The question for Hill-Murray heading into the second half of Saturday’s Class 3A girls’ basketball title game was simple: could sophomore Tessa Cichy continue to carry the load?
For a while, the answer to that question was tenuous. In the end, though, even though Cichy shook off a slow start to the second half and helped Hill-Murray to a four-point lead in the final minute, it was not enough to get the Pioneers their first-ever state title.
No. 2-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s, behind five points in the final minute by Josie Dillon, scored the final seven points in the game to take a 41-38 victory. Cichy, who finished with 24 points, missed two free throw attempts with 14.2 seconds left and Hill-Murray trailing by one. After a pair of free throws by BSM’s Olivia Antilla, Cichy’s last-gasp three point attempt was off the mark at the buzzer.