MORRIS – There was yet another delay, but Coal City and Providence finally played girls basketball for the first time during the 2013-14 season Tuesday night.
A regular-season game between the two teams was postponed once and canceled on the second attempt because of inclement weather. They did play their scheduled semifinal game Tuesday at the Class 3A Morris Regional, but only after a delay of about a half-hour; the first semifinal between Joliet Catholic Academy and Lincoln-Way West started late because the teams hitting snarled traffic en route.
The wait was worth it for Providence, which prevailed, 66-60, and will meet top-seeded Joliet Catholic Academy at 7 p.m. for the regional championship. The loss ended a 26-2 season for Coal City.
Providence made all seven of the free throws it attempted during the third quarter as it stretched a three-point halftime lead to 47-39.
Of the 16 fouls the referees called during the quarter, one was a charging call on Coal City forward Britta Spelde, which was her fifth foul. Spelde had just re-entered the game with Providence in the midst of an 8-1 run late in the third. Game-long foul trouble limited Spelde, who came in averaging over 11 points per game, to two.
The Providence lead got as large as 10 points early in the fourth, but the Lady Coalers chipped away from there. Coal City's Emily Halliday scored 11 of her 33 points during the quarter.
The Celtics went ahead 9-2 early, with Madeline Culligan hitting a pair of baskets and Marybeth Gallick a 3-pointer, but Coal City scored the final seven points of the first quarter. Emily Halliday had five of those points, and she then connected three times from 3-point land during a 13-8 run on which the Lady Coalers began the second quarter.
Providence closed the half on a 12-4 run, which Maeve Garvey started with a 3 and Taylor juricek ended with a conventional three-point play, to lead 29-26.