The Panthers (22-2) got pivotal contributions from quite a few players, but it was the play down low of Murray and Dunham that made the biggest difference against the Vikings (17-4). Dunham had 10 points and was named most valuable player despite struggling early in the contest.
"She came back, and she gave me what she always gives. She's an awesome player," Allen said of Dunham. "To be a sophomore - she's getting ready to do some great things."
While the Panthers had been rolling over their Public League foes all season, Allen pointed to contests against out-of-state teams that prepared her team for Sunday's tight battle.
"We've always had intensity," Murray said. "We never let a team outplay us energy-wise."
Big second halves from Lauren Willis and Ciera Nimmons propelled the Vikings' comeback, but Northeast missed some crucial layups late in the contest.
Despite the loss, Northeast will play Archbishop Carroll on Wednesday for the District 12 AAAA title, while the Panthers take on Neumann-Goretti on Saturday for the AA crown. Both squads are guaranteed berths in their respective state tournaments.
Dunham, for one, can't wait to face the Saints, a team she almost played on her freshman year.
She opted for Imhotep because it just felt like the right fit. Now she has a championship and an MVP trophy to prove it.
Imhotep Charter 6 11 17 7 - 41
Northeast 8 3 14 13 - 38
IC: Bionca Dunham 10, Mayah Kitchen 9, Taylor Scruggs 8, Ashley Murray 7, Deja Reynolds 5, Ajee Miller 2.
N: Lauren Willis 15, Tahira Vance 12, Ciera Nimmons 10, Robmira Taylor 1.