Lady Bruins Rejoicing Earn First State Title in School History - News, Sports and Weather

Lady Bruins Rejoicing Earn First State Title in School History

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Going into the fourth quarter of their championship match up with Bozeman, the Capital Bruins were down 3 and had been playing catch up all night, but they never lost faith.

"I just knew we had to pick it up too," said Bruins senior guard Rayna Pilgeram. "We had to play great defense. I just knew we were going to win though. I had confidence in my whole team."

That confidence gave them an opportunity, and their leader stepped up. McKenzie Johnston scored 12 points in the final quarter, including going 10-10 at the free throw line. Something her teammates have seen all season.

"I knew Kenzie had control," said Bruins freshman post Taylor Sullivan. "I knew she was going to win this game, and pull it out for us. And I had no doubt in my mind we had that W."

"I'm totally confident in Kenzie," said Bruins junior forward Tjaden Pallister. "Once they started fouling her I just knew it was over. Kenzie hardly ever misses her free throws."

"It's just a great feeling to know that I led this team, and that everyone was stepping up in the big moments of the game," said Johnston.

The Bruins went 32-37 on their free throws on the night, proving that free throws do in fact win championships. But this is no Cinderella story. This championship has been years in the making.

"I really think of the girls that have come before this that have gotten close that paved the way for our program," said Bruins head coach Bill Pilgeram. "To see it show off I wish I could give a little chunk of that trophy to every one of them."

But for the coaches and players that were able to hoist that trophy, this title comes with excitement, and a little sadness.

"It just means the world, it's just hard to describe it," said Rayna Pilgeram. "I'm just so happy."

"I've been dreaming about this since I was little watching my sisters growing up," said Johnston. "I just can't believe it just happened."

"That's the test to a great season is when you're sad it's over," said Bill Pilgeram. "You should be sad it's over. The emotions right now will carry us through that a little more, but I will be sad on Monday that I'm not going to practice."

Luckily for coach Pilgeram, his girls knew exactly how to wash away those tears, and end the season with a smile.>

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