By Chris Johnson


NORMAL – The Byron Lady Tigers are State Champions!

On Saturday night, Feb. 27, the Lady Tigers faced and defeated the Teutopolis Lady Wooden Shoes, 55-43, to claim the Class 2A State of Illinois’ Girls’ Basketball Championship, on the floors of Redbird Arena, at Illinois State University in Normal.

It took nearly three minutes for the first team to score in the season’s final game and it would be done at the hands of the senior representative on this year’s group of champion athletes.

Rachel Bonnell, setting up just beyond the arc on the left side of the floor buried the three, with a little under five minutes to go in the opening period.

Defense took the floor for both the T-Town Lady Shoes and the State Champion Lady Tigers.

It took Teutopolis almost five minutes to score their first points.

Bonnell scored the first five points for Byron, with her second score coming at the 4:51 mark, when she laid one in from the left.

Over two and a half minutes later, the Lady Shoes hit their first shot.

Lexi Devries added to the Byron total after she found a seam, broke loose and laid it in at the 2:17 mark in the opener.

Byron had the 8-3 lead

Teutopolis would not get any closer than five points in the frame as they entered the second down, 13-7.

Teutopolis turned the defense up another level, after they saw Byron build their biggest lead of the game, a dozen.

Following a media time out at the 4:58 mark, Teutopolis went on an 8-2 run to close the second period.

At the half, T-Town was hanging around, down four points, 23-21.

The Lady Shoes struck first in the third quarter, by the 7:09 mark they had completed the twelve-point comeback and led Byron by a point, 24-23

The Lady Tigers attempted to rediscover momentum and found a spark, from junior Bailey Burrows, as she took a quick pass from Devries and moved hard inside, found a gap and laid it up and in.

Byron grabbed the one-point lead, 25-24, with 5:03 in the third.

Just under three minutes later, the lead was two for Byron, 28-26, as the free throws began to collect.

At the 1:24 mark, Devries found Paige Holloway cutting to the rim, through traffic, she laid it up of the right side of the backboard.

The lead was back to four, 30-26.

The contest would close physically, as Byron’s fire proved evident one second into the fourth, as Devries, going for an inbound steal, pushed off.

Within the next minute, bonus free throws began appearing.

Byron scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, with Teutopolis adding 18.

The Tigers finished the night hitting 21-of-26 free throw tries. T-Town connected on 15-of-19.

For the game, Paige Holloway led her Tigers with 17 points. Burrows added 13 with Devries tallying eleven. Bonnell, who scored the first five points of the game, ended with eight points. Challen Jackson scored three points and Sarah Hopkins connected on one-of-two from the free throw line. Sydney Jackson played, but did not score, for Byron.

The Lady Tigers got to the Class 2A Championship thanks to a 22-point win in the State Semi-Final over Camp Point Central-Southeast, 55-31.

This is the first Girls’ Basketball Championship for Byron High School. A third-place trophy, which currently rests on the awards mantle, will soon be making space to recognize this year’s band of champions.

Byron’s roster featured one senior on this year’s State Champion roster.

Byron GBB 2016 Class 2A Champs 2

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