Girls Basketball: Minooka shakes off injury bugs
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media February 18, 2013 8:08PM
Updated: March 20, 2013 6:22AM
Despite a 12-17 record heading into last week’s regional play, Minooka coach Ray Liberatore remained optimistic about his team’s chances.
His banged-up Indians squad finally was shaking off a seasonlong injury bug.
With a healthy squad taking the court, the results showed as fourth-seeded Minooka won the Class 4A Bradley Regional. The Indians will meet top-seeded Peoria Richwoods at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Normal Community West Sectional semifinal.
“We’re getting healthy, and we’re playing more optimistic,” Liberatore said. “That’s the one big thing. Sam Wurtz is getting healthier, and getting Erin Heide back certainly helps.”
Senior forward Larissa McLemen has been the team’s best player all season, but she’s been getting reinforcements of late.
Guard Erin Heide returned from a stress fracture in her right foot that sidelined her for almost two months, while Sam Wurtz continues to work back from an ACL injury she suffered late last spring, giving the Indians another three-point threat.
Coupled with McLemen’s and Kelly Carnargio’s play in the post and Sydney Lilly at the point, the results have been all positive with regional wins over top-seeded Normal West and third-seeded Bradley.
The re-energized Indians will put those positive results to the test starting Tuesday.
“We’ve struggled scoring at times, but getting the girls back has opened things up,” Liberatore said. “We’re not going to win without balanced scoring. Sectionals is that bigger challenge, and the level of play on our schedule has helped prepare us for this stretch.”
In other match-ups involving Joliet-are teams, Romeoville will face off against Bolingbrook at 6 p.m. Tuesday in an Oswego Sectional semifinal in a showdown of the Herald-News’ Nos. 1 and 2 teams, respectively.
Romeoville, which is coming off its first regional title since 1989, has won 13 straight games. Bolingbrook has won 14 of 15 games dating to late December.
Winner of its first regional since 2006, Joliet Catholic faces Bishop McNamara in a Class 3A Peotone Sectional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.