Jess Moriarty didnt lose her touch in 12 months.
After winning the IHSA 3-point shooting contest as a freshman, the Christian Liberty guard defended her title on Friday.
Moriarty told Chargers coach Steve Rowland she wasnt as nervous heading into the competition this time at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.
Maybe until she got to Fridays shootout.
Moriarty and Taylor McClintock of Illini Bluffs, who was second in the competition last year, each made 10 of their 15 shots to force an extra round of five shots from each corner.
In the extra session, Moriarty made 6 of her 10, and then Rowland got a little nervous when McClintock made four of her first five.
However, the senior hit only one of her final five, with the last three rimming out.
The whole crowd was even like oh no when the other girl didnt get one of those last ones to go in, Rowland said. It was really quite exciting. Both girls are great shooters. The other girl (McClintock) really had a nice form and touch.
Moriarty advances into the next weeks IHSA Queen of the Hill contest and will face the Class 2A, 3A and 4A champions.
Its really remarkable that she has done it two years in a row, Rowland said of the Hoffman Estates native. And as a freshman and sophomore. Its unbelievable how consistent she is. But its because she puts the work into it.
Rowland spent time after school this week to help Moriarty prepare in the gym.
Wed set up three racks and time her with 30 seconds on the clock, he said. I always try to tell all the kids you can do something if you put the time into it.
Im so proud of Jess. She even told her mother when were down there that she wasnt as nervous this year. When youve already been here and won it, I think it gives you a little edge. But when it was over, Jess was relieved.
Moriarty was the top scorer for Christian Libertys 16-10 team this season. She averaged 12.5 points and led the team with 51 3-pointers from 159 attempts (32 percent).