Girls Basketball: Big third quarter enough for St Viator
Senior Lauren Rooney has no grand illusions of St. Viator making a run at the East Suburban Catholic Conference championship this season.
She would, however, like for the Lions to improve upon last season’s finish.
“We only had one conference win last year,” Rooney said after St. Viator beat Nazareth 44-39 Saturday in LaGrange Park. “One of our team goals is to win more conference games, so to get our first win already is good.”
Saint Viator (5-4, 1-1) outscored Nazareth 13-2 in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Roadrunners (5-4, 0-2) missed all 12 of their shots from the field in the quarter, as the Lions took a 32-20 advantage into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve had some issues with coming out flat in the third quarter,” St. Viator coach Paul Bjerkness said. “Today, we were fortunate to be able to make some adjustments at halftime. It gave us some energy and that really helped us out. It was pivotal in the game. A road win is always huge in this conference. The East Suburban is just tough. We’re very happy to be going back to Arlington Heights with a W.”
Nazareth opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to pull within 32-29, but St. Viator scored the next five points and led by at least four points the rest of the way.
Rooney, a 6-foot-1 center, finished with a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds and added two blocks and two steals.
“Lauren is a good player for us and does a lot,” Bjerkness said. “She’s a great rebounder and made some huge free throws. She handled the ball in some situations where we needed and she brings stability to our group.”
St. Viator also received key contributions from Erin Fabbri (eight points, eight rebounds, three steals), Morgan Hess (seven points, four rebounds), Mary Cleary (seven points, three rebounds, two blocks) and Katie Gavin (five points, four steals, two rebounds).
Saint Viator made 8-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Rooney made 7-of-10 free throws, including 3-of-4 in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been struggling to finish my free throws,” Rooney said. “Finally I was able to put them in today.”
Nazareth was led by Molly Alberts (12 points) and Michelle Lozier (10 points, seven rebounds).