Minooka girls open postseason with win

Published: Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 10:24 p.m. CDT

BOURBONNAIS — The term "team win" is often thrown around a lot. It's used to show that not only one person can carry the team, but many individuals can help guide their team to victory.

On Monday at the quarterfinals of the Bradley-Bourbonnais Class $A Regional, the Indians of Minooka took that saying to a whole other level, as 11 players combined for 52 points in their 52-27 victory over the Normal Community Lady Ironmen.

Two girls, senior Sam Wurtz and sophomore Kelly Carnagio, led all scorers with eight points each. Such a small number for a team that put over 50 points on the board Monday night.

"To not have a double digit scorer in a game like this is pretty rare," Minooka coach Ray Liberatore said. "We made a lot of extra passes, the girls didn't care who scored, and everyone stepped up tonight."

This Indians team (13-17) is now back to full strength as senior Erin Heide returned for Minooka a couple of weeks ago from a stress fracture in her foot. Despite the lack of games played this year, Heide scored seven points in the victory.

"It was a little difficult to get back into it, but once I did it hasn't been that hard," Heide said. "Just got to get back into shape a little bit."

The Indians started out strong in the first quarter, as they seized control of the Ironmen early. After Normal cut it to a one-point lead, Minooka went on a 6-0 run to finish the frame to take a 15-8 lead after the first eight minutes of action. Carnagio led all scorers in the first with four points.

"I think I was just able to find the open spot all night," Carnagio said, who ended up finishing with six rebounds as well. "I was able to see what worked and we stayed in synch all night."

"She has really come on for us late in the season here," Liberatore said of Carnagio's play. "Her movement and quickness really compliments our other players, especially Larissa McClemen. I mean if you're defending, who do you defend? If you don't have two legitimate post defenders, you're leaving one of the girls to do some good damage."

Using their momentum to their advantage, the Indians kept up the scoring onslaught in the second quarter. Minooka outscored normal 13-8 in the second quarter to take a 28-16 lead into the locker room. Both McClemen and fellow senior Sydney Lilly stepped up in the frame, scoring four and five points, respectively, in the quarter to take the double digit lead into the break.

The lead would increase after every quarter, as it went up to an 18 point, 37-19 lead after the third quarter before the Indians put the game to bed in the fourth, resulting in the 52-27 victory over the Ironmen.

The defense for Minooka was smothering all night. Normal scored eight quick points at the start but were held to just 19 the rest of the game.

"I was really pleased with our defensive effort," Liberatore said. "They scored eight points quickly and that was really it. Our second unit came and and really acquitted themselves with this basketball game."

With the victory, the Indians move on to play Normal West Wednesday night back at Bradley-Bourbonnais. Minooka knows they're ready for a fight against the Wildcats.

"They're more of a team that will pressure the ball with the press, so that is something we will definitely have to prepare for," Carnagio said.

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