West Aurora ousts Yorkville
The penultimate West Aurora possession of the third quarter Tuesday illuminated the demise of the Yorkville girls basketball season like none other.
Olivia Vanderwoude scored on a putback for West Aurora in its convincing 51-26 win over Yorkville in the second semifinal of the Class 4A Yorkville Regional.
But it was not any second-chance field goal.
It was the Blackhawks' fourth shot of the possession.
Vanderwoude would repeat her act with another putback at the third-quarter buzzer moments later to give West Aurora a commanding 40-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The only remaining drama was the final score as the sixth-seeded Blackhawks (21-8) cruised to a Thursday night final date with fourth-seeded Naperville North.
Yorkville, the No. 11 seed of the Benet sectional complex and the only Suburban Prairie Conference West team to defeat division champion West Aurora in the regular season, had its campaign close at 10-20.
Vanderwoude had six of the Blackhawks' 15 offensive rebounds through the first three quarters.
"I was thinking, 'I have to get the rebound,'" said Vanderwoude, who finished with 11 points. "I was in the right position."
Vanderwoude said she was motivated after missing consecutive easy ones earlier in the game.
"I was so mad at myself. I flushed it (from my mind) and came back," Vanderwoude said.
"Too many second-chance points for a regional," Yorkville coach Kim Wensits said.
It was perhaps an ill-omen for the Foxes when junior guard Kenzie Senffner found nothing but net from beyond the arc on the first shot attempt of the game. Yorkville would undergo trying offensive moments for extended periods for the remainder of the game.
A Lexi Meyer 3-point play in the third quarter, a Lilly Guerra 3-pointer in the fourth and Olivia Ross' waning-moments bucket were the Foxes' only three field goals after halftime.
"I thought we had good looks," Wensits said. "I felt like (West Aurora) had that extra chip on their shoulder."
The Blackhawks' disparity in rebounding was equally unmistakable.
Yorkville actually led twice in the first quarter, but the Blackhawks launched a 13-point unanswered run to seize control once and for all.
Jelly Carrasco, who finished with nine points, had a 3-point field goal and chance for a 3-point play on successive possessions during the run.
Carrasco missed the free throw, but West Aurora reserve post Abbey Kuhn made it a 4-point possession with the resulting putback.
"The second-chance rebounds really killed us," said Senffner, who had a team-high 8 points.
West Aurora star sophomore Riley Mont led both teams with 12 points.
"We played as a team," Mont said.
"(Mont) is a phenomenal offensive player," Wensits said. "I wish she was a senior."