Girls Basketball: Injury-depleted Rosary survives against Raby
By Eli Kaberon For Sun-Times Media February 13, 2013 11:22PM
Updated: February 13, 2013 11:29PM
The adage in tournament basketball is “survive and advance.” On Wednesday night in the semifinal of the Class 3A Crane Regional, Rosary had to do the former before it could check the latter off its to-do list.
The Royals — already down starting point guard Quincy Kellett because of injury — lost their two top scorers during the game against Raby. Yet they somehow survived, winning 56-40 and advancing to take on top-ranked Montini Thursday evening.
“This was truly a team win,” coach Jessie Wilcox said. “We had freshman, sophomores, juniors step up when their teammates went down. We could have very easily folded to their pressure, but we didn’t. We stepped up, took the challenge and pulled it off.”
The first key player to go down was guard Rachel Choice, who with 4:41 remaining in the second quarter buckled her right knee. She was helped off the court and remained on the sideline for the rest of the game. Prior to the injury, Choice scored nine points and added two assists.
Rosary (15-11) stayed in the game without Choice thanks in large part to Karly Tate. The forward scored in a variety of ways, both attacking the basket and shooting from long range. Tate had 23 points with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter when she was accidentally elbowed above her left eye by Raby’s Ka’treclah Steward as both players were going for a rebound. Blood began gushing onto the floor, and there was an eight-minute delay to stop the bleeding and ensure Tate was all right. She too missed the remainder of the game.
In her place stepped reserve Sydney Zaragoza. The sophomore made both of the foul shots following the injury and finished with five points, three rebounds and an assist — all of which were accumulated after Tate went out of the game.
“It was nerve-racking coming in off the bench like that; I’m not going to lie,” Zaragoza said. “Karly has been my number one influence. She told me continually throughout the summer, continually throughout fall league, that I can shoot anything. And I just really wanted to grab this win for her.”
Wilcox was unsure if either Choice or Tate would be available for Thursday’s regional final game.
Raby (17-8) was led in scoring by Jamilla Banks-Wall, who had 11 points.