BLOOMINGTON " Rock Island Alleman coach Jay Hatch sat with his hands over his head, staring at the court in disbelief.
His incredulity was made possible by a defeat that won't soon be forgotten.
Chicago Hope completely dominated the Pioneers in every facet of the game in a 57-34 victory in the State Farm Holiday Classic Class A girls championship at Shirk Center.
"There's not a whole lot to say," Hatch said. "They took us out to the woodshed. That's the bottom line."
The margin of victory tied the tournament record set in 1998 when Galesburg defeated Mendota 57-44. Alleman's 34 points were the lowest by any team in the Class A title game since the tournament discontinued the grand championship contest in 2001.
"They finally came to play," Hope coach Jenelle Spearmon said.
Coming to play was not difficult.
Playing with the pain of last February's 58-53 loss to Alleman in the Class A state championship game, the Eagles (16-0) came out with a tenacity on both ends of the court that could not be matched.
Following a 3-pointer by Alleman's Mollie Yeargle, the Eagles went on a 25-5 run that covered 13 minutes, 20 seconds. In that span, Hope hit 9-of-15 shots and limited the Pioneers to scoring all their points from the free-throw line.
Alleman's second basket of the contest came with 2:22 remaining in the half.
"Once our shots were falling, I think the girls got confident and we (were) able to play our game," Spearmon said.
And the Pioneers couldn't stop it.
With a double-digit lead, Hope worked a methodical offense which used precision passing and constant subtle attacking. The passing led to holes in the defense, or open looks from beyond the 3-point line.
"That's what we wanted to do," Spearmon said. "We wanted to be in control 100 percent all the way."
It left Alleman frustrated.
"It's pretty hard to guard them," said Hatch, whose team finished in second place for the second time in five years.
"Then when you go by and help, they hit threes. It's pretty simple. It's not rocket science but it's really smart because they're good at it. Their guards can all penetrate.
Alleman (12-3) twice trailed by 13 points in the second half, but that was as close as it could get.
Forty-three of Alleman's 48 possessions ended with one shot or less as it finished 10-of-32 from the field (31.2 percent).
Junior point guard Amanda Clifton, who was an all-tournament performer, led the Pioneers with 13 points. No other player scored in double figures.
Hope's Latear Easton finished with a game-high 19 points, while Zharque Gray added 14.
"It feels good," said Easton, who was named to the all-tournament team. "They're a great team and this is just a good win for us because beating them, it means everything to us."
Olney East Richland 62, Kankakee McNamara 60
The Tigers outscored Bishop McNamara 23-6 in the third quarter to turn a 38-24 halftime deficit into a 47-44 lead in which they never relinquished to capture third place.
The Fightin' Irish were led by Jennifer Juergens' 34 points " second most in tournament history behind Jaci Bice of Mendota, who scored 37 in 1997. Claire Schmidt finished with 22. The rest of the team combined for just four points.
Brittany Johnson led East Richland with 29 points, while Casey Kuenstler added 14.
St. Joseph-Ogden 49, Rochester 45
The Spartans held Rochester to just 19 second-half points to capture fifth place.
Casey Siddens led the Rockets with 21 points.
St. Joseph-Ogden, which trailed 26-21 at halftime, was led by Ashley Runck's game-high 25 points. Abby Williams finished with 21.
Newman 45, Tolono Unity 30
The Comets blitzed to a 16-3 lead after one quarter and never looked back, despite going scoreless in the second quarter, to win the seventh-place contest.
Tolono was paced by Meghan Schultze's nine points. Newman was led by Jocelyn Mellen's 21 points.