DeLaSalle freshman Sydney Runsewe spent the first two-plus months of the 2018-19 season recovering from an ACL injury.
She appeared healthy Thursday, scoring 17 points as DeLaSalle defeated Totino-Grace 65-49 in the Class 3A, Section 4 championship at East Ridge High School.
Runsewe hit five three-pointers, including two in the game's opening minutes, as the second-seeded Islanders (21-5) forced 22 turnovers and earned a third straight state tournament berth.
"Just making them [early] fuels me to make more and keep shooting," Runsewe said.
DeLaSalle started the season 4-4 after losing one of its best players, senior Elaina Jones, to an MCL injury. The Islanders also went without point guard Kiani Lockett, center Nora Francois and Runsewe for parts of the season because of ACL injuries.
Islanders coach Tanysha Scott said she sometimes has to play four freshmen after leading a more experienced team to state last year. She praised the team for its energy and said it was good to see Runsewe in a rhythm Thursday.
Runsewe's strong night came as DeLaSalle played part of the first half without leading scorer Nurjei Williams, who sat because of foul trouble. Williams scored 10 second-half points and finished with 14. Senior center Mary Claire Francois added 10 points.
Junior Carla Meyer led fourth-seeded Totino-Grace (16-13) with 25 points, including 15 in the first half. Totino-Grace coach Patrick Bowlin praised the 5-5 Meyer's effort against DeLaSalle's taller guards.