AURORA – Karly Tate wasn’t about to let this one get away.
“She wanted the ball in her hands,” Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox said, “and there was a point in the game where I wanted to give her some rest, but she came to me and said, ‘I want the ball and I can do this.’ ”
She did just that.
Tate sparked a 6-0 run for the Royals late in the third quarter when St. Edward was mounting a comeback, but it was just enough to hold off the visitors in a 51-47 Suburban Christian Conference crossover victory Friday night.
“That’s what we need our senior leaders to do,” Wilcox said. “Karly pulled through and put the team on her back and said we’re not going to lose.”
Tate scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the second half and grabbed five rebounds.
“It all came down to confidence,” Tate said. “We’re coming into the home stretch of the season, and we’re really starting to work as a team and that’s giving us all confidence.”
After Rosary built a 24-7 lead in the first half, it saw its lead dwindle to 27-18 at halftime and 34-31 with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
That’s when Tate and Rosary clamped down on defense and held the Green Wave without a basket until the 2:24 mark of the fourth quarter.
“We were being aggressive and getting the open people shots, that’s what worked for us in the early going,” Tate said. “We started to get a little rattled, but we kept our composure because we knew we’ve been in situations like this before and we just had to dig ourselves out of it.”
St. Edward trimmed the lead to 50-47 after a 3-pointer from Rena Ranallo with 18 seconds left. The Green Wave had a chance to tie the game when Rosary’s Quincy Kellett missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the visitors immediately turned the ball over on the rebound, leading to 1 of 2 free throws from junior Rachel Choice.
“It wasn’t just one person attacking, it was all five,” Wilcox said. “And when we get our confidence up, that’s when we know we’re a good basketball team, and this game showed their true grit.”
Choice finished with 11 points, and Madison Richmond added 10 for Rosary (11-10).
“We were really hungry for this game, and we were not going to let them get it that easily from us,” Tate said. “We’re peaking at the right time, and we’re just going to keep going with the momentum.”