- Associated Press - Saturday, March 1, 2014

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Top-ranked Annawan, powered by Celina VanHyfte’s game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds, crushed Carrollton 59-23 on Saturday to win its first state Class 1A championship.

Annawan took third place last year, but VanHyfte spent that tournament hobbled by an ankle injury. She was clearly healthy Saturday.

“Amazing,” VanHyfte said after the game. “It’s just hard to put this into words right now.”

Cierra Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds for an Annawan team that steamrolled the Class 1A field this weekend. Carrollton was paced by Rachel Williams, who scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Annawan coach Jason Burkiewicz said Saturday’s win was special, even though his team made a habit of beating opponents by 20 points or more through most of the season.

“It feels good,” he said. “The girls were really focused. It all goes back to our tough schedule this year. We really tested these girls’ hearts all season, because we wanted to see where we stood in the state of Illinois. And they came up big.”

Annawan (30-4) outscored Carrollton (25-7) 15-3 in the second quarter and led 30-12 at the half. The Lady Hawks never posed a threat in the second half.

“That was by far the toughest defense we’ve faced all season,” said Carrollton coach Brian Madson said. “We knew how tough they were coming in, but it’s still hard to prepare for a team with that kind of intensity.”

Carrollton won back-to-back state championships in 2001-2002 and lost a first-round semifinal in 2004.

Lanark Eastland took third place in Class 1A, defeating Moweaqua Central A&M; 55-50 in the afternoon’s first game. In Friday’s semifinals, Annawan cruised past Lanark 71-45, while Carrollton upset Moweaqua 40-38.

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