Girls Basketball: Hinsdale South downs foe Hinsdale Central
Updated: February 14, 2012 10:31PM
When Toni Romiti’s shot is falling, good things happen for Hinsdale South.
The junior guard, the only non-senior starting for the Hornets, scored a game-high 23 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range, in a Class 4A Simeon Regional semifinal. The Hornets beat District 86 rival Hinsdale Central 64-40 to advance to the regional semifinal.
No. 25 Hinsdale South (21-6), a fifth seed, will play fourth-seeded Proviso East (22-8) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Simeon. The Hornets defeated Proviso 59-43 on Feb. 3 in the final conference game of the season to win their first West Suburban Gold title since 2004.
“Proviso East is going to be a dogfight,” Romiti said. “I hope we come out with a win. We have to box out Jaliria and Jakeisha Wells, do well on the boards and Kalea Parks is a great player.”
The Pirates won the first meeting over the Hornets, 48-30 on Dec. 18. Proviso East advanced with a 74-35 victory over the host Wolverines earlier Tuesday night.
Romiti added seven rebounds against the 12th-seeded Devils (9-17). Uzo Okoro (11 rebounds) added 16 points.
Gabrielle Rush led Central with 15 points while Lily Sarros had 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Hornets led 31-26 after Sarros’ three-point play with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter, but South answered with 11 consecutive points. In the fourth quarter, the Hornets scored 10 consecutive points and scored 12 of the last 14 points to end the game.
South enters the regional final with wins in five of its last six games. South’s previous win over Central was 48-36 on Nov. 18 in the second game of the season at Hinsdale South’s Thanksgiving tournament.
The Devils started only two seniors, Mary Byrne and Lauren Pavich, and at times had two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior on the floor during the game. The other senior to play her final game was Madison Grace. Byrne, Pavich and Grace combined to score three points against the Hornets.
“They are better than us. They have a better record,” Central coach Tom McKenna said. “This team [South] won 20 games. They are well coached.”
Central won three times as many games this season compared to last year when the Devils set a school record for losses in a season with 26.
“Sometimes it’s experience [that helps win],” Byrne said. “But last year we were all so close. I’ve never played on a team like that before.”
“I’ve made so many good friends,” Pavich said.
Central has lost a first-round game in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Last year’s loss to Downers Grove North was the first playoff opening loss for Central since 1990.
With most of the team coming back, McKenna expects a different outcome.
“We have do to it now. Potential means you haven’t done it yet,” McKenna said. “We’ll have to do it next year.”
The Devils ended the season with four consecutive losses and dropped six of their last seven games.