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Sports

Top Sports Stories of 2018: Stephanie Hart does it again, and Geneva girls basketball goes back-to-back

Geneva's Stephanie Hart leaps into the arms of teammate Brie Borkowicz after time expires in their Class 4A title game against Montini.  Hart hit the game winner on a jumper near her team's bench with four seconds on the clock to give the Vikings their second consecutive state title basketball title after 28-26 finish over the Lady Broncos. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
Geneva's Stephanie Hart leaps into the arms of teammate Brie Borkowicz after time expires in their Class 4A title game against Montini. Hart hit the game winner on a jumper near her team's bench with four seconds on the clock to give the Vikings their second consecutive state title basketball title after 28-26 finish over the Lady Broncos. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

NORMAL – Stephanie Hart and Margaret Whitley ran the play just like it was drawn up.

Hart inbounds to Whitley on the right wing. Whitley brings up the defense.

All Hart had to do was hit the shot of her life.

She did it, again.

Hart took a slip pass from Whitley and sank a 15-foot shot from the right baseline with three seconds left, giving Geneva a riveting 28-26 win over Montini and a second consecutive Class 4A state championship on March 3 at Redbird Arena.

Incredibly, Hart hit the game-winning shot in the state championship game two years in a row.

“No words,” Hart said. “It’s crazy.”

Last year, Hart’s putback with four seconds left beat Edwardsville 41-40. The night before that in the 2017 state semifinal, Whitley banked in a game-winner in the final seconds to beat Fremd.

This one was for Hart.

The Lewis recruit took one dribble, then pulled up and shot it before 6-foot-5 Lindsey Jarosinski could close out.

“I saw Frankie [Kokkines] was coming from the left more, so I faked the shot and went in right,” Hart said. “Lindsey was coming at me but … there was only six seconds, so I thought I might as well try to get a shot up and maybe we won’t have to go to overtime. It went in.”

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