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### Illini Bluffs Achieves School Record: Secures Runner-Up Spot in 1A Girls’ Season

Illini Bluffs High School Girls Basketball Team Falls Short in 1A State Championship

In Normal, Illinois, at CEFCU Arena, the Illini Bluffs High School girls’ basketball team faced a tough defeat in the 1A state championship game on Saturday. The Tigers were up against the reigning state champions, Okawville, and despite a commendable effort, they succumbed to a 48-36 loss. Noteworthy was Alayna Kraus’ outstanding performance, contributing 33 points to Okawville’s victory.

Reflecting on their journey, the Tigers found solace in their remarkable playoff run, which featured a notable upset against the top-ranked team, Galena, and a thrilling overtime victory in the semifinals.

Lily Luczkowiak, expressing her sentiments, stated, “It’s been an amazing last season with this team. Finishing first would have been the been dream ending but finishing second is still a huge accomplishment.”

Annabelle Fortin echoed this pride, saying, “I’m so proud of us. All we’ve accomplished in the past seven years. It’s absolutely insane and I wouldn’t have asked for a better group of girls.”

Coach Jim Belville reflected on the team’s camaraderie, emphasizing, “To have this many kids and this tight-knit group is something that is really special. Trying to put into words what they really mean is really tough.”