Girls Basketball: Missy Mitidiero knows model for Plainfield East
By Josh Krockey For Sun-Times Media January 1, 2013 4:24PM
Updated: February 3, 2013 6:11AM
Missy Mitidiero rooted against her alma mater, Marian Catholic, on Saturday.
Actually, she was more involved than that. She coached against the Spartans as well.
It was the first such experience for Mitidiero, whose Plainfield East team fell to the perennial state power 58-47 in the third-place game of the Montini Christmas Tournament.
“It was a pretty cool feeling playing against them and trying to get the team to where Marian is,” Mitidiero said. “It was a good test for us. I would’ve liked to have won, but Marian played a great game.”
The Spartans (14-1) went on a 17-5 run in the second quarter to take control. Defensively, they limited Plainfield East to just 11 points in an 18-minute span that extended into the fourth period.
“There was some sentimental value, but you have to forget about it once the game starts,” Mitidiero said. “I wasn’t caught up in it at all because we had a game to play.
“Marian’s just a tough team. They played a lot harder than us and their defense was out of this world.
Mitidiero wasn’t too shabby herself during her years on the court for the Spartans. A standout point guard, she helped Marian finish second in Class AA in 2002.
One of her teammates on that squad was Mary Basic (now Mary Basic-Vrancic), the younger sister of Marian coach Annie Byrne.
“I’ve always been a big fan,” Byrne said. “I always loved watching Missy play.”
Mitidiero’s talents as a coach also have been impressive. Despite losing their last two games, the Bengals are 14-2 with a lineup that includes forward Gabby Williams, guard Nikia Edom and guard/forward Faith Suggs.
Last season, her first at the helm, Mitidiero guided Plainfield East to a 20-8 record. It was the best mark ever in the history of the program, which is in its fifth season.
“She has a passion for the game,” Byrne said. “She gives everything she has. She was that way as a player and that’s how she is as a coach. You can’t help but admire that.”