Late cold spell costs Timothy Christian
While hitting from both the inside and the outside, Timothy Christian was looking primed for an upset win over Peotone after three and half quarters of play Saturday afternoon in Elmhurst. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they stopped hitting all together from that point on and the game slipped away.
The Blue Devils, who improved to 22-4 on the year with a 44-41 nonconference defeat of the Trojans, trailed 41-36 midway through the final quarter after Timothy Christian's 6-foot-2 Grace Roland posted up and scored inside. But the home team would not score again over the final 4:29 as Peotone closed out the game with an 8-0 run to victory.
"It was a tough one but there were a lot of positives in there as well," Trojans coach Jill Groenewold said after her team dropped to 11-14 on the year. "The ball just didn't fall our way as we went along. That's a game that either one of us could win in that last 30 seconds, and I'm very proud with how well our kids battled."
Timothy Christian played a solid second quarter and led the visitors 26-21 at the half after outscoring the Blue Devils 15-8. Junior guard Maddie Drye led the way with four 3-pointers for 12 points, while Roland had 10 points and 6 rebounds at the break.
Peotone paid more attention to Maddie Drye in the second half, but her sister Sami knocked down a trio of 3s including one that tied the score at 39-39 with 5 minutes left in the contest. But Roland's 2-pointer was the only basket recorded by the home team from that point on.
"We executed enough down the stretch and made some adjustments defensively at halftime and we stayed close enough to be able to get them at the end," said Blue Devils coach Steve Strough, whose team talked at the half about limiting Maddie Drye's chances from beyond the arch. "That was a point of emphasis at halftime, to not let that happen. We shadowed her pretty well. We knew No. 14 [Roland] was going to get her points but we had to shut down No. 1 [Maddie Drye]."
Roland finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for Timothy Christian before fouling out with 1:17 left to play. The junior is hopeful her team's inside-outside attack can make them a tough out with the playoffs just around the corner.
"Maddie played well and Sami hit some big shots there at the end," Roland said. "When both our inside and outside are scoring at that pace it's hard to play against. But they're good. They've got some good talent and team synergy and they played pretty good defense and just sat in that zone. If we can all work together we can be hard to beat."
Jenna Hunter paced Peotone with 16 points and 4 steals.