Girls Basketball: Good turn for Plainfield EastPlainfield East coach Missy Mitidiero says Dominique Hartsfield (left) has brought "tenacity" to the floor for the Bengals. | File photo
Updated: December 5, 2011 6:04PM
Marian Catholic and DePaul University graduate Missy Mitidiero is in the midst of infusing a winning attitude as the third coach in three varsity seasons at Plainfield East.
The Bengals, 8-16 a season ago, are 5-3 and ranked No. 5 in the Joliet area.
“We are extremely intense, competitive and we hustle hard for every possession,” said Mitidiero, who played two years of pro basketball in Holland. “We have shown a lot of heart. I’m most proud of that because it’s something you can’t teach.”
Among the top players for Plainfield East are senior Dominique Hartsfield, juniors Gabby Williams and Nina Maggio and freshman Faith Suggs.
“Our leading scorers are Suggs, who has been very consistent, and Williams, who also leads us in rebounds,” Mitidiero said. “Dominique Hartsfield was hurt to start the season, but brought her tenacity back during the Willowbrook Tournament and has provided solid leadership.
Plainfield East is 1-1 in the Southwest Prairie Conference, losing to Oswego East 52-47 at home and beating Oswego 46-42 on the road.
“Our drive this season is to get better with each and every practice to put us in better position to win each and every game,” Mitidiero said.
A year ago, Romeoville blew an 11-point lead with three minutes left in a one-point home loss to eventual Southwest Prairie Conference champion Minooka.
This year, the Spartans left little doubt, leading by as many as 25 points before “settling” for a 69-55 victory over the Indians in a battle for first place in the league. Romeoville is 6-0 overall, 2-0 in the SPC.
“Last year when we played Minooka we were up 11 with three minutes left,” Romeoville coach Julio Carrasco said. “We haven’t met any of our goals we establish before every game. I told the girls, ‘If we can meet those goals every game, we’re going to win.’ We haven’t reached them yet and we’re still winning. We haven’t played a complete game yet.”
“It felt really good this time to push through all the hard losses we went through last year,” Romeoville center Kiera Currie said. “We made sure we worked hard this summer to push through games like this. It’s great we came out with the victory.”
“What Julio has done with that program in four years is really a credit to him,” Minooka coach Ray Liberatore said. “It’s significant, what they’ve done and I’m happy for him. They are good players, they are well coached and they do some nice things on the floor.”
The floor general for the resurgent Spartans is point guard Abby Smith.
“When you have a point guard like her, she controls the game on both sides of the court, and Currie is a beast inside,” Liberatore said. “And, they have some other girls who can play. They are a well-balanced team.”
Monster in the middle
Seneca’s 6-foot center Coley Baker has been a monster in the middle for the Fighting Irish (4-3). The senior is averaging 10.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and nearly seven blocks per game.
In a 39-32 loss to Peotone, Baker blocked 11 shots. She totaled 102 blocks a year ago.
Bolingbrook on break
Bolingbrook (2-0) is in the midst of a 12-day layoff before taking on Lincoln-Way Central (4-2) to open SouthWest Suburban Conference action Thursday in New Lenox.