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Girls Basketball: Bloom defeats Rich South

Bloom's Katherine Strong goes high try contaRich South's SierrEllis. | John Smierciak~For Sun-Times Media

Bloom's Katherine Strong goes high to try to contain Rich South's Sierra Ellis. | John Smierciak~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 26, 2013 6:30AM



The fourth quarter of Thursday night’s showdown against No. 8 Rich South was a painful one for Bloom’s Danielle King.

Twice during the period she crumpled to the ground and had to hobble to the bench with banged-up knees.

In between, however, the 5-foot-5 guard put a bigger hurt on her opponents, leading the No. 6 Blazing Trojans to a 55-41 victory in Chicago Heights.

Katherine Strong totaled 20 points, Bria Gaines 15 points and 13 rebounds and King 15 points as Bloom (17-6, 8-0) moved another step closer to the school’s first Southland Conference title.

Tierra Webb had 12 points and Tierney Lockett seven for Rich South (17-5, 6-2).

With Bloom leading by just three points entering the final eight minutes, King went into hyper speed, driving the lane three times to help the Blazing Trojans pull away. She finished the quarter with eight points, one more than Rich South managed as a team.

“It was just clock management, seeing the gaps and going to the hole and attacking,” said King, a transfer from Rich East who is averaging 13.7 points and 4.4 assists per game.

“Danielle works really hard. We try to motivate each other as much as we can,” said Gaines, who had just four points at halftime but was a disruption to the Stars defensively.

After King’s kick-start, Gaines scored seven points down the stretch to put the game away.

Another standout for Bloom in the victory was Strong. With the game tied at 10 after one quarter, Strong went on a 16-point binge in the second period. Among her baskets were three three-pointers. She also contributed a three-point play as the Blazing Trojans opened up a 29-22 lead at intermission.

“I was just taking what my team gave me,” Strong said. “I was open and took the shots confident, like I worked on them at practice.”

Rich South, meanwhile, never really found a rhythm. The Stars had a brief flurry near the end of the third quarter, knocking a 37-29 deficit down to 37-34 with two free throws by Lockett and a three-pointer by CiErra Garrett. But they would make just one of their final 12 shots.

“We did what we wanted to do, we just let some opportunities slip through our hands,” Rich South coach Brian Mays said. “We had a game plan, they had a game plan, and I guess the lesser amount of mistakes won out.”



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