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Dealing with adversity : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Dealing with adversity
Playoff pairings seed Oswego East girls' basketball team eighth

by Kristin Sharp


With an absent head coach and two of its top six players sidelined with illness, the Oswego East girls' basketball team dug its heels into the hardwood and tried to make the most of a non-conference matchup at Bartlett last Saturday.

The Wolves (11-12, 6-6) fell behind early, trailing 10-2 near the midway point of the first quarter and we unable to recover in a 60-45 loss to the Hawks. After winning two straight the previous week, it was the second consecutive loss for Oswego East to complete a tough weekend.

Oswego East head coach Abe Carretto was ejected from last Friday's home game against Plainfield East during a technical foul call by an official, and was unable to coach in last Saturday's game at Bartlett.

Last Saturday, seniors LaRoyia Campbell and LaNisha Cruickshank were also unavailable for the Wolves after falling ill during play against the Bengals the previous day.

"LaRoyia was ill with both bronchitis and the flu, and she was dehydrated. She played some (Friday) night. We weren't 100 percent today," Oswego East assistant coach Scott Gengler said. "We've been in a lull lately. I think we can still go on a nice 4-0 run here. We've got some tough competition with Plainfield North and Oswego, so we have a big week. Hopefully we'll turn it around. We'll get back to the full team."

Bartlett's Elizabeth Arco scored five early points for the Hawks to help her team out to a 12-2 lead with 3:23 to play in the opening quarter and teammate Kaitlin Brohan added another field goal to give the Hawks a sizeable lead.

Oswego East senior Venita Parsons (20 points) assisted junior Tiffani Palmatier's basket, and Parsons followed up with a field goal of her own for a 14-6 game before junior Alex Wagner came off the bench to score for the Wolves and cut Bartlett's lead to eight (16-8) going into the second quarter.

Although Oswego East mustered 11 points in the second quarter - including seven from Parsons - the Wolves were in a 35-19 deficit at halftime. Aside from Parsons' points, senior Toni Robinson was the only other player to score during that eight-minute stretch, adding four points.

Bartlett (14-11) poured in an additional 16 points in the third quarter, and although Gengler tried to stop the bleeding with three timeouts, a single basket from Parsons was all the Wolves could muster in the period. Oswego East trailed 51-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Oswego East senior Bri Duate hit an early three-pointer to help highlight the fourth quarter, while Robinson scored eight points during the stretch. Parsons, who scored nearly half of her team's points, had a three-pointer and went 4-for-4 at the foul line.

Notes: Last Friday, Oswego East dropped a 63-40 game to Plainfield East (20-3). Junior Julianna Wadsworth scored 11 points while Campbell knocked in 10. The Wolves trailed 20-3 after the first quarter, but cut their deficit to 12 by the third quarter. Oswego East could never get any closer in the Southwest Prairie conference loss.

"Plainfield East came out with a lot of intensity. They're fast and that helps us get ready for the postseason," Gengler said.

The IHSA also released Class 4A regional pairings last Friday, giving Oswego East the No. 8 seed in the 21-team Oswego Sectional. The Wolves open the postseason on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. against No. 9 Yorkville in the Yorkville Regional semifinal game. Yorkville will make its debut as a Class 4A team, moving up from Class 3A this season.

The winner will play for the regional championship on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

"With the pairings coming out, the coaches and players have been talking about it, but we're just focusing on one game at a time right now, finishing strong and getting some momentum," Gengler said.

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