Girls basketball: Plano closes strong at Rosary
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media January 4, 2013 9:40PM
Updated: January 4, 2013 11:09PM
Due to some early foul trouble, Plano’s girls basketball team wasn’t able to pressure Rosary as much as it wanted to in the first half.
That changed in the second half, particularly down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
The Reapers forced six Rosary turnovers in the fourth quarter and finished the game on a 9-2 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 42-38 nonconference road win.
Plano hit only 9-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter, but the Reapers allowed only two Rosary free throws in the final four minutes to take the win.
“We’ve really worked on trying to pressure teams as much as we can,” Plano coach Mario Serra said. “First half, we had to back off because we had some foul trouble, but our pressure is what we hang our hat on, trying to make them work all the way up so they can’t set up the way they normally want to.”
Rosary (7-9) took a 36-33 lead on a driving layup from Karly Tate midway through the fourth quarter. But Plano (14-4) slowly chipped away. A free throw from Tachae Miles tied the game at 36-36 with 2:33 left and two more Miles free throws gave the Reapers the lead for good (38-36) with 2:06 left.
Plano then hit 4-of-8 from the line down the stretch, with Rosary only managing a pair of Rachel Choice free throws, to hang on for the win.
“When they picked up the pressure, we followed suit and made some costly fouls which were just unnecessary,” Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox said. “We have to realize that we’re up. Just because they want to put pressure on us doesn’t mean that we have to reciprocate. It’s a lesson learned.”
Rosary took a 26-19 lead at the start of the third quarter on a putback by Madison Richmond, but then 6-foot-3 junior center Clarisa Martinez took over for Plano to get the Reapers back into the game. She scored Plano’s first eight points of the quarter and blocked five shots on the defensive end in the third. That helped the Reapers carry a 31-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
“That was a conscious effort,” Serra said of getting the ball to Martinez after the half. “We had to get her the ball. Even if they collapse on her, that’s going to open somebody outside. We definitely talked about that.”
Martinez finished with 11 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocked shots in the win. Miles led all scorers with 16 points for the Reapers.
“We are really excited,” Martinez said. “We had hopes of winning, and we did.”