Liz Skaggs made the one free throw that truly mattered, and the Jacobsen twins ensured West Aurora escaped the Rosary gym with a victory.
Skaggs free throw with 7.6 seconds remaining broke the last of seven ties, and the Blackhawks 51-50 victory in the schools annual neighborhood girls basketball game was sealed when Taylor Jacobsen tipped the Royals last-ditch pass to her sister Erin.
I just saw how the score was very close, and the team needed for me, said Skaggs, who scored 8 of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter. I have been working on free throws forever.
Rosary (3-4) had its last possession unravel by the twins coordinated hand work.
I saw Abriya (Zeitz) and (my sister) trapping, said Erin Jacobsen, whose 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer gave the Blackhawks a 48-41 lead. We knew they were going to hustle and we had to play hard the whole time.
The final 10 seconds capped a frenetic and taut fourth quarter as West Aurora (4-2) held off the furious Rosary rally.
Despite playing only six players to the Blackhawks 11, Rosary stormed back with a stunning perimeter shooting performance.
Rosary connected on 7-for-10 shot attempts from beyond the arc to neutralize the Blackhawks considerable advantage in the paint.
In addition, the Royals collective team speed wrought equal doses of havoc for West Aurora.
They were so quick, West Aurora coach Connie Sijendahl said of Rosary.
We were trying to really push the tempo, said Rosary guard Rachel Choice, a junior from Batavia who scored 4 critical fourth-quarter field goals as part of the Royals 19-point closing burst in the frame. It was a hard loss.
Choice had back-to-back field goals to close out a 7-0 Rosary run that forged the first of four fourth-quarter ties.
But the Blackhawks would never trail in the final eight minutes.
With Rosary unable to check Skaggs or Zeitz on the low block, the duo combined to score 4 field goals from point-blank range to keep Rosary at bay.
But that is not to say Rosary went down without all guns blazing. Quincy Kellett (9 points) and Mary Wentworth tied the game on three combined occasions over the last four minutes.
After Kellett negated Skaggs inside score with a driving runner of her own to tie the game at 50-50, West Aurora held the ball for over 30 seconds.
Skaggs was fouled off a set play out of a timeout.
Im happy that our team competed, said Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox, who bemoaned 9 missed free throws and several missed layups. Our outside shooting was a lot better than our inside shooting.
Zeitz (10 points) and Erin Jacobsen combined for 19 points for West Aurora; Madison Richmond matched the Choice output with12 points for Rosary, and Karly Tate added 11 more.