Girls Basketball: St Edward advances to regional title game, tops North Boone
Updated: February 8, 2012 10:42PM
The collective sigh of relief from St. Edward’s girls basketball team could almost be heard Wednesday from North Boone High School near the Wisconsin state line to Elgin.
The second-seeded Green Wave dodged something much bigger than a proverbial bullet by roaring back from a nine-point deficit in the final 5:11 of regulation before pulling out a 48-46 overtime win in the North Boone Class 2A Regional over third-seeded Rockford Christian.
“We’re playing tomorrow,” St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson said. “That’s all I can say. Hopefully we got that out of our system.”
The victory, behind 13 points from Callie Johnson, 12 by Rena Ranallo, and 12 rebounds by Alex Lee, put the Green Wave (21-7) in a regional title matchup at 7:30 Thursday against top-seeded Rockford Lutheran. The Wave lost 48-44 to Lutheran last month.
“It’s pretty much a relief,” Ranallo said. “We knew there was a sense of urgency, so we all stepped it up in the fourth quarter.
“We knew it could have been our last game but we pulled through.”
Ranallo had gone 3-of-6 in the fourth quarter at the line and any of the misses might have meant a one-point win in regulation. But she calmly nailed two foul shots with 1:16 left in overtime to break a 46-46 tie for the game’s final points.
Rockford Christian (19-7) had a chance for the tie with 44 seconds left when Jackie Lindquist stole the ball and drove upcourt but missed the layup. After a Green Wave over-and-back violation, Rockford Christian had 18 seconds left for the tie or win. The Green Wave never allowed a shot at the basket and the Crusaders were fumbling the ball when time expired.
“That was lock-down defense and we knew we didn’t want to give up anything going to the basket and didn’t want to let a three(-pointer) go off,” said Dawson.
“They just locked down and defended well.”
Johnson made two key steals in overtime.
“I think I was just in the right place at the right time,” she said.
St. Edward’s defense forced seven fourth-quarter turnovers during the comeback, after forcing only nine total the first three quarters.
At the end of regulation, the Wave appeared to have it won, but an outlet pass with 3 seconds left was tipped and wound up in the hands of Crusaders freshman Lexi Lanquist, who had just entered the game. She put a 6-foot jumper through the net at the buzzer to force overtime.
Prior to that, the Green Wave got eight fourth-quarter points from Johnson, including two three-pointers, in a furious rally that got back the lead.
“I knew the game was on the line and I had to focus on the shot,” Johnson said.
With 4:20 left, Johnson’s rebound bucket and three-pointer started a 10-2 run. A free throw from Ranallo and one by Kelly Tripicchio gave St. Edward a 44-42 lead before Lanquist’s tying shot.
“Every time we’d do something well, and I just thought we started to get it going our way, we’d miss a defensive board, throw the ball to the other team or miss a free throw,” Dawson said.
The Green Wave went 5-of-14 at the line in the fourth quarter.
Christian’s 6-foot-5 center Emily Nylen made the interior off limits much of the night for St. Edward’s offense, with four blocked shots. She led her team with 14 points. Jayla Penny had 10 for the Crusaders.
St. Edward shot just 33 percent from the floor (33-of-51), but the Green Wave committed just one turnover in the fourth quarter during its rally.