Geneva had heart – and Hart – when it mattered most.
Junior guard Stephanie Hart scored on a putback with four seconds left, and senior Grace Loberg stole the ball as time expired to give Geneva a 41-40 win over previously unbeaten Edwardsville in the Class 4A final on March 4 in Normal.
It delivered the Vikings the first state championship in program history.
Geneva (29-4) showed a penchant for late heroics at Redbird Arena. The night before, Margaret Whitley banked in a six-footer to beat Fremd 34-33.
"I think our heart just pushed us through," said Hart, whose basket to win state was her first high school game-winner. "We knew we had to win. This is our year, and we knew it."
Two-sport star Loberg had 17 points and 10 rebounds in her final basketball game, and she isn't done with postseason heroics. Now a freshman at Wisconsin, she twice posted career highs in kills in the first two rounds of the NCAA volleyball tournament earlier this month to lead the Badgers to the Sweet 16.
Geneva, for its part, hasn't missed a beat. The Vikings are 10-0 heading into the holidays.