Girls Basketball: Waubonsie Valley wins share of Upstate Eight Valley titleWaubonsie Valley's Gratia Brooks battles for a rebound with Neuqua Valley's Najee Smith on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 7, 2012 10:45PM
Waubonsie Valley won the coin toss, too. But that was just icing on the cupcake.
Erica Jordan scored 13 points, Tami Morice had 12, Becky Williford added 10 and Tia Brooks had eight points and eight rebounds to lead No. 7 Waubonsie Valley to a 45-38 victory Tuesday over Neuqua Valley that gave the Warriors a share of the Upstate Eight Valley title.
After the game, conference officials used a coin toss to determine the pairings for Friday’s league crossovers. By winning the toss, the Warriors earned the right to play Friday at Geneva, which won the Upstate Eight River. Valley co-champ Bartlett will play at Streamwood, which finished second in the River.
“I think Bartlett wanted us to win the coin toss so they won’t see Geneva until in the sectional,” Waubonsie Valley coach Kim Connell said.
Instead, Geneva will get a chance to see Waubonsie (22-2, 11-1), which ran out to a 19-5 lead with 5:41 remaining in the second quarter Tuesday on Morice’s third three-pointer of the game.
“I was kind of nervous because my shot was not on in warm-ups,” Morice said. “It’s all good to get it quick and knock it down. But Megan (Doody of Neuqua) did it right back to me. I think we had the same amount of threes.”
With Waubonsie’s Brooks and Ross sitting on the bench in foul trouble throughout the second half, Doody helped rally the Wildcats from a 35-25 deficit with 6:46 remaining in the game. Her second three-pointer of the fourth quarter gave Neuqua Valley a 37-36 lead with 1:47 left.
“It was scary for awhile,” Jordan said. “We fell off a little bit. They came strong and were ready to play, but in the end we pulled it out. I can’t wait to play Geneva on Friday. We missed playing them twice this season (the teams’ game scheduled for January 20 was cancelled by snow).”
Waubonsie pulled away late at the free-throw line. After going two of their first 11, the Warriors made five of their last six free throws and got a nifty basket by Brooks on a press-break to close on a 9-1 run.
Doody scored nine points, Malia Smith added eight points and Kristen Moore had six points for Neuqua Valley (20-6, 7-5).
“We were timid in the first half for whatever reason,” Neuqua Valley coach Mike Williams said. “You can only coach so much. The kids have to figure out that we’re as good as the next team, we’re as good the next player and we’re as good as anybody.
“The second half they came out and played hard,” he added. “I thought they did some good things. But this game doesn’t mean anything for us. We’re in third place regardless if we win or lose. We’re going to focus on the regional.”
Neuqua Valley is seeded fourth in its own sectional but would likely have to get past red-hot Naperville Central in the Oswego Regional to play at home.
“If we can come out intense right from the beginning, then we’ll be a dangerous team,” Williams said.