H-F Vik-tory!

Vikings basketball wins the IHSA State Finals
H-F Vik-tory!

On March 9, the H-F Vikings defeated the Normal Community Ironmen 60-48 to win their first ever IHSA State Championship. 

The last time that the Vikings made their way down to state was in 2004 when Julian Wright led his team to the state finals, however they lost to Peoria. 

Jamere Dismukes came in as head coach during the 2022-23 season after longtime coach Marc Condotti stepped down. Throughout the season, Dismukes focussed on the word “resiliency” to describe his team. 

“Everytime our kids show resiliency or fight through adversity,  it translates past the court,” Dismukes said. “Every game where our backs were against the wall, our kids pulled themselves out and  that shows a lot.”

Going into the game, the Vikings knew they were facing a tough challenge: height.

Normal Community is known for their height, as every player in their starting line-up is taller than 6’4”. Their starting center, senior Jaheem Webber who stands at 6’10” had the height advantage compared to H-F center, Mac Hagemaster who stands at 6’8”.  “I have played with him in the past, so I knew a lot of his tendencies and what he likes to do when he gets the ball, ” said Hagemaster.

The game started off hot, with junior Jayden Tyler hitting back-to-back three point shots within the Vikings first two possessions and getting the team started on the right foot. 

“It felt good knowing I was stepping up from the performance a day before, knowing that we started off on the right foot to get the early lead we needed, “ said Tyler.

The Vikings came out strong in the first quarter, outscoring Normal 21 to 16, which set them off in the right direction. Within the first eight minutes, the Vikings were shooting 100% from 3-point range, which set the tone for the rest of the game.

Throughout the second quarter, senior captain Carson Brownfield who had 12 points and seven rebounds in the championship game kept the team motivated  while also increasing their lead going into halftime.

”Everybody is going to give us their best punch, so we have to know how to fight back against those tough teams, “ said Brownfield.

During the third quarter, the Vikings maximized their lead to 16 points and a huge portion of those points came from junior Bryce Heard.

Heard led the team in points against the Ironmen, scoring 21 points and 10 rebounds. Heard’s grandfather, Ron Dunlap, played for the University of Illinois Illini in the 1960’s. Heard expressed how it felt to excel where his grandfather played. 

“I know that I was proud, but my mom was especially proud,” Heard reflected.

Once the final buzzer sounded, senior Gianni Cobb felt the importance of this win.

“Winning it with my brothers that I’ve played with since we were kids, it just felt really good, “ Cobb emphasized. Cobb ended up with eight points and two assists. 

Now that the season is over, The Illinois Mr.Basketball title is up for grabs and Cobb is in the running for winning. “I had a bigger senior season then all of the other contenders, so I feel like I absolutely deserve it the most “ 

The basketball team currently has eight seniors that they will be losing and three of those eight are on the starting lineup. Dismukes expressed how he is going to prepare the younger players to step up and defend their state title.

“Skill development for those younger guys, making sure they’re absolutely ready to get on the court. We’ll give them about two weeks off, then we will start lifting weights, open gyms and practices“ 

Throughout the season, Dismukes used the phrase, “job’s not finished”. Finally, the job is finished.


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