Girls Basketball: Waubonsie Valley
Updated: December 29, 2011 11:58PM
Waubonsie Valley seniors such as Becky Williford and Erica Jordan know what it’s like to reach the final of the Wheaton North’s Neibch Holiday Classic. Now they have a title they can call their own.
The No. 7 Warriors held off No. 20 Glenbrook South in the championship game with a 38-35 win Thursday night. The second-seeded Titans had opportunities to score in the final seconds, but could not convert. Glenbrook South missed four free throws in the final 1 1/2 minutes and Colleen McDonagh’s three-point attempt with four seconds remaining fell short as the Warriors won the title in their fourth consecutive trip to the final.
Top-seeded Waubonsie (12-1) lost the 2008 final to Hinsdale Central and suffered defeats to Hersey the past two tournament finals. Waubonsie won its second overall title at Wheaton North after last winning in 1998.
“It feels like a weight is off our shoulders,” Jordan said. “We wanted to get here and we finally won it. It’s a great feeling.”
There were nervous moments, however, for Waubonsie to the very end. The Warriors missed three free throws in the final minute to keep the Titans (13-3) in the game. Waubonsie led 37-28 with 4:24 remaining, but would not score another basket. Glenbrook South scored seven consecutive points until Williford made one of two free throws with 1:01 left.
“A big factor was that we played great defense,” Williford said. “We knew they were a quick team and would like to make it a track meet.”
Colleen McDonagh, an all-tournament selection, scored a game-high 20 points, including three three-pointers, to lead the Titans. McDonagh scored 10 points in the final quarter. Amelia Hummel added 10 points.
The leading tournament scorers from each team were not a factor. GBS’ Molly McDonagh, who ranked second to begin the day with 51 tournament points, went scoreless in three shot attempts and a missed free throw. McDonagh also was named to the all-tournament team.
Waubonsie’s Tami Morice, who was all-tournament along with teammate Gratia Brooks, scored just four points and made her only basket in the third quarter. Morice entered the game with 41 points and finished second in the tournament with eight three-pointers.
“It was hard for us to get it into Molly,” Colleen McDonagh said. “Molly is a lot of our game. Our inside game, that’s our offense.”
Williford had 12 points for the Warriors and Jordan added nine.
“Our pre-game didn’t focus on one player,” Waubonsie coach Kim Connell said. “We knew both McDonagh girls were good. It’s a matter of staying in front of them.”
Waubonsie started the game by missing its first six shots, but the Titans led only 7-6 after the first quarter. GBS took a 20-19 lead in the third quarter on Colleen McDonagh’s first three of the game with 6:45 to go.
The Titans shot 4-of-12 at the line while Waubonsie was 6-of-16.
“Unfortunately, we missed free throws at the end. If we could make them, that would be the difference,” Glenbrook South coach Steve Weissenstein said.
“We needed this for the seniors,” said Connell, who has been to the final in each of her three years with the Warriors. “I told them, ‘I if we played well enough, we’ll deserve to win.’”
Other all-tournament selections were Elk Grove’s Diamond Boyd, Schaumburg’s Amanda Kelly and Alyssa Saklak, Lyons’ Colleen Connors, West Aurora’s Alexis Nelson and Wheaton North’s Maddie Bailie.