NORMAL, Ill. — Once the Prophetstown Prophets took the lead in the first quarter, there was no looking back.
The Prophets are just one win away from winning the Class 2A state championship after defeating Elmhurst IC Catholic 57-48 at the Illinois girls basketball state tournament on the campus of Illinois State.
IC Catholic opened the game with four straight points before a 3-pointer from Heather Strike put the Prophets on the board. That started an 8-0 run by Prophetstown.
The Prophets made another 8-2 run that ran from the end of the first quarter to the midway point of the second quarter. Once IC Catholic scored its 10th point, the Prophets started a small 6-4 run before IC Catholic closed the half with its own 8-4 run, making the halftime score 27-22 in favor of the Prophets.
In the second quarter, Prophetstown got six of its 17 points inside the paint while getting six more off IC Catholic turnovers.
Prophetstown got its biggest lead of the game in the third quarter when Clare Kramer hit a layup that made the score 41-27 with 2:08 remaining in the quarter. Defense was the theme for Prophetstown as it held IC Catholic to five points in the quarter.
The Prophets scored 10 points inside the paint in the third quarter.
The lead for Prophetstown got down to no fewer than seven in the fourth quarter, but IC Catholic did outscore the Prophets 21-17 in the final quarter.
Prophetstown shot 18-for-34 in the win while holding IC Catholic to 39 percent shooting. The Prophets also dominated at the free-throw line, making 17 of 25 while IC Catholic went 6-of-8 at the line.
Kramer led the way with 17 points for Prophetstown, followed by Karlie Stafford with 13 points and Heather Strike with 11 points.
The Prophets will face the Sabers of Champaign St. Thomas More toight in Normal. The Sabers are making the state final for the second year in a row, losing to Nashville 42-29 a year ago.