St. Edward's late rally stuns Rosary
Trailing Rosary 44-39 with a little more than 2 minutes remaining, St. Edward's girls basketball team found itself in a tough position Thursday night.
Nearly 24 hours after suffering an 11-point loss to Aurora Central Catholic, the Green Wave (12-16, 5-7) finished the game on an 8-2 run during their 47-46 come-from-behind Metro Suburban Conference victory in Aurora.
"We felt like if we kept putting pressure on them that by the end of the game we'd be able to wear them down and force some turnovers," said St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson.
The plan worked.
After Zoe Olsen split a pair of free throws to give Rosary a 44-39 lead with 2:11 left, the Green Wave responded.
First, senior guard Madalynn Duffy (10 points, 4 rebounds) whittled the deficit to 44-41 with a driving layup before sophomore teammate Mia Castro's steal and layup made it a 1-point game at 44-43 with 1:29 remaining.
Following another Rosary turnover, freshman guard Brooke Biggins (16 points) split a pair of foul shots to tie the game at 44-44 with 1:09 left.
Both teams misfired on the front end of 1-and-1 opportunities before Madeline Ellsworth (3 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) split 2 free throws to give St. Edward a 45-44 lead with 36 seconds left.
Biggins extended the lead to 47-44 with a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds following the Royals' fourth turnover in the last minute and a half.
"It was tough scoring in the paint against them with their height," Dawson said of the Royals. "We just tried to keep pushing the ball up the floor.
"You've got to play to your strengths -- quickness and speed. You have to try and go with that."
Samantha Ottinger added 9 points and 5 rebounds while Hailey Niehaus chipped in with 8 rebounds and 3 steals for the Green Wave.
"We were on a little bit of a lull last night -- it wasn't our best game," Duffy said of the loss to ACC. "We really just wanted to come out with high energy and have a good game."
Sophomore Megan Cibulskis finished with game-highs of 19 points and 22 rebounds for the Royals (6-17, 0-11), while junior Zoe Ketterman added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"When we get it close, we kind of start panicking toward the end," said Cibulskis. "We just need to calm down."
Cibulskis credits her rebounding numbers to effort and positioning.
"It's getting in the right position to get the ball -- making sure I'm in the right spot."
Both teams begin Class 3A regional tournament action next Monday -- St. Edward vs. IMSA at Kaneland, and Rosary vs. ACC at Plano.