Woodlands Academy junior competes in State Finals 3-Point Showdown

  • Woodlands Academy junior Center/Forward Ava Taylor qualified to compete in the IHSA Girls Basketball Class 1A State Finals 3-Point Showdown Feb. 21 at Redbird Arena on the Illinois State University campus in Normal. Woodlands Academy

    Woodlands Academy junior Center/Forward Ava Taylor qualified to compete in the IHSA Girls Basketball Class 1A State Finals 3-Point Showdown Feb. 21 at Redbird Arena on the Illinois State University campus in Normal. Woodlands Academy

 
 
Updated 2/26/2019 10:41 AM

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart's Ava Taylor hadn't really attempted a 3-point shot in her two years as a member of the school's varsity basketball team. But then as the current season ended, Coach Mark Wax found himself needing to find a couple of Wildcats who could represent the school in the IHSA Girls Basketball Class 1A 3-Point Showdown competition. Due to scheduling conflicts, two of his better three-point shooters couldn't participate.

So, Taylor, a 5' 8" junior from Chicago who usually plays Center and sometimes Forward for Woodlands Academy, stepped up to the line. Her first or second 3-point shot went in, followed by several more, securing her a spot in the 3-Point Showdown. "Coach and I both were surprised at this," she said. "I didn't think I'd make it past the first round of competition."

 

That first round of competition was the start of a journey that would take her all the way to Redbird Arena on the Illinois State University campus in Normal. Taylor was among 32 girls statewide who had qualified to vie Feb. 21 for four spots in the State Finals Class 1A 3-Point Shootout Final Round.

Although she was not among the final four competitors, Coach Wax is understandably proud of Taylor's achievement. "There were 162 teams invited to the contest with four shooters on each team, that's 648 players that started the competition at Regionals. 128 players went onto Sectionals with only 32 advancing to the State Finals' event," he said. "Congrats to Ava."

Looking ahead, Taylor says she'll probably be taking some 3-point shots during her senior year at Woodlands. After that, she's not sure whether basketball will be part of her college plans. Taylor says she wants to major in chemistry as part of a pre-med track and that Texas A & M is her top college choice for now.

Founded in 1858, Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic college preparatory day and boarding high school for young women. It's part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries. A nonprofit, Woodlands Academy's identity is rooted in Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat's desire to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve. For more information about Woodlands Academy, please visit www.woodlandsacademy.org

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