if Morton can build the dynasty that Montini has created in the past few years

Photos by Mike Krebs/The Voice

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