Girls Basketball: Coal City turns it on late to top Reed-CusterCoal City's #23 Emily Halliday drives to the basket in front of Reed-Custer's #25 Stacie Hall and Coal City won 38-26 held at Reed-Custer high school on Monday, November 28, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 28, 2011 9:41PM
Coal City guards Rachel Faletti and Emily Halliday combined to turn a slim fourth-quarter lead Monday night at Reed-Custer into a 38-26 victory in the Interstate Eight opener for both teams.
With Coal City ahead 29-26 early in the final quarter, Faletti connected on her second 3-pointer of the game followed by a steal and a full-court drive by Halliday to extend the Lady Coalers’ advantage to 34-26 with five minutes to play.
“They know that we’re counting on them to hit big shots and they came through in the fourth quarter just like they’re supposed to,’’ Coal City coach Brad Schmitt said. “We got hot there for a little while and had a couple bounces go our way.’’
Halliday led Coal City (3-3, 1-0) with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds and Faletti contributed 12 points, seven in the fourth quarter.
“Everyone has their role,’’ Halliday said. “I just have a bigger role than everyone else, some games more than others.’’
Halliday scored nine of her 13 first-half points in the second quarter to give Coal City a 20-16 halftime advantage. Coal City had rallied from a 9-4 deficit late in the first quarter.
“Everyone was having foul trouble, they were getting charges,’’ Halliday said. “I did what I could.’’
Halliday pulled down eight rebounds in the opening half and worked free underneath for two second-quarter layups.
“I kind of went to the boards harder tonight than I have been in the last few games because I knew this was going to be a rough game,’’ Halliday said.
“Defensively, she’s somebody we can always go to,’’ Schmitt said. “Even though she’s only a sophomore, we put a lot of pressure on her to play at both ends and lead us at both ends. Hopefully, this is something that gives her confidence down the stretch.’’
Senior forward Emily Christian led Reed-Custer (1-3, 0-1) with 11 points and nine rebounds.
“That was one of the best games she’s played this year,’’ Reed-Custer coach Nick Klein said. Sophomore Caitlyn Welch had seven points.
Reed-Custer fell behind 27-18 in the third quarter before a 3-point play and jumper from Christian closed the gap to 27-23 going into the final quarter. A basket by Brittany Mikel made it 27-25 before Coal City’s game-winning surge.
“I thought we made real good decisions at times, and other times you scratch your head,’’ Klein said. “We hadn’t met the pressure we did tonight. I knew they would put the clamps on us a little bit.’’