Girls basketball: Abby Smith leads Romeoville past Geneva
By Matt Le Cren For Sun-Times Media January 19, 2013 8:50PM
Updated: January 19, 2013 11:14PM
Romeoville star Abby Smith has accomplished a lot in her career, but chances are Saturday will have a special place in her highlight scrapbook.
The senior point guard scored a career-high 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career, to power the Spartans to another signature victory. Romeoville’s 68-58 defeat of Geneva at the prestigious McDonald’s Shootout at Willowbrook provided more proof that the No. 22 Spartans (19-3) belong among the elite.
“I did not know (the milestone was near),” Smith said. “It was unexpected. The win was expected; the (milestone) was a bonus. It is an honor.”
Smith’s 1,000th point came on a free throw that gave the Spartans a 51-39 lead with 2:08 left in the third quarter. That was appropriate considering Smith did much of her damage from the charity stripe, sinking 12 of 17 attempts.
Smith is the second Romeoville player to surpass the 1,000-point plateau this season, joining senior forward Kiera Currie, who reached it Dec. 1 in a game at the United Center.
Currie and Smith proved to be a potent 1-2 punch against Geneva as Currie poured in a game-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Smith had six steals, five rebounds and three assists.
“Today we all contributed,” Smith said. “Me and Kiera I think found the basket and (there were) a lot of passes from my teammates that helped us out. It was a quick game and that’s what we were expecting.”
Smith scored eight points and Currie had six in a first quarter in which the Vikings (12-9) jumped out to a 15-7 lead, only to see the Spartans respond with an 11-3 run to end the period.
Romeoville forged ahead 35-28 at intermission and boosted the lead to 56-41 in the fourth quarter following six straight points from Smith, then held off a desperate rally by the Vikings, who cut the gap to seven in the final minute.
“They like to feed it to the middle, so we had to continue going to (defend) the middle so they wouldn’t get it in there,” Smith said. “But we also had to be aware that they are three-point shooters so we kind of extended (the defense) but not so much that they could get it into the middle.”
Sidney Santos overcame a twisted ankle to sink five three-pointers and score 18 points for Geneva, but star forward Sami Pawlak, a Nebraska-Omaha recruit, fouled out when Smith took a charge with 2:35 to go in the fourth quarter and the Vikings down 12.
Pawlak finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Kelly Gordon added 14 points, seven boards and four steals and Abby Novak had 12 points, but the Vikings weren’t consistent enough to take advantage.
“I’m frustrated with us,” said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows, whose team committed 28 turnovers. “We can play a lot better than that. We’ve got to play hard for 32 minutes of basketball.
“We have to show up from the get-go, with a lot of heart, a lot of energy. We’re struggling with that right now.”