In the run-up to Thursday’s Class 4A regional final at Mather, New Trier coach Teri Rodgers acknowledged she didn’t watch much film from the first meeting between the Trevians and Loyola.
Rodgers said the Trevians don’t resemble the team that beat the Ramblers 45-43 on Nov. 24.
“I only watched the fourth quarter,” Rodgers said. “We are a different team and so are they. I barely watched that game.”
Instead, Rodgers chose to concentrate on the present. The strategy paid off with a 42-33 win over the Ramblers, and New Trier’s first regional championship since 2009. New Trier lost in the regional final in the previous three seasons, the last two by a combined five points.
“Such a great feeling,” New Trier junior guard Isabella Bosco said. “Our record in the regular season doesn’t matter now. Once we started the playoffs, we went into attack mode.”
New Trier, the fifth seed at the Loyola Sectional, turned a 17-15 lead at the half into a 34-23 advantage by the end of the third quarter behind senior guard Carrie Rodman and junior guard Megan Neuhaus, who scored all seven of her points in the second half.
Fourth-seeded Loyola (21-8) made a run in the fourth quarter and got to within four points, 37-33, on junior guard Maggie Nick’s layup. But the Trevians (16-14) closed the door with a basket by freshman Jeannie Boehm and three free throws by junior guard Alexa Czyzynski.
“Ever since the beginning of this season, I knew we had potential,” Bosco said. “We were so ready and pumped for the playoffs. I think people underestimated us.”
Nick, who played on last season’s team that finished fourth in Class 4A, totaled a game-best 17 points, 10 of which came in the final two quarters.
New Trier plays top-seeded Evanston, which is ranked No. 10 by the Sun-Times, on Tuesday in the sectional semifinals at Loyola.
“It was a great game, and I am so proud of our girls,” Rodgers said.