Byron girls basketball repeats as state champion

NORMAL, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Byron girls basketball team won its second straight state championship with a 55-32 win over Bloomington Central Catholic Saturday night.

It was the perfect ending to a stellar season.

"I mean it was our dream to be one time state champions so to win it twice, that's just incredible," said Paige Holloway, a Byron senior.

With 22 points, Holloway led the team to the 55-32 win over Bloomington Central Catholic to earn the 2A State Championship Saturday night in front of a packed house.

"That's the most people I've ever seen at a basketball game, even when we were down here last year, I don't think we had this many people here," said Head Coach Eric Yerly. "It's just a credit to this kids and those seniors, they do so much for the community."

"'I'm just so grateful to have a community that is so involved in the school, and in sports and I'm just really proud to live in Byron," said senior Bailey Burrows.

In the final minutes of the game, Coach Yerly hugged each and everyone of his players, some of which were playing with him for the last time, but he says no matter whether they're on or off the court, this team will be family for a lifetime.

"I'm going to be sad to see them go, that's no lie, there's a lot of tears shed on the sidelines with two minutes to go between myself and the kids," Yerly said. "I was just so pleased to see them go out with another state title."

But the icing on the cake wasn't just going home with the trophy.

"Winning state twice would have been great, but winning state twice with my best friends is the best experience I could have ever asked for," Burrows said.

The Lady Tigers finished the season 34-2 after capturing the second of back-to-back titles. Senior Lexi DeVries was also named first-team All-State.