EARLVILLE — The LaMoille-Ohio Lady Lions, led by senior guard-forward Shelia Browning, hung around long enough to snatch a 48-44 victory from the Somonauk Lady Bobcats Wednesday night during regional semifinal action in Earlville.
Stellar offense by Browning and solid fourth quarter free-throw shooting by senior forward Vanessa Martinez proved just enough for L/O to slip past Somonauk as neither team led by more than four points.
With less than 23 seconds left to play Somonauk senior guard Natalie Rabe cut hard to the basket and drew a foul. She nailed both attempts to give the Lady Bobcats a 44-43 lead.
The Lady Lions pushed the ball up the floor off the inbound when Martinez made a nice entry pass to Browning on the block for a lay up to grab a 45-43 lead with 13.2 seconds left to play.
“Sheila’s had a very good game. She’s strong we always look for her inside. Vanessa Martinez played a good game too but she got into a little foul trouble,” LaMoille-Ohio coach Richard Gross said.
Somonauk got a good look at the other end but fouled Martinez on the rebound to put LaMoille into the super bonus.
Martinez knocked down both free throws to give LO the 47-44 victory. She was 8 for 8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Browning kept her team alive throughout the game as she scored a game high 21 points as she found ways to score in the paint and from outside.
“You got to be proud of them, I’m very proud of them to fight back. The last time we played Somonauk at LaMoille we lost by one but we didn’t have a very good game at all especially Sheila,” Gross said. “I don’t know what she (Browning) scored tonight for points it doesn’t really matter, it’s a team thing. I’m proud of them, I’m proud of their rebounding.”
Somonauk built its’ biggest lead with 1:08 to play in the third quarter off a Rabe jump shot making the score 33-29.
Rave would continue to frustrate the LO defense as she scored a team high 19-points.
“We couldn’t keep track of number 25, we tried and tried but couldn’t. She’s a good ball player,” Gross said.
The Lady Lions started out hot as Browning took the first possession of the game and confidently stepped up and knocked down a three pointer only seven seconds into the game.
Somonauk led for most of the first half but had to score the final bucket of the second quarter to manage a tie ball game at 22-22 going into half time.
“I’m very proud of the girls and the way they played they’ve fought adversity tonight like they have all year,” Gross said.
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