As it turned out, Stil and the rest of the world's incurable romantics were a bit disappointed. But only a bit. Although McFadden did not score, the Tigers overwhelmed Columbia-Union College of Takoma Park, Md., 80-45, Thursday night for the NAIA District 19 championship.
The Tigers (30-2) will travel to Wingate, N.C., where they will meet Wingate College today to determine which team will qualify for the round of 16 in the NAIA playoffs. It was Wingate that eliminated Holy Family in the first round last year at Holy Family, and the Tigers would enjoy revenge.
"Last year, we lost to Wingate by 5 here," Holy Family coach Mike Soroka said. "I would like to play them again. I think, after being in the playoffs for the third time in a row, we'll be ready for them this time."
Against Columbia-Union, it looked more as if the Tigers were in a tuneup than a championship. It wasn't even close.
Holy Family was able to use all 15 of its players, and 12 scored. Tracy Petner, a 5-foot, 6-inch senior guard, led the Tigers with 14 points and 5 assists. Debbie Schopfer, a 5-11 junior center from Frankford, had 12 points and 13 rebounds, most of them offensive.
Holy Family, taking advantage of the Pioneers' poor ballhandling, piled up 8 steals in the first 5 minutes and converted 7 of them into points. By the time 10 minutes had passed, Soroka was comfortable enough with his lead that he began to substitute freely.
Schopfer, JoAnne Garvey, Sue Miller and Kelly Maloney had absolutely no problem with the Columbia-Union frontcourt.
After halftime, with the Tigers up 46-16, Holy Family began playing a looser, less structured game, and the Tigers reserves picked up what might turn out to be their last significant minutes of the season.
With about four minutes left, however, Soroka inserted his five seniors - Garvey, Maloney, McFadden, Marie Orth and Petner - and allowed them to finish their home careers together.
"It's sad to be leaving," said McFadden, a walk-on who was cut from her high school team. "But after four years, it's time to move on."