Metea Valley shows strength to finish
Metea Valley coach Cedric Williams saw an opportunity for his girls basketball team, and his Mustangs responded.
"Coach said with four minutes to go, you have four minutes to prove who you guys are and who you can be and what you can accomplish," Mustangs guard Lisa Logan said. "We had a little downfall in the third and fourth quarter for a little bit and we just persevered when we went through adversity and that's how we pulled it out."
Metea Valley gave up a second-half 10-point lead, then rallied to defeat host Glenbard East 31-28 Tuesday night in Lombard.
"Today really showed that we could give that extra effort and finish it off," Williams said. "That was our biggest thing today, learn how to finish. As we learn how to finish, we'll get better and better."
Glenbard East (9-9, 2-6 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division) opened the second quarter with an Ashley Brown 3-pointer, then went quiet the rest of the period as the Mustangs (10-7, 3-3) took a 16-9 halftime lead.
"We lost (the game) in the second quarter," Rams coach Don Finnie said.
A Sidney Bobo lay-in with 5:33 left in the third quarter gave the Mustangs a 23-13 lead. Then they went cold too.
"We were too content with a 10-point lead and we just fell behind and we weren't trying as hard on defense, and that was when they came back," Logan said. "We had to push through, and I think we did that in the last two minutes."
"That's something we've got to continue to work on," Williams added. "Some games we're scoring 60 points. We're inconsistent right now, but we won't go back to the drawing board. Our girls played hard on defense. That's what our focus was today, and we pulled it out."
The Rams went on an 11-0 run, opening the fourth quarter with a Brittany Paganucci 3-pointer to take a 24-23 lead.
Two ties later, Logan's three-point play gave the Mustangs the lead for good with 1:24 to play. She added two free throws with 29.3 seconds to go.
"It feels great to play as a team and know where to pass the ball," Logan said. "This game really shows how we can play and who we can be and what we can accomplish this season."
Logan led Metea Valley with 13 points, going 6 of 7 at the free-throw line, where the Rams made just 7 of 16.
"That's the ballgame, the free-throw line," Finnie said.
Paganucci led all scorers with 15 points, getting 12 points in the second half.
"We're not getting scoring out of our players," said Finnie, whose team lost its third straight game. "That's another thing we've got to look at, how to get more balanced scoring on our team like they were a couple of games ago. It can't be just one player doing the scoring."
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