Breann Maryanski knew she would get a second chance, and did the Rosary senior deliver when she got it.
After missing a point-blank lay-in at the buzzer that would have won Tuesday's Class 3A IMSA regional semifinal, Maryanski scored the first and last baskets in overtime as the No. 3 seeded Royals outscored No. 2 Yorkville 9-1 in the extra four minutes for a thrilling 64-56 victory.
Rosary (12-14) will put its 6-game winning streak on the line Thursday night in the championship game against No. 1 seed Aurora Central (18-9), who defeated the Royals for the first time since 2001 earlier this season, 64-54.
"I wanted to shake that off and come out and show them what I've got and that I could do it," said Maryanski, who finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Fellow senior Brenda Rocha scored Rosary's next basket in overtime as the Royals quickly reestablished control after Yorkville appeared to have momentum by erasing a 14-point second half deficit to tie the game with just 8 seconds left in regulation.
"That's when seniors have to step up," Rosary coach Dave Beebe said. "If they show they are rattled the whole team falls part.
"This is one of the best ones in a long time," Beebe said of the win. "I'll be excited to see what happens Thursday. This is one of the best Yorkville teams I've seen in a very long time but I'm really proud of our kids for the way they stepped up."
Once it fell behind 59-56, Yorkville (12-13) missed a pair of potential game-tying 3-pointers. The Foxes missed all 8 of their field goal attempts in overtime including six 3-point tries. Rosary countered by making 3 of its 5 OT field goal attempts to offset 10-of-23 shooting at the free-throw line in the game.
"I wanted them to go to the hoop," Yorkville coach Luke Engelhardt said. "We haven't been in this situation very often. I think they got a little out of control and thought they could get it all back with one shot. Inexperience will do that."
The Foxes made quite a comeback just to get to overtime. After 7 lead changes through the midpoint of the second quarter, Rosary's bench played a key role in helping the Royals build a 31-22 halftime lead. Reserves Karly Tate and Brittney Hutchinson both scored 6 points in the first half.
Rosary scored the first 7 points of the third quarter to take its biggest lead at 36-22. Jenny Taptich (15 points) and Alicyn Hester (14 points, 16 rebounds) got going for the Foxes, who outscored Rosary 22-10 to end the third quarter trailing just 46-44.
Yorkville never took the lead in the fourth quarter and never tied the game until its last possession. After Rocha's fourth steal of the night with 25 seconds, she split free throws for a 57-55 lead.
Yorkville's Jordann Dhuse found Devin Turner alone inside for the tying basket with 8 seconds to go. Rosary dribbled down the court and called timeout with just .8 left but drew up a perfect play that freed Maryanski right under the basket. Her shot didn't drop, sending the game to overtime.
"I said, 'We have four minutes, we'll be all right,'" Beebe said.
They were. Sophomore Madison Richmond led the Royals with 17 points including three 3-pointers and several key jumpers in the fourth quarter when Yorkville had nearly caught up. Courtney Bila added 9 points.
"It was just a big game, we all wanted it very much and played with heart and worked hard," Maryanski said.
"It was an outstanding game," Englehardt said. "The girls battled the entire game. I thought we played a little panicky, out of control in the first half. The second half they played their butts off."