Richards’ Brianna LaBeau overcomes foul trouble to top Oak Lawn
Updated: January 17, 2012 9:57PM
More times than she’d like to remember, Richards senior Brianna LeBeau has gotten all fouled up.
Early in Tuesday night’s South Suburban Red showdown against neighborhood rival Oak Lawn, there she was again.
On the bench for most of the first quarter with two fouls.
“I just try to play aggressive,” she said. “I knew tonight that when I went back in, I’d have to keep my hands off.”
This time she didn’t foul out, instead making her biggest impact on the scoreboard as the host Bulldogs prevailed 59-52.
LeBeau finished with 23 points, 13 of them coming in the fourth period. She added 10 rebounds, while Hannah Jenkins (13 points) and Nicole Ellement (nine points) were also key for Richards (9-7, 4-4).
Oak Lawn (10-8, 3-5) was led by LaTondra Brooks (23 points, eight rebounds), Katie Gulino (13 points) and Jannah Mahmoud (11 points, nine rebounds).
The Spartans led most of the first half and built a double-digit edge at 27-17 late in the second period. Three-pointers from Ellement and Sam Kusta rallied Richards to within four at the half, but it wouldn’t be until the fourth quarter when the hosts would take the lead.
It happened with 5:26 remaining on a three-pointer by Ellement that made it 44-41. But it was LeBeau who did most of the damage for the Bulldogs down the stretch, drawing fouls and hitting 9 of 10 free throws.
“Except for the first couple of minutes I felt I had a rhythm,” LeBeau said. “It wasn’t so much that I was having to bang my opponent back. Everything in our offense was working very good, so it didn’t take too much effort.”
While Brooks was dominant for Oak Lawn, the Spartans were less effective when the 6-foot Mahmoud, their most effective player under the basket, sat with foul trouble in the second half.
“Richards is a good team,” Oak Lawn coach Janet Haubenreiser said. “We knew that if LeBeau stayed out there she could take over the game down the stretch, and she did.
“It was kind of lopsided free-throw wise (Richards attempted 29, the Spartans 12), but what can you do?”