As Kate Calabro had her shot blocked with two minutes to go, the loud thud she made when she fell to the court silenced the crowd.
"At the time, I didn't know ," teammate Lindsey Ehrhardt said. "She went down really hard."
Thirty seconds later, Ehrhardt fouled out, and Kellenberg (17-9) appeared to be in an even bigger hole than its six-point deficit with 1:30 left would indicate.
But down the stretch, the veteran Firebirds never lost their composure. Calabro's dramatic return provided the spark, and forward Caitlyn Staab's hook shot with five seconds left sealed No. 1 Kellenberg's 68-67 win over No. 2 St. John the Baptist in the CHSAA Class A championship game Wednesday.
After forward Erin Sullivan (six points) hit two free throws to bring Kellenberg to within 66-62 with a minute left, Calabro, who had returned just seconds earlier, intercepted a pass in transition and finished with a layup on the other end.
"As soon as I heard our star player Lindsay Ehrhardt fouled out, I was like, 'Trainer, I'm fine! I need to get back in there,' " Calabro said.
The junior guard, with her nine points, seven assists and seven steals, was named the game's MVP.
"Honestly, I had no idea I played that well," Calabro said.
Calabro was the catalyst, but it was the Staab sisters who, with their imposing presence down low, set the game's tone. Morgan, a 6-foot junior, and Caitlyn, a 5-10 senior, created matchup problems galore for a St. John the Baptist squad that frequently runs with five guards on the floor.
"A special 1-2 combo to have," Kellenberg coach Matthew Kirk said. "They feed off each other. It's almost like an in-game competition between them, in a good way."
Morgan had 21 points and seven rebounds, and Caitlyn had 16 points and seven rebounds.
"Morgan and I are best friends," Caitlyn said. "We love working and playing together. It's even more special, that we could do this together."
For St. John the Baptist (9-11), Kayla Hill, the team's lone senior, had 30 points as she hit several clutch baskets. Janine Conway and Emily Meyer added 12 and 10 points, respectively.