On Sunday afternoon, Sacred Heart defeated Manual 67-56 to claim the Republic Bank girls’ LIT championship. The victory marks the Valkyries’ ninth LIT title victory, and third under head coach Donna Moir.
A slew of three-pointers and layups from Erin Toller, Destinee Marshall, and Kristen Clemons pushed Sacred Heart early, resulting in a 38-23 halftime lead.
“We felt like we needed to be the aggressor”, Moir said. “We wanted to come out there and play Sacred Heart basketball and play with a lot of energy.”
The lead got as large as 23 in the third quarter, but Manual kept chipping away down the stretch. An 8-0 Lady Crimson run got the Valkyrie lead down to 10, but Sacred Heart put away the threat.
Toller finished with a game-high 26 points and added seven rebounds.
Marshall, who had 14 points and five assists, received the “best-offensive player” award.
“For her to get that award is just special”, Moir explained. “Of any kid in our program, she has matured the most. For her to come out here and run the show, it just makes you proud as a coach to see her grow like she has.”
The award was accepted, but Marshall was quick to credit her teammates.
“I give thanks to my team”, she said. “Without my team, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Toller and Kristen Clemons were also named to the all-tournament team.
Clemons (12) and Josie Gilvin (11) also scored in double-figures for Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart won four games in five days, defeating Central, George Rogers Clark, Ryle, and Manual along the way.
The top-ranked Valkyries (20-1) have won 13 straight games, but are not satisfied.
“Right now we’re doing good”, Marshall explained. “But there’s a lot of things we need to work on. This win is good, but we need everyone prepared to play in the districts and regionals.”
Sacred Heart will host Central in their next game on Tuesday evening.
Kennedy Lee led Manual 20 points and 15 rebounds. Jakayla Thompson added 10. The Lady Crimsons fall to 18-4, and will turn around and host Butler on Monday evening.