The defending state champion girls’ and boys’ basketball teams from Immanuel Lutheran School, in Palatine, lived up to their billing as #1 seeds by claiming back-to-back dual team titles at the Lutheran Sports Association (LSA) Illinois State Basketball Championships, held at St. Peter Lutheran School, in Arlington Heights, March 8-10. The two teams each brought home state titles
last year. The Lady Bobcats remain undefeated at 32-0 on the season.
Immanuel Lutheran eighth-grader Shelby Madison also received the Most Valuable Player Award for the girls.
“For as good of a basketball player Shelby is, she’s an even more amazing person,” said Heather Glaser, girls’ head coach at Immanuel Lutheran. “We are so happy to see her honored for all she brings to our team.”
Six Immanuel Lutheran eighth-grade players were named to the All-Tournament Team: Kyrstin August, Anna LaValle and Shelby Madison were named to the girls’ All-Tournament Team; while Brett Hensley, Dylan Tapia and Josh Turner were named to the boys’ All-Tournament Team.
In the girls’ championship game, the #1-seeded Lady Bobcats (32-0) faced the Rockford Lutheran Crusaders (18-4) winning by a final score of 30-26. To reach the championship game, the Lady Bobcats defeated Zion Lutheran-Marengo, 49-13; Trinity Lutheran-Roselle, 25-16; and Our Savior’s Lutheran-Springfield, 32-25. The Immanuel Lutheran Lady Bobcats have now won nine LSA State Basketball Championships since 1991, more than any other girls’ team in the state of Illinois.
"All season long we’ve had different players step up in various situations to continue winning this season,” said Glaser. “The state tournament was no different. We again needed contributions from everyone to be successful. All of our girls worked very hard all season to earn this championship and I am so proud of each and every one of them."
In the boys’ championship game, the #1-seeded Bobcats (30-2) faced a tough #2 seed in Christ Lutheran-Peoria (33-4) winning the contest by a final score of 46-34. The Bobcats’ road to the championship game included wins over Good Shepherd-Pekin, 47-21; Holy Family-Chicago, 42-16; and Zion Lutheran-Marengo, 53-27. This is the Bobcats’ fourth LSA Boys’ State Basketball Championship since 2002.
"We are truly blessed this season,” said John Ulrich, head coach of the Immanuel boys’ team. “The way our 8th graders have grown on and off the court in one year has been remarkable. Not only have their basketball skills improved immeasurably, but they have developed into courageous role models for the 7th graders. They are quick to help others, quick to volunteer, and have learned to lead the way in our worship and academics."
As LSA Illinois State Basketball State Champions, both teams from Immanuel Lutheran receive automatic bids to the 69th Annual National Lutheran Basketball Association of America Tournament of Champions being held at Valparaiso (Ind.) University, March 21-24. On Friday, March 22, the Lady Bobcats open national tournament play as the #1 seed against St. Peter Lutheran-Macomb, Mich., while the boys’ begin play as the #2 seed against St. Matthew Lutheran-Westland, Mich.
The Bobcats varsity cheerleaders also competed in the LSA State Cheerleading Competition on March 8, where the young, talented squad received the 3rd-place trophy. The cheerleaders are coached by Donna Cook.
About Immanuel Lutheran School
Beginning as a simple, one-room schoolhouse in 1870, Immanuel Lutheran School has grown into an educational campus located at Plum Grove Road and Wood Street in the heart of downtown Palatine. Immanuel Lutheran School partners with parents to provide a disciplined, nurturing environment where children can flourish in their Christian learning and academic excellence. Immanuel is the only K-8 private school in Illinois to have twice been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Education Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education and is fully accredited.
For more information, please contact Immanuel Lutheran School at 847-359-1936 or visit their website at www.immanuelpalatine.org.