Shortly after it was over, Bolingbrook’s 74-65 quadruple-overtime loss to Whitney Young in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Supersectional was being called an instant classic.
Talk also surrounded what the Raiders, who went 27-2, will look like next year.
Just three non-seniors graced their regular-season roster: juniors Kennedy Cattenhead and Kamari Jordan and sophomore Destiny Harris. A host of non-seniors were promoted to the Raiders’ postseason roster.
Of those, Cattenhead saw the most time this year and will be a cornerstone of the 2012-13 team. The 5-foot-9 guard scored 145 points, had 155 assists, 82 rebounds and 53 steals this season.
In the loss to Young, Cattenhead’s three-pointer gave Bolingbrook a 57-54 lead in the third overtime.
In a game that could, and some say should, have been for the state title, the nationally ranked programs played for 2 hours, 12 minutes before the Dolphins (34-0) finally claimed victory, their first over the Raiders since the 2008 state title game.
Whitney Young went on to win the Class 4A state title Saturday in Redbird Arena.
Bolingbrook led by three points in the final two minutes of regulation, had the final shot during the first overtime and led by three points during the final 30 seconds of the second and third overtimes.
“It’s very difficult,” Bolingbrook senior Morgan Tuck said. “We shouldn’t have lost this game. But, either way, our season is over. We fought hard until the end, but we didn’t make plays we needed to make.”
The loss kept the Raiders from reaching the state championship game for the first time since 2007. It was the first time Bolingbrook lost to an Illinois team since falling to Whitney Young 54-45 in the 2008 state title game. That fall, freshmen Tuck, DeLacy Anderson and ChaRosnese Williams arrived at Bolingbrook.
The four-OT loss ended an incredible four-year run for the senior trio.
Bolingbrook went 110-9, winning three state titles, four sectional championships, four regional championships and four undefeated SouthWest Suburban Conference crowns.
Tuck, who could win her second Ms. Illinois Basketball award this year, will attend Connecticut in the fall. Anderson has committed to George Washington, of the Atlantic 10, and Williams will take her game to Stetson in DeLand, Fla.
They join seniors Annaya Moore (Alabama-Birmingham), Allie Hill (Texas-Pan American), Cabriana Capers (Auburn), Nia Moore (Illinois) and Keiera Ray (Penn) as Division I recruits. No other team in the history of the state has featured as many Division I players.
This is the first year since 2004 Bolingbrook did not make the trip to Redbird Arena for the state finals.
“It was a tough loss, but we played our hearts out and left it all on the court,” Ray said.
“I just wanted to go back downstate with my team again and win four in a row,” Moore said.