A little too little, and a little too late -- that was Stevenson's fate.
Stevenson's girls basketball team trailed 38-30 at the end of the third quarter and started to chip away at the lead.
But visiting Proviso East managed to hold on and eke out a 54-51 victory in the first round of the Suburban Girls Basketball Tournament on Tuesday night.
Proviso East (11-1) led 50-41 l with 3:00 left in the fourth quarter when Stevenson (9-4) started a 7-1 run, highlighed by forward Katie Batman's 3-point shot, to bring the Patriots within 52-51 with 8 seconds left.
The Pirates' Ivory Crawford converted 2 foul shots with 2 seconds left. The ball was thrown into Batman, who had an open look, but couldn't get the shot off as the final buzzer sounded.
"We can't pull off a miracle at the end every time," Stevenson coach Tom Dineen said. "From a coach's perspective, the game is 32 minutes long. I counted at least six possessions in which we did something wrong, and I really would like to have one of those six back. When two good teams get together. you have to value the ball and you have to make a good stops on defense, and we didn't do that for a full 32 minutes."
Proviso East led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and then built a 28-22 lead at the half.
"I accept the win," Proviso East coach Ezra PridGeon said."We made too many mistakes down the stretch. We stopped playing defense down the stretch and when we do that we have a tendency to turn the ball over. We were able to pull it out, and a win is a win.
"Stevenson is not a pushover," PridGeon said. "We knew we were going to have a battle when we came here. They are a good team, and a fundamentally good team."
Crawford led all scorers with a season-high 27 points, including converting 6 of 8 foul shots.
"We came out here and did what we had to do," said Crawford, who will play at Illinois next year. "At the end, we have enough patience with our defense so that we can win."
Crawford gave her team a scare as she fell and bloodied her nose.
"I would have played if I broke my nose," Crawford said.
Michelle O'Brien led Stevenson with 20 points.
"We wanted to start the tournament at 1-0, but we will come back tomorrow and get the 'W,'" O'Brien said. "We shouldn't have let it come down to that one possession. We drew up a real good play but we just didn't have enough time to get the shot off."
Anna Morrissey scored 18 points for the Patiots.
"I think that we needed to be more aggressive in the beginning of the game, as we did at the end," Morrissey said. "(Proviso East) is a good team. They're very aggressive and they execute well."