Girls Basketball: Hinsdale South upsets Proviso East, wins West Suburban GoldDarien, 2/3/12--Kristin Dimitrijevic, (45), of Hinsdale South, looks for a shot while being defended by Proviso East's Jakeisha Wells, (42). | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun Times Media
Updated: February 3, 2012 11:07PM
Natalie Tomerlin couldn’t think of a better way of ending her West Suburban Gold career at home Friday night.
Tomerlin scored the game’s last basket on a rebound and reverse layup with nine seconds remaining. Hinsdale South then celebrated with a 59-43 victory over No. 16 Proviso East, giving the Hornets their first conference title since 2004 by beating the defending conference champions.
Tomerlin scored 10 points. Toni Romiti scored a game-high 14 points, including 7 of 7 at the free-throw line, to lead Hinsdale South (19-5, 11-1), which won for the ninth time in its last 10 games. Uzo Okoro had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“This is amazing,” Tomerlin said. “I’ve been waiting four long years for this. My teammates pulled it off.”
Foul trouble plagued the Pirates (19-8, 10-2), who beat the Hornets 48-30 Dec. 16 in the first meeting, but the 6-foot-1 Okoro did not play in that game due to a family commitment. Hinsdale South scored its lowest total of the season in that game.
“I’m so glad to get the win on Senior Night,” Okoro said. “I waited all season for this.”
The Hornets, which went 8-1 in January, took advantage when three Proviso East starters — leading scorer Kalea Parks, 6-3 Jakeisha Wells and point guard Stacey Welsh — ended the first half on the bench with three fouls each. Proviso shot 5 of 25 from the floor in the first half and 15 of 55 in the game. Hinsdale led 28-16 at halftime.
“I would not say it was because of our poor shooting,” Proviso East coach Ezra PridGeon said. “We were getting fouled in the act of shooting and we don’t get to go to the line. That’s a different story.”
Parks scored nine of her team-high 13 points in the second half while reserve Demetria Watson scored 12 points on four three-pointers, three in the fourth quarter, for the Pirates. Jakeisha Wells did not score and Welch finished with eight points, two in the first half.
The Pirates shot only 5 of 8 at the free-throw line compared to Hinsdale’s 20 of 28. The Hornets also outrebounded Proviso East 18-8 in the first half.
“I’m so proud of the way they played the whole game,” Hornets coach Jen Belmonte said. “They never quit. They never let up. They did what I asked them to do.”
Proviso East’s only other conference loss this season came at Willowbrook, 42-35, on Jan. 7.
Entering Belmonte’s second year, Hinsdale returned four starters from last season. Romiti is the only junior among the starters.
Hinsdale South senior Andrea McNally was actually the first player in foul trouble by picking up three fouls in the first six minutes. McNally rallied to scored seven of her nine points in the second half.
“We knew we could do it (win conference),” Belmonte said. “It took a while for them to be convinced that they can do it.”
Hinsdale South won its 17th conference title although its first several championships came as a member of the defunct Des Plaines Valley League.