GIRLS BASKETBALL: Bradley-Bourbonnais falls flat, ends season in regional
BLOOMINGTON — No matter how good of a team you are, everyone has those nights where nothing goes right.
And for Bradley-Bourbonnais (13-14), Tuesday was that night.
The Boilers battled hard and fought back late, but the slew of missed shots and turnovers ended their season with a 47-35 loss to Normal West in a Class 4A Regional semifinal.
“We had trouble scoring against (Normal West’s) pressure defense,” Bradley-Bourbonnais coach Evan Tingley said. “They guard really hard so we figured we could get them into some foul trouble. Although we did that, we also missed some layups that we typically make.”
8 minutes to forget
For the most part this season, the second has been the money quarter for the Boilers.
However, despite trailing just 13-9 in the second, no amount of money could have bought them a basket.
Whether it was turnovers, blocked shots or even missed free throws, it wasn’t meant to be.
Although they’re defense held firm giving up only six points, the Boilers managed just two points, a rebound and putback from Gaetana Davis.
Yet, because of the multitude of turnovers by the Wildcats, the Boilers trailed just 19-11 at the break.
“That second quarter lull came back to get us in the end,” Tingley said. “We’re a really good defensive team and holding Normal West to just 19 points is pretty good. We had trouble getting into our offense and that’s all credit to them.”
Scratching and clawing
Despite Normal West pushing its lead up to 26-15, they couldn’t quite finish off the Boilers.
They climbed back even though the offense seemed a little discombobulated with a lay-in from Zoie Langlois followed a 3-point bank shit from Arianna Lombardi to cut the lead down to 26-20.
That six-point margin changed in the final 1:30 of the third as the Wildcats anticipated passes, got out in transition and converted on the other end.
It resulted in a 10-4 run that blew the game open at 36-24.
“Too many turnovers,” Tingley said. “It felt like we were playing defense all night, but that’s what happens when you have that many turnovers.”
Although the Boilers were about to cut the lead back down to eight points, that’s the closest they came the rest of the night.
“We were inconsistent offensively and that’ll be a point of emphasis for us during the summer,” Tingley said.
The Boilers knew before the season started that they were going to have their share of struggles on the offensive end.
But their defense routinely kept them within an arm’s length in most of their contests.
The Boilers will reload with four of their five starters returning for one last run next season including Lombardi and Davis.
However, they’ll go forth without four seniors: Zoie Langlois, Claire Mountain, Chloe Memenga and Mekenzie Bickhaus.
“These kids have a lot of mental toughness from on the court to 4.0 GPA’s in the classroom,” Tingley said. “Toughness is showing up everyday and trying to win every little facet of the day. That’s these kids do. The seniors gave us great leadership and they’ll all high-character kids. Couldn’t ask for better student-athletes.”
Arianna Lombardi finished with a team-high 13 points followed by 12 points from Langlois.