Girls Basketball: Minooka stumbles vs. Peoria Richwoods
By Dick Goss email@example.com February 19, 2013 10:54PM
Updated: March 21, 2013 6:36AM
NORMAL — The game was over. Less than a minute remained.
There was Minooka senior forward Larissa McLemen racing halfway downcourt and diving for a loose ball.
The Class 4A Normal West Sectional semifinal against Peoria Richwoods did not turn out the way McLemen and her teammates had dreamed. But coach Ray Liberatore noticed her effort until the bitter end of Tuesday night’s 39-22 setback.
“Larissa right there exemplified what this senior class was about,” said Liberatore, whose team (14-18) entered the postseason 11-17 and upset No. 1 regional seed Normal West 50-49 in overtime last week. “I told the girls if they are going to remember one thing, it’s the Normal West game, beating the No. 1 seed and getting to the sectional.”
The sectional was not as memorable. Minooka made 9-of-33 shots and committed 27 turnovers. The Indians trailed 5-1 after one quarter and 16-8 at halftime. After they battled back to within 16-12 early in the third quarter, Richwoods (25-6) went on a 9-0 run to salt it away.
“We were real excited to play in the sectional, and we thought we had a shot there in the third quarter,” McLemen said. “But it was like we were scared. We weren’t driving.”
“I was pleased with our defense,” said Liberatore, who used a triangle-and-two with freshman Sydney Arlis hounding Richwoods standout sophomore guard Olivia Elger and senior Sydney Lilly on senior guard Brenna Detra. “For a freshman, Arlis is unbelievable. I’m not sure I’ve had a better defender.”
But as Liberatore noted, Richwoods eventually did things to break down the triangle. And when you’re not scoring ...
“You see their 1-3-1 halfcourt and you would say it’s pretty generic,” Liberatore said. “But they play it so well that if you’re not patient, make the extra pass, and don’t get good passing angles, you’re never going to get there.
“We didn’t get there.”
Kelly Carnagio had five points and eight rebounds for Minooka. McLemen, Karli Carter and Erin Heide scored four points.