Girls Basketball: Oak Lawn defeats Marist to reach sectional final
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org February 25, 2014 8:20PM
Oak Lawn's LaTondra Brooks (32) blocks a shot by Marist's Bri Rosa (31) with seconds left in the sectional semi-final game. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2014 10:06PM
The smiles on their faces reflected the satisfaction of perhaps the biggest victory in the program’s history.
But there was more to the smiles that LaTondra Brooks, Brooke Annerino and Jannah Mahmoud had after Oak Lawn’s 61-56 win over Marist in Tuesday night’s Class 4A Bloom Sectional semifinal.
“It feels good. But what makes this feel even better,” Brooks said, “is that we’re so close.”
“Like a family,” Mahmoud added.
Many in the family contributed, from Brooks (18 points) to Mahmoud (14 points, 12 rebounds) to Brianna Markusic (4 points, 7 rebounds) to Duneya Shatat (10 points).
Annerino, meanwhile, had one of the game’s biggest moments, converting a layup with 10 seconds left to give the Spartans a three-point lead. Mahmoud made two free throws with four seconds remaining as Oak Lawn (28-1) advanced to Thursday’s sectional title game.
The seesaw affair came down to the final couple of minutes. Marist (13-16), which had been chasing all night, closed to within 55-53 on basket by Tehya Fortune (8 points) and got the ball back on a steal by Bri Rosa, who set sail for a breakaway layup.
Brooks, however, said no. The 5-foot-6 guard chased down Rosa and blocked the shot.
“I had to time it just right,” Brooks said. “I already had three fouls and I couldn’t afford to get my fourth.”
Brooks then made a steal and scored on a driving layup to make it 57-53, before Brooke Wyderski (17 points) hit a three-pointer for Marist with 26 seconds showing.
Oak Lawn was in pass-it-around mode when Markusic found Annerino, who saw the lane open. She went strong to the basket for a layup.
After a Wyderski miss from the arc, Mahmoud, who has been battling shin splints for about a week, went to the line and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to lock it up.