Sanders drops 39 on Joliet Catholic

SHARE Sanders drops 39 on Joliet Catholic

Losing to Joliet Catholic by 18 points in early February, Bishop McNamara’s Khadaizha Sanders still managed to score 24 points.

The loss lingered though, despite her strong effort.

So given a second chance at Joliet Catholic, the sophomore guard made the most of it, dropping 39 points in a 72-63 upset at Tuesday’s Class 3A Peotone Sectional semifinal.

“Everyone had underestimated us, and we came to play tonight,” Sanders said. “No one expected us to win this game, and that put a chip on our shoulders.”

Sanders scored 28 of her 39 points in the second half for Bishop McNamara (17-11) who will play Morgan Park Thursday for the sectional title.

Kyleigh Payne added 10 points for the Fighting Irish.

Nicole Ekhomu (22 points) and Jasmine Lumpkin (20 points) paced Joliet Catholic (24-5) in the season-ending loss.

“Not just Khadaizha, but they played as a good a team as they could,” Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof said. “Start with that. They played about a perfect game. She didn’t force anything.”

Having already scored 11 in the first half as Bishop McNamara went up 26-24, Sanders blew up in the third, scoring on three drives, hitting two free throws and capping the frame with a long three-pointer at the buzzer.

The shot from distance put McNamara up 45-34.

Far from done, Sanders had 17 in the fourth quarter including a 10-of-12 performance at the charity stripe. Ekhomu (12 in the fourth) and Lumpkin (8 points) did their best to keep the Angels in the game but could never quite get them over the hump.

The deficit was cut to four at 63-59 with 55 seconds left, but who answered? Who else? Sanders, scoring seven of her 17 in the final minute.

“She was outstanding, but they were outstanding,” Schodrof said. “Damn near perfect game. We didn’t play a good game, and combine those two factors, and it’s a bad combination.”

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