2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/29/2012 9:20 PM

Bruno's the cure for Willowbrook against Elk Grove

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Angela Bruno says she would like to study in the medical field.

The senior point guard sure produced a cure for her Willowbrook girls basketball team in the fourth quarter of Saturday's fifth-place game of the Bill Neibch Falcon Classic at Wheaton North High School.

Bruno scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the final eight minutes, including 6-of-6 free throws and a driving layup that gave the Warriors the lead for good at 35-33 over Elk Grove.

Willowbrook, which trailed by as many as 9 points in the third quarter, allowed the Grens only 2 points in the final 5:50 and won pulling away 45-35.

"Angela really stepped up," said four-year Warriors coach Terry Harrell. "She took the ball to the basket and made it really hard for them (Elk Grove) to defend her."

The Warriors (13-3) were defending well themselves with a full-court press in the final quarter.

"Initially, they did not respond well (to the press) and that gave us some momentum," Harrell said. "Then they adjusted to it. But Angela was huge for us at the end."

Kelly Naughton's nifty driving layup gave Elk Grove (10-7) a 28-19 lead with 5:03 left in the third quarter.

That's when the Warriors went on a 9-2 run which gave them their first lead since early in the first quarter.

Bruno's 3-pointer capped the run and made it 31-30 with 7:40 left in the contest.

A rebound 6-footer by Anita Sterling extended the lead to 33-30 before Elk Grove tied it again on a driving bank shot and a free throw by Diamond Boyd.

But layups by Bruno and Melissa Rader and 2 free throws by Bruno made it 39-33 with 3:16 left.

"Angela really doesn't take a lot of shots unless she is forced to," Harrell said. "Some of our other girls weren't hitting shots so that's when Angela stepped in."

"Our press usually helps us," said Bruno (5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) of the Warriors' big fourth-quarter surge. "When we are setting good traps like did, it always gets us going."

Sterling (6 rebounds) and Lauren Carroll (3 rebounds) each chipped in 6 points for Willowbrook while Erma Udota had 5. Molly Krawczkowski chipped in 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Warriors enjoyed their best finish in the Falcon Classic in Harrell's four years.

"It's a good feeling," said Bruno, who has played three and half seasons on the varsity. "To be 13-3 and do this well in the tournament is pretty awesome for my senior year. A lot of us have been playing together since sixth or seventh grade. Everything has started to click.

"Our freshman team lost only one game. As sophomores (on the varsity) we weren't too great. Junior year, it wasn't too bad. And now things are working out real well our senior year."

"We're happy with fifth place," Harrell said. "The girls are still trying to prove some things. "

The Grens, who lost veterans Boyd and Naughton for considerable time due to foul trouble, have proven they can play with the top teams when they are consistent.

Melissa Solorio helped pick up the scoring slack when Boyd (10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) and Naughton (6 points, 2 assists) were sidelined with 3 three fouls apiece for the final 4:40 of the second quarter.

Solorio, a junior, finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds.

"We have the ability to play with these teams," said Grens coach Kathie Swanson. "It's just about being consistent. When we figure that out then we will be where we should be.

"We had some silly fouls which are not acceptable, some poor decision-making with the ball, and we didn't take care of it. We shot ourselves in the foot, that's the bottom line."

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