PARIS, Ill. -- Rob Kuhn didn't see any doubt or worry on the faces of the Unity seventh grade girls basketball players despite a three-point deficit heading to the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Class 2A state championship game.
So he had no worries the Mustangs would respond.
"They were attentive. They listened. They believed," said Kuhn, in his eighth season as Unity's coach. "And they executed. They did what thy had to do."
Unity outscored Havana 13-0 in the fourth quarter to capture their second state championship in the past three seasons with a 25-15 victory at Paris High School. It is the Mustangs' third title in Kuhn's tenure as they finished with a 22-5 record.
"It was a team effort in every respect," Kuhn said. "Everybody contributed."
Sophia Shaffer and Andrea Schaffnit led Unity with eight points apiece, while Hayden Frankel had seven and arguably the most important basket of the game.
She banked in a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and Unity took the lead with about 2:30 to play on a three-point play. The Mustangs went 6 of 6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter with Shaffer going 5 of 5. She had made just 1 of 4 attempts in the first half.
"This group was the calmest in those tough situations," Kuhn said. "I'm just so proud of them."