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Just enough : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Just enough
Oswego girls’ basketball team pours in 25 points in opening quarter, holds on for 55-46 win over Oswego East

by Kristin Sharp


A 25-point effort by the Oswego girls’ basketball in the opening quarter seemed to set the tone in last Friday’s crosstown game against Oswego East.
Instead, the Wolves stifled the Panthers’ offensive opportunities for the next two quarters – holding Oswego to a combined 13 points before the start of the fourth quarter – to close the gap on the scoreboard.

Oswego East (4-8, 3-1 Southwest Prairie) cut its deficit to single digits by halftime and pulled within two points in the third quarter, but the Wolves could never pull ahead. Oswego (7-5, 4-0 SPC) hung on in the fourth quarter, winning 55-46 over Oswego East.

“It was a really good win for us because we found a way to win. We kind of grew up a little bit,” Oswego head coach Chad Pohlmann said.

“They made a run on us and we’re still learning how to make some of those decisions and plays, but I thought tonight we found a way to win.”

Although the game opened with a 4-1 Oswego East lead after a pair of baskets by senior Julianna Wadsworth (17 points), Oswego went on a 11-0 run as junior Amri Wilder scored six points with one field goal off a steal and assist by junior Jordan Campbell for a 12-4 lead.

Wadsworth broke the run and scored again on a putback for a 14-10 game, but senior Kelsey Nelson scored of an assist from junior teammate Erin Sinnott and Wilder added four late points with a field goal and 2-for-2 effort at the foul line for a 25-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

“I thought we came out focused and energized. Finally the other night against Rosary we started hitting some shots,” Pohlmann said. “Every other loss was five, six points. We’ve finally overtime that and we came out ready to go. Give credit to them; they hit a couple threes in the second quarter that gave them the momentum back. We battled through.”

Wilder, who had a game-high 23 points, assisted Campbell’s basket to start the second quarter and give Oswego its biggest lead of the game at 27-10, but Oswego East senior Venita Parsons hit a three-pointer, and junior Nia Flowers duplicated the effort behind the arc for a 27-16 game, prompting an Oswego timeout.

“It’s hard to give up 25 points and win games,” Oswego East head coach Abe Carretto said. “We’ll play hard and we’ll come back. I knew we’d have a run and we’d get one going, but they’d get another one going. We were down 17 and hit a couple threes to get us going and started looking inside and driving a bit more.”

Oswego East freshman Sydney Schultz (15 points, 12 rebounds) scored a rebound basket before Flowers found Schultz inside for a 27-24 game, but Wilder hit two free throws and Campbell (11 points) scored before halftime to give the Panthers a 31-24 lead at intermission.

Although Oswego East could never claim a lead since the first baskets of the game, the Wolves outscored the Panthers in the third quarter and Wadworth’s basket cut Oswego’s lead, 32-30.

Oswego scored just seven points in the third quarter, but it was enough to keep a 38-33 lead entering the fourth period, and Wilder hit back-to-back baskets to push the Panthers back out to a solid lead, 42-33.

“Amri all night long was just terrific,” Pohlmann said. “She showed her capability as a leader and as a point guard. She gave the ball to the right people when she needed to and was also aggressive offensively. She had a heckuva game.”

Wadsworth and Schultz continued to chip away at the Wolves’ deficit, sparking a 5-0 run to pull within three, but Oswego junior Siarra O’Neill stepped behind the arc and hit a three-pointer with 5:16 left to play for a 45-39 score. It would be one of the final field goals for Oswego in the game, but the Panthers went 8-for-8 from the foul line – including Sinnott’s six free throws. She finished with 12 points in the game and 10 rebounds.

“It’s just one of those games where it was ticky-tack and slowed the game down a bit, but we kept grinding and making plays,” Pohlmann said. “With about two minutes to go, we were up by five and Erin (Sinnott) got the ball and got fouled and made two free throws. That cut it to seven and kind of broke their will a little bit.
They had some foul trouble. In the fourth quarter I don’t think we missed a free throw.”

Carretto agreed that free-throw opportunities was a difference in a win and a loss for the Wolves. Oswego East did not go to the line in the first half, and just seven times in the second half (8-for-14) compared to a 17-of-25 opportunities for the Panthers at the line.

“There’s the game in a nutshell; they shoot nine more free throws than we do and we lose by nine,” Carretto said. “We made the same amount of field goals. Yes, we need to play better defense in the first half, but they got to shoot nine more free throws so they were being aggressive and going to the hoop and we needed to do that more in the first half because we didn’t shoot any free throws in the first half.”
Oswego East opened play in its own 16-team tournament Monday against East Aurora, but results were unavailable at press time. Tournament play continues through Saturday.

Oswego returns to the court on Jan. 7 at Romeoville.

Oswego Notes: The Panthers closed out play in their own Hoops for the Troops Classic on Saturday with a 56-49 win over Proviso East in the fifth-place game. Marian Catholic defeated Neuqua Valley 59-51 in the championship game, Batavia topped Rich South 51-35 for third place and Naperville Central defeated Rosary 66-32 for seventh place. Marian Catholic’s Ashton Millender was named tournament MVP. Wilder represented Oswego on the 10-player All-Tournament team.
For the Panthers, Wilder led Oswego to its win over Proviso East with an 18-point effort, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 5-for-8 at the line. Oswego led 27-24 at halftime, but locked in the lead in the third quarter and sealed the win with a 20-point output in the fourth quarter. Campbell had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Sinnott had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

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