Montini Catholic’s tournament semifinal win signals program turnaround

The Montini Catholic bench looks on as the Broncos battle the Trinity Blazers in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals at Fenwick High School. The Broncos have four players who earned All-GCAC honors. (Alyssa Muir/MEDILL)

By Alyssa Muir
Medill Reports

The Montini Catholic High School Broncos defeated the Trinity High School Blazers 53-27 in the Girls Catholic Athletic Semifinals this month in a loss that knocked Trinity out the tournament.

Trinity continued regular season play afterwards. The Broncos fell to Mother McAuley High School 39-36 in the GCAC tournament championship the next day, but the team remains a championship contender.

The GCAC includes 13 catholic high schools in the Chicago area.

For the Broncos, winning against the Blazers was much more than just one victory—it was another sign the program is turning a major corner after finishing last in the conference just a season ago.

Playing just two days after National Girls and Women in Sports Day made the game even more meaningful.

“It means so much for us to be able to have this awesome tournament during this week of all the weeks,” Broncos junior guard Shannon Blacher said. “It’s all really inspiring, especially for us being coached by a woman.”


0:16-0:33: Shannon Spanos (Montini head coach) quote: “It’s huge. Our conference is very competitive. On any given night, anyone can win. To be 5-0 in the conference and to get to the championship, this is what we strive for and work hard for all season. We’ve hit another one of our goals, which is great.”

0:38-0:48: Shannon Blacher quote: “Last year we were last in (the) conference. To be all the way in the championship and first in conference for regular season, it’s just a big step. It shows how much we’ve grown as a program and how strong we are as a team.”

1:00-1:19: Shannon Spanos quote: “It’s so great because these girls have been given so many opportunities, but it’s because of Title IX and things like that. So, we really talk about gratitude; we talk about opportunities. We all share in that same passion of playing sports, competing every day, women in leadership, women in power.”

Alyssa Muir is a sports reporter at Medill from Tampa, Florida. You can follow Alyssa on Twitter at @alyssa_muir21.