Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2013, 7:54 pm

Annawan celebrates bronze-medalists today at 1 p.m.

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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com

Photo: Clark Brooks / PhotoNews
Playing through intense pain, Annawan's Celina VanHyfte takes a shot over field in the first half during their third-place game against Cowden-Herrick. The Bravettes defeated the Hornets 47-37 to finish third at this year's state tournament. VanHyfte led her team with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Having grown accustomed to departing their hometown with much accompanying fanfare for its super-sectional and state-tournament trips, the Annawan girls' basketball team will end its season with an equally warm return home.

A welcome-home ceremony to honor the Bravettes is set for today at 1 p.m. at the Annawan High School gymnasium. The community is encouraged to turn out for one more show of support for their team, which tied a single-season school record with 30 wins and earned its first IHSA state girls' basketball trophy.

After a disappointing one-point semifinal loss to Freeport Aquin at Redbird Arena in Normal, the Bravettes (30-3) ended their state debut on a high note, besting Cowden-Herrick-Beecher City 47-37 in Saturday afternoon's third-place game.

-- Sportswriter Terry Duckett