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Sacred Heart girls basketball back in states

The Class A Monsignor Martin Championship brought together the defending champion, Sacred Heart, and the challenger, Nardin. But the Sharks had a 46-20 lead by halftime and never looked back. Lone senior Siobhan Ryan led the offense with 27 points and was named MVP as the Sharks cruised to a 74-39 win for their fifth consecutive title.

“I’m just super excited,” Ryan said after the game. “This is my fourth year going back to states, so it means everything. Being a senior, this is my last chance to do it, and with this team, it was absolutely incredible. To put up this many points too, and this big of a deficit against them, was amazing. This is one of the best moments of my career for sure.”

Ryan’s role throughout the season was to not only lead the team on the court, but to bring along the younger players as well. With four freshman and two sophomores, Ryan was able to do that and get them to play as a team. By the end of the season, they had it down.

“It was definitely important at the beginning of the season to establish that role of leadership for me and to teach them how to do it,” Siobhan said. “By the end of the season, they know what they’re doing, so it’s just going out there and playing as a team and having fun.”

Sacred Heart coach Carrie Owens praised Ryan’s leadership, and now her sights are set on states.

“We have a great leader in Siobhan, and she’s really able to bring this team together, and that’s why they play so well together -- because they’re all just so close off the court and such good friends,” Owens said. “This has been our focus all year long, to return as Class A Champions and get back to states. They were kind of disappointed in their performance last year, and we want to at least make it to finals this year, one step further.”

In the Class B game, Buffalo Seminary senior Lilly Johnsen was a little emotional after her team’s 29-20 victory over Park School in the Monsignor Martin Class B Championship. Johnsen is in her fourth year on the varsity team and had yet to win a championship.

“It feels really good,” Johnsen said. “I’ve been on the team for four years, and we’ve never made it this far. Especially to be a senior, it makes it even more special. It honestly means so much to me, and I never thought we’d make it this far. I’m just so proud of my entire team.”

It was a low-scoring game, to say the least, and Buffalo Seminary had a 9-2 lead at halftime. Park School brought more pressure late in the game, but Johnsen said her team matched it well. The Red Tailed Hawks worked well together throughout the game.

“I think we pulled together as a team and we all started hitting shots and working it around really well,” Johnsen said. “When they brought the pressure, we matched it and that really gave us the game.”

Johnsen herself had 10 points, while fellow captain Katie Gareis had five. Rosemarie Franjoine led the Red Tailed Hawks’ offense with 11 points.

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