Romeoville entered Thursday’s game 11-1, but the Spartans weren’t too pleased with their offense, feeling most of their victories were owed to strong defense.
Thursday, the defense was still there and the offense started clicking as four players reached double figures in scoring in a 53-34 win over the host Spartans in the third-place game at the Oak Lawn Holiday Tournament.
“I felt like all our wins were because of how we played defense,” Romeoville guard Abby Smith said. “Our shots were actually falling tonight, which is nice.”
Kiera Currie (13 rebounds) and Angelica Osusky led Romeoville (12-1) with 14 points each. Smith added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Brianna Harris had 10 points and six rebounds.
Jannah Mahmoud led Oak Lawn (9-4) with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Oak Lawn was held to 11 first-half points, including four in the second quarter, as Romeoville forced 10 turnovers in the half and led 23-11 at the break.
“Our communication is important for our defense,” Smith said. “As soon as we communicate with each other, we can have 20-plus steals.
“We wanted to win this tournament, but third place sounds better than fourth.”
Oak Lawn, playing without leading scorer LaTondra Brooks (concussion), went just 5-of-25 from the field in the first half before getting the offense going a bit in the second half behind nine points from Mahmoud.
“It wasn’t our night at all,” Oak Lawn coach Janet Haubenreiser said. “Romeoville played hard. They beat us to loose balls and rebounds and our shots weren’t falling, either.”
Oak Lawn led 7-5 four minutes in before Romeoville reeled off a 10-0 run, getting baskets from four different players to pull away for good.
“It’s a little bittersweet because we came here wanting to win the title, but it was nice to see a lot of balance on offense,” Romeoville coach Julio Carrasco said.
Brooke Annerino had eight points for Oak Lawn.