West Chicago storms back to down Elgin
With West Chicago trailing Elgin in the closing minutes, the Wildcats' seniors did what seniors are supposed to do: they stepped up.
Shailee Patel scored 7 of the Wildcats' final 11 points, Sadie Obenauer assisted on a key basket and the pair combined to make all 6 of their free throws in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats outlasted Elgin, 47-41 in an Upstate Eight Conference girls basketball matchup at Elgin's Chesbrough Field House.
Patel finished with 22 points and Obenauer had 14. Each player grabbed 5 rebounds. Emily Toran added 10 points for West Chicago.
"We just really wanted to win," Patel said. "We haven't been winning a lot and it feels good."
"It's amazing because we were actually able to come together as a team today and pull it through when it was very close, and not shut down," Obenauer said.
Wildcats coach Mark Fitzgerald said "senior leadership," was the key to the Wildcats' finish.
"They kept their heads about them and a junior, Emily Toran, did some great things at the end and that really helped us," Fitzgerald said. "They've played a lot of games over their four years and this one ended on the good side for them. I'm very happy for them."
With Elgin ahead 37-36, the Maroons' Takara Campbell appeared to make a layup that would have put the Maroons up 3. She was called for traveling instead and Patel made a 3-ponter on the ensuing possession.
The teams traded scores, with Toran making a pair of layups while Noella Arzola made a basket and a pair of free throws for Elgin. Toran's second shot put We-Go ahead to stay, and Patel iced it with 4 free throws.
"I really thought the big turning point was the travel call down here," said Elgin coach Dr. Nick Bumbales. "That was like a 5-point swing. I actually thought she got fouled, and she had made the basket. And they came down and scored right after that, so that was really a killer. We had momentum on our side at that point, so that really hurt us. We played well enough to win."
Campbell led the Maroons with 12 points and also grabbed 8 rebounds. Arzola added 8 points and 9 boards. Sabrina Moskow finished with 9 points, and Jocelyn Bardesi also had 8 for Elgin (1-4, 1-4).
Elgin ran out to a 7-2 lead and held it for most of the first quarter until Patel's 3-point play tied it at 13. The second half saw 6 lead changes and 5 ties before the Wildcats made the game's final run.