Girls Basketball: Seton charges past Illiana Christian
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media February 13, 2014 10:30PM
Seton Academy's Bria Gamble and Illiana Christian's Tiffany Groen chase down a loose ball at Seton Academy on February 13, 2014. | Jim Karczewski\For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2014 2:18AM
Seton’s Ebony Bailey was in for a surprise Thursday.
And when all was said and done, Bailey had a pretty nice day.
The senior scored 18 points and had four steals to lead host Seton to a 56-30 win over Illiana Christian in a Class 2A regional title game and then found out postgame she had been named the GCAC White Player of the Year.
“I’d been working all year toward being (the Player of the Year) because I didn’t get it last year,” Bailey said. “It was definitely a surprise, though. I kept working hard, and I’m hoping we keep on going (in the playoffs).”
Seton advances to the Harper Sectional where the Sting (17-8) will play Hope, a 52-50 winner over Bowen, on Tuesday in a semifinal.
Danielle Bailey (10 points) and Bria Gamble (8 points) contributed for Seton, which won its third straight regional title.
For the Sting, though, the story was Ebony Bailey leading the way.
“Ebony is our general,” Seton coach Kevin Green said. “She gets us going. If Ebony gets going, the rest of the team gets going.”
The start was never in question Thursday as Seton raced out to a 17-0 lead after one quarter. Bailey keyed the effort, scoring 10 points in the period.
The Sting forced nine first-quarter turnovers, with Bailey racking up three fast-break buckets.
“We knew we had to come out with intensity,” Bailey said. “As long as we did that, we would be able to control the game.”
Seton went up 27-0 in the second quarter before Illiana finally got on the board midway through the quarter with a Gabby Kreykes free throw.
The Vikings finished just 3-of-17 from the field in the first half and piled up 15 turnovers.
“We knew Seton was quick and that would be the key,” Illiana coach Dave Bosman said. “With the weapons they have inside and out, they are a tough team to stop offensively. I’m proud of our girls, though. They battled and finished the game out.”
Kreykes (6 points), Kat Witting (5), Andrea Van Beek (4) and Mikinsey Pruim (4) led Illiana Christian (11-17).