Regina Dominican ends Timothy Christian's season
The ball came off her fingertips so smoothly and naturally, Jordyn Strube made everything appear so easy.
She nailed back-to-back 3-pointers and Timothy Christian was off and running.
Basketball is a game of swings and momentum. No matter how hard it tried, Timothy Christian could not overpower the smaller and scrappier Regina Dominican.
Playing her final game, Strube hit four 3-pointers and scored 20 points only to watch the Trojans' furious fourth-quarter comeback fall short in a 56-53 loss in the championship of the Class 2A DePaul Prep regional on Friday night in Chicago.
Timothy (22-7) suffered its first loss since Jan. 7.
"It was the little things that got us and we could not catch up," Strube said.
Despite the hot shooting by Strube, the Trojans were forced to play catchup from the start of the second quarter.
Timothy trailed by as many as 6 points in the second quarter and fell behind by 8 points with 2:30 to play in the third quarter.
"We fought hard, but I will take the blame tonight," Timothy interim coach Mark Baumbach said. "We just did not execute today. That is on me. We scouted them beautifully, but we just could not stop them."
Sophomore guard Laura Strenk scored a team-best 13 points to lead the Panthers (13-16). Her penetration and pick-and-roll game caused all manner of problems for the Trojans.
Strube and sophomore post player Hannah Schuringa orchestrated the Trojans' fourth-quarter comeback. Schuringa, a 5-foot-11 forward, scored 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter.
She was dynamic on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds. She added 3 blocks.
Her play symbolized the great promise of the Trojans.
Schuringa's two free throws off an offensive rebound yielded the game's final tie at 42 with 3:31 remaining.
A 3-pointer by the Panthers' Isa Krebs ignited a 7-0 Regina run. A Strube 3-pointer and a Schuringa putback and three-point play made it a one-possession game.
Timothy missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer and Strenk knocked down four free throws in the final 12.8 seconds to secure the victory.
"We never stopped playing, and we fought back and our coaches were still drawing up plays, but we just could not come all the way back," Schuringa said.
Strube and Lauren Gehrke are the team's only senior starters. Reserve senior Maggie Troxel added 3 points in her final game.
The Trojans' youth occasions the great excitement going forward.
Sarah Castensen, who scored 7 points and added 5 rebounds, is another highly skilled and lanky 6-foot sophomore.
Sureya Alex, the electric point guard, had 3 points, 5 assists and 4 steals in the loss. She is the Trojans' third sophomore starter.
"It's sad that the way it ended, but I am so excited at our young players and how they played this year," Strube said. "To see them grow and develop the way they did was very exciting and makes for a great future."