NORMAL, Ill. -- Sometimes things are not as advertised. Sometimes they don’t live up to the hype, or even meet expectations. And sometimes they leave you in astonishment, left with your mouth wide open.
Unfortunately for the Prophetstown Lady Prophets basketball team, it was the latter.
After seeing their postseason end the two previous years to eventual Class 1A state champion Freeport and its all-state player, current Arizona State freshman Sophie Brunner, the Prophets moved up to Class 2A this season. Once again, the state champion and its star ended Prophetstown’s season, but this time it was in the girls basketball state championship game.
The Lady Prophets learned very quickly Saturday night that Champaign St. Thomas More’s Tori McCoy was no dropoff from the subtraction of Brunner, leading her team to a 70-34 victory in the 2A championship game at Redbird Arena.
St. Thomas More came into the season ranked No. 1 in Class 2A and went wire-to-wire with that ranking, finishing with a record of 32-2. Prophetstown more than held its own in 2A, finishing at 31-3. However, before those records could be finalized on the hardwood at Illinois State University, sophomore super sensation McCoy, all 6 feet, 4 inches of her, would leave no doubt to those in attendance that she was in a class of her own, as was her team.
“She’s even better than advertised” Lady Prophets junior Clare Kramer quipped following her first matchup with the phenom who already has hit the 1,000-point plateau in her second year of high school. “Maybe I can learn some tips from her.”
On this, the night of all nights, a dream come true after 37 seasons for Prophetstown coach Don Robinson and certainly his proud troops, it was all business for St. Thomas More, returning to the court where it fell in last season’s 2A championship game.