Girls Basketball: Kalie DiNunno saves the day for Guerin
Updated: January 14, 2012 11:09PM
Kalie DiNunno came through when her team needed her most as the Guerin senior captain scored the game-winning basket with 8.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Gators a 51-49 victory over Suburban Christian Gold rival Aurora Christian on Saturday night in River Grove.
“When I was younger my dad would put a few seconds on the clock and have me take shots,” DiNunno recalled. “It became second-nature to me. I see the clock, and I’m back in my childhood. As much as my heart was pounding, I do what I have to do as captain, and I believe the ball is going in.”
Sophomore Becky Bartnicki was the top scorer for the Gators with 18 points going a perfect 8-for-8 at the free-throw line, DiNunno finished with 14, and senior Jackie Bartnicki contributed with 11 points.
Aurora Christian’s Mackenzie Bollinger led all scorers with 19 points. nts with a pair of threes.
The game went back and forth most of the way with Aurora Christian (7-12, 2-5) recovering from an early 8-3 deficit to score the next 13 points and take a four-point lead into halftime. Senior Alyssa Henzel finished with 10 points for the Eagles.
Guerin (19-3, 6-1) fought back in the third with the lead changing hands six times and headed into the fourth quarter down by one after Aurora Christian’s Taylor Eaves hit a basket at the buzzer.
“My team played a great game, no doubt about it,” Aurora Christian head coach Jerry Tokars said. “It wasn’t perfect, but we were solid, and we showed guts and were gritty. They’re a tough team to play. If the girls were nervous at the end they never showed it and battled.”
DiNunno hit a key free throw with 22.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 46, and she also sank a pair with 48.6 seconds left in overtime to give the Gators a brief 49-47 lead. Henzel got a put back bucket to knot the score up at 49, which set up the dramatic finish.