Young overcomes adversity in win over Montini

SHARE Young overcomes adversity in win over Montini
SHARE Young overcomes adversity in win over Montini

Young had something to prove Friday night at Montini.

“This game was very important because everyone doubts us,” Young senior Taylor Brame said. “When we got that loss against Trinity, everyone was like, ‘They’re not as good as they were last year or the year before.

“We wanted to come out here and prove a point,” she added. “We wanted to prove that we are the best team in the state. I know for a fact that after this game everyone knows that we’re the best team in the state.”

Young still has a few games left to prove its worthiness of that “best in state” claim, but Friday night in front of a packed house and in a hostile environment in Lombard, the Dolphins showed that they’re not too far off from making Brame’s claim reality.

Tanita Allen had 14 points, Khaalia Hillsman added 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Katrina Beck and Madinah Muhammad each hit a three-pointer as part of a 14-4 third-quarter run as No. 3 Young (20-3) defeated No. 2 Montini 54-45.

Young prevailed despite making just 10-of-24 free throws and losing Allen and Brame to foul trouble for much of the second quarter.

“At halftime, our coach (Corry Irvin) said we’re done with the fouls,” Brame said. “In the third quarter we came out as hard as we could. Playing in their house with everything against us, we just had to come out hard and play our game.”

Young enjoyed its biggest lead of the second half at 51-38 with 1:08 remaining in the fourth quarter when Allen found Hillsman underneath for a conventional three-point play.

“Our enthusiasm was really big,” Allen said. “It was where it needed to be. I think we’re going to keep improving. We got more work to do. You’re never perfect, but I think we’re where we need to be.”

Kelly Karlis scored 14 points and Sara Ross added nine for Montini (23-2), which took its last lead of the game at 25-24 on a conventional three-point play by Ross 20 seconds into the third quarter.

Another basket by Ross got Montini within 40-36 35 seconds into the fourth quarter before Young went on an 11-2 run that featured another three-pointer by Beck.

“Even with that third quarter and coming out slow, the reality of that game is that we missed six layups in the last four minutes, we missed a couple of free throws and we lost two girls (Beck and Muhammad) for threes,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said.

“If we make those layups, its 42-40,” he added. “It’s a different ballgame. It’s not like you walk out of that game and say. ‘OK, they’re significantly better than us.’ The reality is we were right there and we just didn’t do the little things to take advantage of some opportunities we had.”

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