Girls Basketball: Joliet Catholic knocks out Coal City
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org February 14, 2013 11:00PM
Coal City's Britta Spelde tries to control the ball as Joliet Catholic's Trevonya Nash waits. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 17, 2013 6:18PM
Coal City coach Brad Schmitt figures his team did about as well as it could in Thursday night’s Class 3A regional championship game the Coalers hosted.
But with Jasmine Lumpkin and Nicole Ekhomu wearing Joliet Catholic uniforms, the Coalers did not have enough.
“No doubt they had an athletic edge on us and that showed early,” Schmitt said after the top-seeded Angels used a quick start to ignite a 51-39 victory for their first regional title since 2006. “They are on a little different level. We grinded it out as best we could.”
Lumpkin certainly is on another level. She finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds as No. 3 Joliet Catholic (24-4) advanced to Tuesday’s Peotone Sectional semifinal. Ekhomu chipped in with 17 points, including three first-half three-pointers. Mary Susan Rouse contributed five steals.
“We like to start out with intensity, show the opponent what we’re made of,” Lumpkin said. “Coach (Ed Schodrof) emphasized we had to have a sense of urgency. I thought we played hard.”
The Angels led 14-4, then after a 7-0 Coal City run, went on a 9-0 run to lead 23-11 and never seriously were threatened again.
“Whenever we play with a sense of urgency from the jump, we should be good,” Lumpkin said, anticipating the sectional.
“Our pressure was good at the beginning, and that was the key,” Schodrof said. “They have a good half-court team. They do a lot of nice things in their halfcourt offense. So we tried to wear them down, make it difficult for them to get into the halfcourt game.”
Emily Halliday scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half for No. 6 Coal City (23-7), while Nicole Borgetti knocked down eight of her 10 in the first half.
“They really have a nice team,” said Schodrof, who chose to take time off the clock in the second half when the Coalers stayed with their match-up zone most of the way despite their deficit.
“We extended our match-up zone,” Schmitt said. “We did what we could. I didn’t think one-on-one that we could stay with them.”
“I always hoped we could achieve this,” said Rouse, a senior forward. “It’s been a long time for our school.”
“I’m happy for our whole team,” Lumpkin said. “We have to keep it rolling now.”