NORMAL - The queen's crown is waiting for Hampshire's Jessie Van Dorin.
Van Dorin made 8 of her 15 shots Friday to win the Class 3A 3-Point Shootout championship at Redbird Arena. She will shoot for the Queen of the Hill crown at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday, between the Class 3A third place and championship games.
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Class 1A champ Kelsey Herridge of Brimfield, Class 2A champ Allie Norton of Bloomington Central Catholic and Class 4A champ Haley Stercic of Marist will shoot against Van Dorin Saturday.
"It's crazy. I really don't know what to say about it," said Van Dorin, a junior who made 83 3-pointers this season for the 29-2 Whip-Purs. "I'm kind of surprised. I really wanted it today. It feels so good. I've been practicing and shooting so much lately."
In front of a live TV audience and about 4,000 people in the arena, Van Dorin shot second among the four finalists. Highland junior Katie Hempen made 5 of her 15 shots to begin the competition. Van Dorin stepped up and made 8 of 15, blocking out the elements.
"I just kind of forgot about that when I started shooting," said Van Dorin of the TV cameras and the crowd. "I just focused on the hoop."
Nazareth Academy's Nora Masterson made 6 of 15 after Van Dorin and then Metamora's Whitney Rohrbach made 7. When Rohrbach missed the fourth shot of her last rack, it assured Van Dorin of the title.
"I thought (Rohrbach) was going to tie me but then I heard all the Hampshire fans start cheering when she missed and I knew I had it," said Van Dorin, who was 10 years old in 2004 when the Whip-Purs took second place in the Class A tournament at Redbird.
Hampshire coach Sue Ellett continued to praise her 5-foot-3 sharpshooter.
"She's a model of consistency," said Ellett, who noted there were about 20 Hampshire fans in the front row supporting Van Dorin. "She's into a routine and she has great form. She's spent a lot of time in the gym and she doesn't back down. It's neat. They're all calling me Coach of the Queen."
Ellett said Van Dorin continued to be focused, as she was Thursday when she advanced to the finals through a shootout.
"She's got a little edge to her," Ellett said. "She came down here with a purpose and figured, 'Why not me?' She's very businesslike and she really deserved this. She's got a lot of ability and talent and we're proud of how she's represented Hampshire High School."
As for Saturday's finals, Van Dorin says she's ready.
"I'm going to have fun with it and hopefully I'll have my best round," she said. "It would be pretty cool to be Queen of the Hill."