ARMSTRONG — When you have four seniors playing their final home game and its for an outright conference title — they are expected to rise to the occasion.
Armstrong-Potomac senior guard Morgan Zindars along with teammates Rachel Miles, Courtney Hambleton and Johanna Bruens didn't disappoint the home fans at Bezely Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The Trojans, behind 30 points from its four seniors, claimed their first-ever Vermilion Valley Conference girls basketball title with a 36-30 victory over the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils.
"This means a lot for the entire program,'' Armstrong-Potomac coach Nick Hipsher said. "Yes, this was one of our goals at the beginning of the season, but we just didn't decide back in November that we wanted to win the conference title. These girls have been working towards this goal for the past four years.''
Not only is it the first Vermilion Valley Conference title for the Trojans, who improved to 20-5 overall and 12-1 in the league, but it's the school's first girls basketball title since winning a Sangamon Valley Conference title in 2001-02 season.
"It's really amazing,'' said Bruens, who scored a team-high 11 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. "It's been a rough road with (Bismarck-Henning) beating us in the County championship. We wanted to get back at them and we did.''
Armstrong-Potomac's victory not only avenged its 41-36 loss to Bismarck-Henning in the Vermilion County Tournament championship, but it also offset the Blue Devils 40-33 win over the Trojans on Jan. 9 in the first of two conference meetings between the rivals.
"It was definitely in the back of our heads,'' Hipsher said. "But, being able to win conference outright means a lot more than that.''
The Trojans secured their title in the final eight minutes as they outscored the Blue Devils 15-7 in the fourth quarter, and it was their senior leader getting things started.