MINOOKA – Late in Tuesday’s girls basketball Suburban Prairie Conference season finale between visiting Plainfield South and Minooka, a play happened that quite epitomized the entire night during a 47-36 win by Minooka.
The Indians had the ball with a 39-23 lead when 6-foot-4 center Abby Fink stepped up and created a nice blocked shot on Minooka’s Kelly Carnagio. Instead of that being a positive for the Cougars, Minooka guard Erin Heide was right there to snag the deflection under the hoop and laid the ball in.
“I don’t feel like the ball went our way on a couple of bounces and missed rebounds,” Plainfield South coach Leah Carter said. “They were then able to get easy baskets off of them in transition.”
To Minooka coach Ray Liberatore, that one play is typical of Heide being in the right place, at the right time.
“Heide’s been really consistent for us all year putting the ball in the basket,” he said. “She will put herself in the right spot most of the time.”
Heide led Minooka with 18 points on the night while Brooke Bachmann added 14. Still, it was the play of senior guard Bethany Bachmann that stood out to Liberatore.
“I can’t say enough about how well Bethany Bachmann played,” he said. “She did a great job tonight and made some great passes. She’s been our unsung hero this year and tonight she really stepped up.”
Minooka led 33-23 at the end of the third quarter and was up as much as 19 at one point in the fourth thanks to forcing 27 Cougar turnovers.
“That’s just solid half court defense,” Liberatore said. “We’ve been playing very well defensively, which we need to do because at times, like tonight in the first half, we’ve been struggling offensively.
It was a bit of a slow start by both teams. In fact, at one point with about two minutes to go in the first quarter, there were as many combined team points as fouls (6-6). Ally Fink had four points in the first for South and the Cougars led 8-6 after one.
In the second quarter, Minooka kept pushing to get the lead for the first time in the contest and finally did with 3:05 left before halftime on a 3-pointer by Brooke Bachmann. Brooke Bachmann ended the half with seven points, as did Heide. That offset six apiece from Tyler Everett and Fink for South as the Indians led 21-16 heading into the locker room at intermission. Everett finished with 13 points.