PORT BYRON — Playing each game with the thought that it could be the last helped propel Riverdale's Shae Hanrahan through a highly successful senior girls' basketball season.
After helping the Rams to an 8-0 finish and the No. 1 ranking in Class 2A in the COVID-19 shortened season, the 6-foot senior forward and unanimous first team All-Three Rivers West Division selection added to her honors when she was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's 2A All-State first team.
"I found out, I think it was a couple of days ago. It was amazing," Hanrahan said. "I never expected it, but it was something I dreamed of.
"It was actually one of my goals for this season before I graduated and moved on. I was so honored."
In an eight-game schedule that concluded with a third straight TRAC West title and also included a two-week COVID-19 pause, Hanrahan averaged team highs of 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game along with 3.3 steals, 2.1 blocked shots and 2 assists per outing.
"Playing only eight games, we had to play each one like it was the last, because you never knew what could change week to week," she said. "You had to leave it all out on the court. I felt like that gave us a little extra motivation.
"You really just had to go at it like it would be the last game you would ever play. That's pretty much what I did all year."
Originally planning to go into the military upon graduating from Riverdale, Hanrahan's plans altered somewhat when she decided to attend Black Hawk College for two years before enlisting.
But now, her basketball performances this season could wind up in her not playing her last competitive game back on March 11 when the Rams topped Sherrard 45-31 to lock up the conference championship.
Hanrahan has attracted interest from two other two-year schools, Iowa Central in Fort Dodge and Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, as well as St. Ambrose University.
"I took a visit to Iowa Central on Saturday," she said. "The military is still an option for me, but knowing people are noticing me for basketball, that's a change. It's nice to have options, and this has opened my eyes a bit.
"Maybe I don't want to end my basketball career just yet. Maybe I do want to continue playing basketball in college."