Girls Basketball: Romeoville rallies past Plainfield East
Some things just defy explanation.
Junior guard Brianna Harris scored the tiebreaking layup with 11 seconds left as Romeoville overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat visiting Plainfield East 53-51 in a battle Friday between two teams chasing Oswego East in the Southwest Prairie Conference.
Plainfield East (12-6, 5-2) closed the second quarter on a 20-2 run to take a 31-17 lead at halftime. The lead swelled to 41-23 with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter when Romeoville (14-2, 6-1) began its furious comeback.
“I don’t even know what happened in the second quarter,” Harris said. “But we went into the locker room at halftime and coach (Julio Carrasco) gave us a motivational speech to help us pick it up. That’s what we did. We took it to them in the second half.
“We just wanted to win it more and took it to them,” she added. “I wanted to win the game for my team. I had to win it for them.”
Romeoville led 15-11 with 5:01 remaining in the second quarter when the wheels came off the cart. Kiera Currie’s basket with 2:47 left in the half were the only points the Spartans could muster during the Bengals’ five-minute blitz.
“I was asking myself what the heck was going on,” Carrasco said. “We just didn’t play well during the second quarter. I don’t think we could find the basket. It was unbelievable how many shots we missed.
“But I told the girls at halftime that I don’t care what the score is, you have to come out and play and have intensity ,” he added. “They did everything they could. Bri and Abby (Smith) and Kiera (Currie) and Angelica (Osusky) all stepped up and did their jobs.”
A three-pointer by Osusky got the deficit under 10 points at 43-34 with 6:26 left in the game, and a conventional three-point play by Hillary VanMeerten three minutes later pulled Romeoville within 47-43.
The hosts finally caught Plainfield East at 47-47 on a pair of free throws by Currie with 2:49 remaining. Freshman Faith Suggs gave the Bengals leads of 49-47 and 51-49, but the Spartans answered with baskets by Harris and VanMeerten.
Plainfield East missed a shot with under 40 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Harris’ heroics.
“It so frustrating,” Plainfield East coach Missy Mitidiero said. “You give a team like that confidence and they’re going to take it away from you. It’s a tough loss. Definitely a learning experience, But you got to hold out those kind of games.
“We put the pressure on them for three quarters and we let it go for a couple of minutes of the last quarter,” she added. “With this type of team, you can’t do that. There will be a lot of games like this. This is a good opponent to battle with. I just wish we could close out these games. We’ll get there.”
Gabby Williams led Plainfield East with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals. Nina Maggio added 12 and Suggs had 11 points and five rebounds. Smith, Currie (seven rebounds) and Harris (seven rebounds) each had 11 points for Romeoville.