February 8, 2013Sterling High School
The SHS Girls’ Basketball team celebrated Senior Night in style Thursday – by winning a conference championship. The Golden Warriors 41-30 win over LaSalle-Peru at Musgrove Fieldhouse upped their final record to 9-1 in the NIB-12 West, earning them a conference championship tie with Ottawa.
The win was Sterling’s 21st straight against LP, but it was far from easy. The Lady Cavaliers (10-16, 3-7) jumped out to leads of 9-1 and 17-7 before SHS righted the ship. The Warriors went on a 13-2 run spanning the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third. A Kaitlyn Bauer transition basket gave Sterling its first lead of the night (20-19), then Stephanie Kester capped off the run with Sterling’s only three-pointer of the night to make it 23-19.
LP hung around for awhile, but never regained the lead. Sterling gradually pulled away in the fourth quarter, converting on eight of 10 free throws.
Sterling shot just 34% from the field, but won the game with defense. The Golden Warriors help LP to 23% from the field and forced 24 turnovers.
Kiarra Harris, Gabby Sandoval, and Kaitlyn Bauer combined to score 31 of Sterling’s 41 points. Harris had 10 points (plus eight rebounds), Sandoval 10 (career high), and Bauer nine.
Next Up: The Golden Warriors (18-12, 9-1), winners of 11 of their last 13 games, host an IHSA class 3A Regional next week. SHS is the third seed, behind Rochelle and Rock Falls.
Sterling 3A Regional Schedule:
(#4) Mendota Vs. (#5) Dixon (7:30 p.m.)
(#1) Rochelle Vs. Mendota/Dixon winner (6:00 p.m.)
(#2) Rock Falls Vs. (#3) Sterling (7:30 p.m.)
Championship Game (7:30 p.m.)
Winner to Genoa Kingston Sectional