AURORA – Is there anything Karly Tate can’t do?
Every time her teammates needed a spark Tuesday against Aurora Christian, Tate was there to answer.
As a result, Tate scored a game-high 22 points and the Rosary girls basketball team rolled to a 49-34 victory in a Suburban Christian Conference crossover matchup.
“We’re working more as a team now than we ever have this season,” Tate said. “And I think that’s where the confidence is coming from. We know as teammates that we have each other’s backs.”
Aurora Christian took an early 5-0 lead in the first 3:30 when Alyssa Andersen connected for a 3-pointer from the left wing, but after a quick Rosary timeout, Tate took over. She scored all 11 of Rosary’s first-quarter points as part of an 11-2 run, and capped it off with her third 3-pointer of the period.
The Royals (12-10) then extended their lead to 25-14 on a pair of free throws from Rachel Choice with 2:13 left in first half. Aurora Christian countered to close the gap to 25-18 with back-to-back baskets, but Tate finished off the half with a jumper and a near three-point play to give the hosts a 29-18 lead at the break.
“Our seniors are stepping up in crucial times and we’ve really pushed them to carry this team throughout the season, and they’re doing it right now,” Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox said.
“We’re relying a lot on Madison [Richmond] at the point guard position and she’s making a lot of great decisions that lead to points for Karly and the other players.”
Rosary enjoyed a 40-24 lead at the end of the third period, but Aurora Christian didn’t go down without a fight. The Eagles battled their way back to trim the deficit to 40-30 on split free throws from Hannah Dean, then cut it to eight at 42-34 on two of three free throws from Alex Hultine.
But a crucial technical foul on Aurora Christian’s bench after a questionable travel call led to a pair of free throws from Choice. The Royals then turned the game into a free-throw shooting contest in the final 1:36 and converted on three of six shots.
“I think we were out of sorts at times and they brought the pressure so they deserve a lot of credit,” Aurora Christian coach Jerry Tokars said. “We hung in there late and got it down to [eight] but they played well down the stretch.”
Quincy Kellett added 13 points for Rosary while Richmond finished with five. Kirsten Madsen led Aurora Christian with nine points.
“Any time that we were pressured early in the season it was what team are we going to see tonight?” Wilcox said. “But now we have grown so much in the last two months that we welcome pressure. We know now that pressure is a good thing and it opens other things up. That’s great to see.”