Girls Basketball: Sandburg tops Lincoln-Way Central in overtime
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org December 3, 2013 9:12PM
Updated: January 5, 2014 6:33AM
Early in overtime of Tuesday night’s wild and crazy SouthWest Suburban crossover between host Sandburg and Lincoln-Way Central, Sandburg guard Sam Youngwirth had to come out after being hit in the nose with the ball.
She didn’t stay out long. And she had a lot more fun with the ball later on.
Youngwirth returned in time to hit two key three-pointers, the last with 47 seconds remaining to give the Eagles the lead. She then hit both ends of a one-and-one to lock up a 76-72 victory.
Julia Ruzevich led Sandburg (4-1) with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Youngwirth added 23 points, while Kate Ruzevich (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Victoria Stravropoulos (15 rebounds) also put up big numbers for the winners.
Candace Finnin had 13 points, while Sami Wisniewski, Faith Rudnick and Kelsie Foster all had 12 for Central (4-2).
It was a night that started with Sandburg scoring as many points (12) as Central missed shots in a row. The Knights, with their breakneck speed-up offense that features mostly threes and 5-for-5 frequent substitutions, rallied back, setting the stage for a real roller-coaster ride.
In all, Central would total 13 baskets from three-point range, provided by five different players. The Knights were successful in dictating the pace, but ultimately would be beaten at their own game.
Sandburg, trailing 65-60 with one minute remaining in regulation, struck for back-to-back threes by Julia Ruzevich and twin sister Kate. Central, frantically trying for the win, missed five shots in the final nine seconds before Hayley Holmes, on an inbounds pass with two seconds showing, was fouled.
Holmes missed the first of two shots, but sank the second with one second showing to send the game into overtime.
The OT didn’t start well for Sandburg, with Taylor Green popping in a three for Central and Youngwirth having a nose-to-ball experience while in a scramble with a Knights player.
“I thought my mouth was bleeding. But I wanted to stay in. It was an exciting game to play,” said Youngwirth, who went off the court in distress but was back in at the next stoppage of play.
Her first trey came from the left wing with 1:24 remaining and put Sandburg ahead 71-70. Central responded with two free throws by Holmes, but after a missed Eagles free throw Jessica Merino grabbed a rebound and the ball was shoveled back out to Youngwirth, who hit again from nearly the same spot.
“I’ve been in pressure situations before so it just comes down to experience and hoping it’ll go in,” Youngwirth said. “I just keep confident.”
Down 74-72, Central missed on a three-point try with about 30 seconds remaining. Youngwirth was fouled and jostled two free throws around the rim before both dropped in for Sandburg.
“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s very heart-racing, too, especially when it’s down to the last few seconds and you’ve got to score,” Finnin said of running the fast-break offense for 36 minutes (including overtime). “Yeah, it gets tiring, but we’ve got to push through and keep fighting.
“We’re usually all over the place (so far). We’ll go from 102 to a 60-point game. It’s so different in every game. It definitely depends on if we’re on or not.”