Schaumburg closes season with win over Buffalo Grove
As Martha Kelly made her return to the sidelines at Buffalo Grove this season after an eight-year absence from the coaching box, she helmed a senior-less roster this season that faced more than it's share of growing pains.
Pains that Kelly would take for her new girls basketball program without hesitation or reservation.
"There's nothing better than being on the sidelines. The energy. I just love the game," Kelly, who ran Prospect's program from 2007-12 said after a game earlier this season.
"I love teaching it. I love coaching it. I love playing it. I love watching it. Being on the sidelines I'm able to do all of it in terms of I'm part of the action. I'm teaching the girls the game. I get to watch them play and learn and grow. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing a player that has spent time learning something and goes out there and performs and does it."
Thursday night she and her Bison squad ran up against a Schaumburg unit that had experienced its share of growing pains as well with only one senior (5-foot-6 starting guard and Edgewood College (WI) recruit Emma Raupp) on its roster.
But it would be in large part to one of their veteran letter winners, junior guard Alyssa Orozco, that they left the Saxons' home floor pained as they dropped a 51-33 decision to the host school, leaving them both at 4-9 in what was the season finale for the two teams.
Orozco, a 5-9 third-year member of the Saxon varsity team, scored a game-high 18 points while collecting 9 rebounds in the victorious effort. She tallied Schaumburg's first 8 points on the evening en route to a 15-6 Saxon advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
"I'm just glad we got the win for our senior Emma," a soft-spoken Orozco said. "I'm glad I got off to a good start. It brought energy to our team, so that's good."
The visitors used an energy burst of their own by going on a 7-0 tear over the final 2:06 of the first half after an Orozco free throw that pulled them within 23-20 at the break.
However, Schaumburg responded with a dominant third period in which it went on a decisive 15-2 run which Orozco capped with a drive down the lane for a score with 1:38 left in the quarter that left the Saxons comfortably ahead 38-22.
Six-foot junior post Leah McKenna led BG with 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Schaumburg assistant coach Jeremy Harkin, who manned the bench in place of head coach Jacquie Strauch looks forward along with her to next season.
"We're in great shape. This was a tough year for the girls. They handled the adversity really, really well," Harkin said. "I think with a good summer next year should be a really good year for us."