Girls Basketball: Andrew ends layoff, stops Sandburg
With 12 days passing since their last game, a six-point loss to Rich Central, the Andrew Thunderbolts had almost two weeks to stew about the defeat.
Returning to the court Saturday, Nicole Botich made sure Andrew wouldn’t have to focus on another tough early-season loss. Scoring 18 points on her 18th birthday, Botich helped lead Andrew to a 53-43 win at Sandburg in a SouthWest Suburban crossover.
“We played really hard against Rich Central, and it was a tough loss so this feels great,” Botich said. “With the break and a new team, we didn’t know (how we would play).”
Botich led four double-digit scorers for Andrew (3-1), including Tiana Karopulos (14 points) and 10 apiece from Liz Jendra and Catherine Foley.
“We had a quartet step up,” Andrew coach Bobby Matz said. “They’re realizing it doesn’t have to be one person. They can step up as a team.”
Holding a 12-point fourth quarter lead, Andrew saw the lead shrink to four points at 46-42. Botich scored inside off a no-look pass from Karopulos to answer. In the final minute, Karopulos came through with a huge steal while hitting 3-of-4 free throws to squash Sandburg’s comeback effort.
Foley’s steal and lay-up with 40 seconds to go iced the game for the Thunderbolts.
“(Andrew) set the tempo and forced the issue,” Sandburg coach Chris Hellrung said. “We need to show that effort the full 32 minutes. We did it in spurts today. We showed fight (coming back) which was good to see, and we’ll get better.”
Carly Katalinic scored 15 points for Sandburg (2-2) including three first-quarter three-pointers. Rachel Ruzevich added 11 points off the bench for the Eagles.