Girls Basketball: Guerin holds off Ridgewood fury
Updated: February 20, 2012 9:01PM
Top-seeded Guerin held off an early Ridgewood fury to come away with a 50-38 win in the Fenton sectional semifinal in Bensenville on Monday night and advance to Thursday’s final against either Marshall or Crane. Sophomore Becky Bartnicki tied with Ridgewood’s junior Ines Grepo for a game-high 14 points. Grepo paced the Rebels in the opening quarter scoring nine points while Bartnicki came on later to help the Gators with their comeback.
“Maybe now I can go home and finally get some sleep,” said Guerin coach Johnnie Gage. “They had nothing to lose, and we did -- therefore we were tighter. Maybe we thought because we beat them over Christmas that this would be easy. Once we realized they’re a good, disciplined, and well-coached team, we started playing better.”
Guerin (29-3) came alive in the second quarter scoring 20 points. Senior Kalie DiNunno hit a big three with 5:12 left in the period shortly before Becky Bartnicki took a feed from sophomore Kietta Saunders’ inbound pass to put the Gators up for the first time all night. Ridgewood junior Jackie Stroud hit a three to put the Rebels back in front with 3:45 left, but Guerin senior Jackie Bartnicki (six points) responded 20 seconds later with the three that put the Gators up for good. Junior Allison Stieber continued her fine play in the playoffs with 10 points for the Gators.
“We knew from our game last time that they wouldn’t come out like ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’” said DiNunno. “Everyone has some bumps and bruises, and the game was even more physical than expected. It’s a big accomplishment for our school and the farthest we’ve been in basketball. We’re just two games from going downstate, and we’ll fight to the death for it.”
Fourth-seeded Ridgewood (15-15) opened the game on a 6-0 run and was up by as much as eight in the first quarter. Grepo, who scored nine points in the opening period, started the second quarter with a steal and an easy bucket to make it 15-8 before Guerin really started to chip into the difference. Seniors Mallory McCormack and Jessica Rzewnicki each scored six points before fouling out. Junior Jackie notched six points as well.
“We had a lot of energy,” Grepo said about Ridgewood’s start. “We played them before, and there was a lot of tension. We came out and gave it our all, and it seemed to work for us in the beginning. Our tempo then went down and so did our heads, and at the end it kind of slipped away.”