The only thing Caroline Kelty might regret about her career-high 39 points Thursday night is that she could have scored more.
Oak Park-River Forest’s senior guard eclipsed her previous career high of 38 points, but missed six consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter of a 70-56 upset over the host team in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Regional semifinals.
Kelty scored 11 points in the first quarter and 12 points in the third quarter while finishing 16-of-28 from the floor, 4-of-10 at the free-throw line. The 11th-seeded Huskies (12-17) beat West Suburban Silver rival and fifth-seeded Hinsdale Central (16-10) for the first time in three meetings this season.
Kelty had 38 points during the Huskies’ loss to the Devils, 75-70, Dec. 11 in Oak Park.
“I don’t feel like I scored that much during the game,” Kelty said. “I just do my best for the team. I work hard for them.”
Her final point came on a free throw with 57 seconds remaining. She made three consecutive free throws in the last quarter after missing a half-dozen earlier in the period.
OPRF’s next leading scorer was Emily Vachon with eight points.
The Huskies’ win set up a rematch with fourth-seeded Bogan (21-4) in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hinsdale Central. The Bengals defeated OPRF 49-45 on Dec. 28 in the Montini Holiday tournament.
Gabrielle Rush and senior Lily Sarros (13 rebounds) scored 16 points each for the Devils. Rush had more than 30 points in each of her previous games against OPRF, but in the first half was limited to one basket, a 3-pointer on her first shot attempt.
“Defending Rush was a key to our defense,” Kelty said. “We had to stick her and make sure she did not have anything higher than 20 points.”
Since the playoff pairings were released Jan. 25, OPRF coach J.P. Coughlin said he watched video of Hinsdale Central for at least two hours every day.
“I watched their plays, their tendencies; I wanted to know everything Rush does,” Coughlin said. “We’ve spent the last three weeks preparing for this game.”
Sarros, a three-year starter, played her final game.
“We were a little out of sync,” Sarros said. “We knew we could get it back, but we didn’t have great chemistry (at the end) like we can have.”
Coincidently, Hinsdale’s last win was a 63-55 victory over OPRF Jan. 26 in Hinsdale. The Red Devils lost four consecutive games to end the season.