ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) Hononegah welcomed home its third place girls basketball team in style on Sunday. Family and friends lined the school sidewalk to get a picture of the girls as they walked off the bus. Dozens more waited in the gym to congratulate the girls on their historic season.
"Not a lot of seniors get to end their year on a win," said Hannah Malcomson. "So being able to get third and end on a win, to me, it's pretty great. I love this."
Another senior, Marissa Kershner echoed those statements.
"They're just the best teammates I've ever had," said Kershner. "They're just so supportive. I've never been on a team that's had more chemistry, so it's been great."
Five seniors (Malcomson, Kershner, Cali Schmitz, Aeris Butler and Jordan King) made winning look easy. More than 100 wins in four years, which included a school record 33 victories this season. They also won three regional titles in four years and made the school's first appearance at state.
"These seniors are my best friends," said Schmitz. "It's just been so much fun to play with them and go to practice with them everyday we all just enjoy each other so much. It's just so great to accomplish this with them."
"I'm glad we made an impact," said Butler, who went viral after a Facebook post featured the senior for her sportsmanship as a team player. "We made history and I'm just still in awe."
And while each senior will be missed, one most certainly left her legacy on the court. Jordan King is the all-time NIC-10 scoring leader and earned AP All-State First Team in her final year.
"The one word to describe it all is excitement," said King. "Just embracing the moment right now is really huge. To see all these people here today supporting us is amazing. I really couldn't have thought of a better way to end senior year."
But regardless of the scoring records and the accolades, King always put the team ahead of the individual awards.
"We have such amazing girls come through this program and relationships I've built that will last a lifetime."
"People will go off to college and start their own lives but I think we'll all remember the relationships we've built here and making school history is obviously something to remember as well."