Girls Basketball: Joliet Catholic rolls past Washington and into Class 3A state semifinals
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media March 3, 2014 9:44PM
Romeoville, IL - Monday, March 3, 2014: Joliet Catholic's Jasmine Lumpkin (21) and Jnaya Walker (34) defend Washington's Hannah Heinz (11). | Steve Johnston/For Sun-Times Media
AT HINSDALE CENTRAL
Montini 59, De La Salle 27
AT HOFFMAN ESTATES
Burlington Central 41, Carmel 29
AT LEWIS (ROMEOVILLE)
Joliet Catholic 56, Washington 43
AT MILLIKIN (DECATUR)
Quincy Notre Dame 42, Bethalto 27
FRIDAY’S STATE SEMIFINALS
(all games at Redbird Arena, Normal)
Montini vs. Burlington Central, 12:15 p.m.
Joliet Catholic vs. Quincy Notre Dame,
Updated: April 5, 2014 6:21AM
Joliet Catholic’s Christina Ekhomu recently had some fun at coach Ed Schodrof’s expense.
In the end, it was Schodrof who got the last laugh Monday night.
“He told me in practice last week he had a vision of us winning the supersectional, and he picked me up in the middle of the crowd,” Ekhomu said with a smile. “We were yelling and screaming, ‘Going to state! Going to state!’ We had to make it come true.”
Monday night, that’s just what Ekhomu and the Angels did.
Joliet Catholic used a dominant second half on the way to a 56-43 win over Washington to win the Class 3A Lewis Supersectional in Romeoville.
The Angels (27-2) will play Quincy Notre Dame, the three-time defending state champ, at 2 p.m. Friday in a state semifinal at Redbird Arena in Normal.
With 21 seconds left in the game and the result well in hand, Ekhomu exited the game. Schodrof picked her up as she approached the bench, much to the team’s and crowd’s delight.
“It was a slow start, but we came together in the second half,” the Angels’ Jasmine Lumpkin said. “This was the game that would get us downstate. We had to come out and play as hard as we could.”
Lumpkin (14 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals), Nicole Ekhomu (14 points), Jnaya Walker (12 points) and Ty Battle (8 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) led the Angels, who were making the program’s first supersectional appearance since the 1984-85 season. Jess Learned (11 points), Tia Sherman (10) and Hayley Reneau (9) led Washington (26-4), which was coming off its first sectional title since 1977.
As has been the formula over the past week, Joliet Catholic played well in the first half, but maybe not as well as the Angels would have liked. In the third quarter, though, it was more of what they had in mind.
Having closed the second quarter on a 9-0 run to go up 28-21, Joliet Catholic’s momentum rolled over into the third. Lumpkin drilled a pull-up jumper in the lane, Walker scored on a putback and Nicole Ekhomu swished a step-back three-pointer from the right wing.
The Angels went up 35-21, eventually going up by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
“Those first three minutes of the third quarter were key,” Schodrof said. “We would be OK if we brought the right energy. This path has not been easy, and it’s not going to get any easier for us.”