Warriors Down Rock Falls in OT, Advance to Regional Final
February 13, 2013Sterling High School
Survive and advance; it’s a classic post-season basketball mantra. And the SHS Girls Basketball team did exactly that Tuesday in the semifinals of the IHSA Sterling 3A Regional. In a wild, back-and-forth battle with Rock Falls, the Golden Warriors claimed a 50-43 overtime win, earning a Valentines Day date with top-seeded Rochelle for the Regional championship.
Tuesday’s game was close throughout, as neither team led by more than five. Rock Falls led by five early in the first half, Sterling by five (25-20) early in the second half. Rock Falls went on a 6-0 run to take a 26-25 lead, then neither led by more than one point for the remainder of regulation.
In overtime, the teams traded baskets to start, with Gabby Sandoval scoring for Sterling and Jordan Giddings answering for Rock Falls. After that, Rock Falls missed nine straight shots and Sterling hit on seven of nine free throws to pull away and earn the victory. Kaitlyn Bauer (2-2), Sandoval (2-3), Stephanie Kester (2-2) and Kiarra Harris (1-2) all made charity tosses during the stretch.
Sterling went 14-17 from the line for the game. Rock Falls was just 5-12.
Bauer paced Sterling with 14 points and seven rebounds. Harris tallied 12 points, and Kester 11 (including three 3-pointers in the first half).
Next Up: Sterling (19-12, winners of 12 of 14) takes on Rochelle (21-5) for the Regional championship Thursday night at 7:30. Sterling beat Rochelle (53-39) for the regional championship in Rochelle last season. The Golden Warriors have lost to the Lady Hubs twice this season however. Thursday’s winner advances to the Genoa-Kingston Sectional Monday against the winner of the Stillman Valley Regional.