New Trier girls basketball coach Teri Rodgers normally doesn’t brag about her teams.
She made an exception on Feb. 16 â€” after a playoff loss.
“One of my most coachable teams,” Rodgers said after her Trevians fell 46-38 to host Maine West in a Class 4A regional title game in Des Plaines. “It shared the ball, shared leadership, worked so hard all season.
“It grew enormously as a team throughout the season,” she added.
NT (18-11), seeded fifth in the Niles West sectional, trailed 31-18 before going on a 9-1 run in the final three minutes of the third quarter and opening the final frame with a bucket by junior guard Cate Murdock (team-high 14 points).
That made it 32-29, Maine West.
But the third-seeded Warriors (25-3) scored the next five points â€” all by sophomore forward Rachel Kent (game-high 16 points) â€” and netted their final nine points from the free-throw line to avenge a one-point loss on their home court in December.
“The breaks didn’t go our way tonight, and some of our shots went in and out,” said Rodgers, whose club went 12-5 after starting 6-6 this winter. “But we made some runs and played our hearts out.”
Maine West led 24-15 at the half, after Warriors junior guard/forward Alisa Fallon (12 points) tallied nine of her teams’s 15 points in the first quarter. NT made only five baskets â€” two from three-point territory â€” in the first 16 minutes.
The visitors made it a two-possession game (down 42-36) on a trey from senior guard Kristie Kalis (8 points) with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter. A field goal by senior guard Anna Hughes (5 points) cut West’s lead to 43-38 nearly a minute later.
Junior forward Jacqueline Vinson, who poured in 14 points in NT’s 57-37 defeat of Niles West in a regional semifinal on Feb. 14, grabbed a team-high six rebounds in the championship game.
Murdock was NT’s leading scorer (a combined 27 points) in two playoff games.
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