Girls Basketball: Elgin ends 44-game skid by topping LarkinLarkin's Allison Driskill (21) shoots between Elgin's Briana Hamilton (15) and Tamara Milosevic (35) during the first quarter at Elgin High School in Elgin, Ill., on Thursday, January 12, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: January 12, 2012 10:14PM
Senior post player Bree Hamilton often has had her abilities overshadowed by Elgin’s losing streak, which had hit 44 games heading into Thursday’s game against rival Larkin.
Nothing hid those talents in the fourth quarter against the Royals as she shrugged off foul trouble to score 18 fourth-quarter points en route to 30 for the game as the Maroons rallied from a 15-point late third-quarter deficit for a 51-49 victory against Larkin.
“I believe she’s the best talent in our half of the conference and she showed it,” said Elgin coach Nick Bumbales, whose team won for the first time since the regional semifinals in 2010.
Hamilton not only scored the tying basket and all but four of the Maroons’ 22 fourth-quarter points, but also blocked a shot from just in front of the basket by Amber McGhee with 3.8 seconds remaining to preserve the win. A traveling call on Larkin with 1.5 seconds left killed off the Royals’ last hope.
“Everyone was down and it didn’t seem like we had any life and I didn’t want to see us just lose another one when we knew we could win it,” said Hamilton. “It’s great, fantastic doing it against our rival.”
Hamilton hit a putback with 1:05 left to tie the game at 49. The winning point came on a free throw by Maggie Powers in the final minute, and and she hit another free throw with 15 seconds remaining for the two-point edge.
Larkin committed four turnovers in the last minute after building a 43-28 lead with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter on a barrage of eight three-point baskets.
“Bree just put us on her shoulders and carried us,” Bumbales said. “We stopped the snowball from rolling. Now we want to get it rolling the other way.”
Hamilton, who is being recruited by Benedictine and several other smaller schools, had 10 first-quarter points but then got in foul trouble and was on the bench much of the second and third quarters. She had four fouls almost the entire fourth quarter. Besides scoring 30 points, she also had 15 rebounds.
Jessica Ramirez added eight points and 10 rebounds and Powers six points for Elgin (1-16, 1-4).
Larkin (3-15, 0-6) had 14 points from Jill Casebeer, including 10 in the third quarter when the Royals charged out to the 15-point lead. She hit three three-pointers for the game. Maggie Hofmann had three first-quarter three-pointers for Larkin. But Larkin did not make a three-pointer in the fourth quarter when Elgin’s defensive intensity picked up.
Larkin guard Abigail Alvarez (12 points) and forward Victoria Patterson (9 points) fouled out late in the fourth quarter and weren’t around for the wild finish.
“We struggled after our three-pointers weren’t going down,” Larkin coach Tissanie Simmons said. “We have the plays in to run to get inside, but we panicked and got frustrated and Elgin saw this and used it to their advantage. You have to give them credit.”