SHABBONA – Jade Milostan hit 3-pointers early, Brooke Heiman made free throws late, and No. 5 Indian Creek defeated No. 4 Earlville-Leland, 57-48, in the first round of the Little Ten Girls Basketball Tournament on Monday.
The Timberwolves advance to face No. 1 Newark in a semifinal Thursday, while the Raiders will face No. 8 Hiawatha. The Norsemen opened Monday with a 74-24 win over the Hawks in another quarterfinal.
Milostan and Heiman combined for 54 points in the win, with Heiman scored 30 and grabbing 10 rebounds. She was 11 from 12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Milostan scored the first 11 points of the game for Indian Creek, helping the Timberwolves (9-15) come back from 5-0 down against the Raiders (16-6).
“Jade hits a couple 3s, and boom, we’re right back in the game,” Indian Creek coach Paul Muchmore said. “In the third quarter, we got down, and I was a little worried. We have the tendency to panic, and I don’t think there was any panic.”
[Photos by Mark Busch – email@example.com]
The first Timberwolf to score other than Milostan or Heiman was Kate Cassidy on a layup with 1:24 left in the third quarter. It was the only field goal of the game for IC other than Milostan and Heiman.
“I’m not amused,” Earlville-Leland coach Wayne Koontz said. “I think we’re plenty capable of beating a team like that, and those two girls had great games, but to let two girls beat you is frustrating. But they did. They played well.”
Kylie Koontz led the Raiders with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Koontz added 13 points and six rebounds.
After the early 5-0 lead, neither team would lead by that much again until the fourth, when the Timberwolves went up, 50-42, on a layup by Heiman, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Heiman said the hot start by Milostan – three 3-pointers in the first quarter on only four attempts and 11 points – helps the team a lot.
“It gives us a good mindset: that we’re doing good searching for the open people,” Heiman said. “When she’s on fire, it really helps the team out, getting other people open if they’re closing in on her.”
The Raiders led, 41-40, when Alex Koontz started the fourth with a 3-pointer, but Heiman answered back with a 3-pointer of her own after a Milostan steal, and the Timberwolves never trailed again.
"We got frantic," Wayne Koontz said. "We stopped attacking the basket, we stopped feeding the post. We bailed them out on reach-in fouls. We did stuff I didn't want us to do. They were able to get to the lane. I wanted to keep them out of the lane. We bailed them out on shots where they were leaning."
In the first game, Hiawatha (3-12) was showing signs of life in the first quarter despite trailing, 25-11. But Newark (16-6) took complete control in the second quarter, outscoring the Hawks, 15-2.
In the first quarter, Daisy Montiel made a couple of strong plays for the Hawks and finished with a team-best 12 points and four rebounds.
“Daisy had a real nice game,” Hiawatha coach Fred Linker said. “They all played hard. And that’s all I can ask right now.”
Newark dominated the boards (38-17) and forced 35 turnovers, including 31 in the three quarters before the running clock. They scored 24 points from those turnovers.
Jocelyn Mitchell led the Norsemen with 18 points and seven steals in one of her first games back from an illness. Coach Barb Scott said they've been without Mitchell, Evie Martin and Kenna Borton for a chunk of the year.
"I think we can score a lot off our defense, and I think we did a better job of doing that today," Scott said. "We just got our whole team back, it's only the second time we've had the whole team back since the first week of the season, and we're starting to click."
Meggie Scott scored 13 for the Norseman.
Hiawatha sophomore Daisy Montiel scores on a fastbreak Monday during their game against Newark in the Little Ten Conference tournament at Indian Creek High School in Shabbona.
Hiawatha senior Crystal Gonzalez scores at the basket Monday during their game against Newark in the Little Ten Conference tournament at Indian Creek High School in Shabbona.
Hiawatha sophomore Perla Gonzalez goes to the basket Monday during their game against Newark in the Little Ten Conference tournament at Indian Creek High School in Shabbona.