Before social media existed, it used to be simple smack talk.
Now it’s Twitter taunts.
At least that’s what Homewood-Flossmoor’s Amarah Coleman heard was happening before she returned to her old home at Bolingbrook for Tuesday night’s SouthWest Suburban Blue first-place showdown.
“I don’t have a Twitter,” Coleman said after H-F’s 77-44 victory. “I was told that things were being (written). But it was all outside the court. There was nothing to it, really.
“I was fired up, but I was fired up just to win, just to beat Bolingbrook.”
She certainly made herself at home.
The 5-foot-10 guard was nothing short of a human highlight reel for the Vikings, scoring 28 points, making six steals, handing out four assists and grabbing six rebounds.
Coleman wasn’t the only H-F player to star, as Faith Suggs had 14 points and Lexi Smith 10, but Coleman definitely was THE star.
“I think it was the adrenaline to beat a rival,” Coleman said. “Last year I was on the other end. It felt good to help H-F get a little confidence.
“From Day 1 of conditioning (beating Bolingbrook) was a goal. But as coach (Anthony) Smith tells us, we don’t play just for one game, we play for the goal ahead of us, and that’s state.”
With the victory, H-F (12-2, 5-0) snapped Bolingbrook’s SouthWest Suburban winning streak at 93. The Raiders’ previous — and only other — conference loss to a SouthWest Suburban team came Feb. 7, 2006, a 69-62 double-overtime loss to Sandburg.
“It means a lot to me,” Coleman said. “I know how it feels to have the passion to want to keep winning here.”
For Smith, it was a successful return since leaving Bolingbrook after 12 seasons and four state championships in seven years.
“I don’t look at it that way,” Smith said. “I just look at the team. We’re trying to win a conference championship and we’re one step closer to doing that.”
Coleman’s first burst of energetic drives to the basket produced nine of H-F’s 13 first-quarter points. Bolingbrook (9-3, 4-1) played tough early, however, behind Aysia Bugg (11 points) and Ryaen Johnson (7 points, 5 rebounds) and trailed just 13-11 going into the break.
The separation began at the start of the second period when Coleman made a steal, drove the lane and after a behind-the-back dribble went up for a score. Smith followed with a bank-in, after which Coleman made another theft and turned it into a putback of her own missed layup.
H-F’s 19-2 run to start the second period was capped with a three-pointer by Jaiveonna Norris. It was 34-16 at halftime.
There would be no more gargantuan runs by H-F, but Coleman did have another highlight-reel sequence in the third period when she blocked a shot by Bugg, cleared the rebound and took off downcourt for a driving layup.
“Amarah turned herself loose. She can do that,” a smiling Smith said. “It’s what we talk about all the time. She is kind of a head case sometimes … sometimes she turns herself loose and sometimes she locks herself up. I was glad that she did this.”