Updated: March 20, 2014 6:37AM
Seton star Ebony Bailey knows she can trust her teammates in crunch-time situations.
And the GCAC White Player of the Year certainly trusts her own abilities to take care of business.
Tuesday night against Hope in a Class 2A Harper Sectional semifinal, this one wasn’t just Bailey, wasn’t solely the supporting cast.
This was a team win for the Sting, which pulled away late for a 60-46 win.
“Whenever I’m in trouble, I know I can trust my teammates,” Bailey said. “If I’m having a bad game, I know they can step up and always have my back.”
Seton (18-8) will play Mount Assisi, a 37-30 winner over Westmont, at 7 p.m. Thursday for the sectional title. The Sting will be gunning for its third straight sectional championship.
Against Hope, Bailey came through with 31 points, her scoring outburst coming in limited minutes as she was whistled for her fourth foul early in the third.
“The girls are more confident with Ebony on the court,” Seton coach Kevin Green said. “You see it in their demeanor. I loved seeing the girls step up, and (as) the coaches said, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”
Bailey went to the bench with Seton holding an eight-point lead at 35-27. When she came back in the fourth? There it was, an eight-point lead at 43-35.
Bria Gamble hit four free throws in the third and Kyra Ford two more to help Seton hold the lead.
Back on the court in the final frame, Bailey took over, scoring 12 points on a series of hard drives down the lane as the Sting pulled away for good.
“I just wanted to win this game, and I knew no one could stop me,” Bailey said. “If the middle of the lane was open, I was going to the basket. My head is on that next game, and we’re taking it quarter by quarter.”
Hope (15-7) was led by NeCoya Washington (22 points) and Danisha Maggette (15).The Eagles were 16-of-52 shooting from the field and 12-of-23 from the free-throw line.