WESTCHESTER – The Aurora Central Catholic girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the IHSA Class 3A St. Joseph Regional championship game on Thursday as Nazareth Academy’s Kayla Freeman hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the win.
Lisa Rodriguez scored 17 points for the Chargers, including a tying basket with about 30 seconds left. ACC coach Mark Fitzgerald said his team played quality defense on the last possession.
“We played great defense all the way to the end,” Fitzgerald said. “We couldn’t foul, both teams were in big foul trouble. … It took an NBA 3 to beat us, so hey, hat’s off.”
Alex DeCraene added 12 points for the Chargers (14-15), who tied the game a few times but couldn’t take a lead in the fourth quarter.
ACC was coming off a fourth place state finish as a 2A school last year.
“Those seniors, Alex and Lisa, went out with honor, and they’ll always be remembered at our school,” Fitzgerald said. “And we’re coming back with a team that now is laden with varsity players who are going to be juniors, so I think the future is bright for us now.”
Class 3A Crane Regional: Rosary fell to Montini, 65-23, in the championship game of the regional. It was the third time this season the Royals (16-11) fell to the Broncos.
Karly Tate scored nine points to pace the Royals.
IHSA state meet: At Assembly Hall in Champaign, several area wrestlers won their preliminary round matches in classes 2A and 3A.
In 2A, heavyweight Zach Theis and 145-pounder Dan Goress nabbed opening round wins for Kaneland.
In 3A, Marmion’s Anthony Bosco (106), Johnny Jimenez (120), Jake Field (126), George Fisher (132), Trace Carello (145), Cody Snodgrass (195) and Alex Fritz (heavyweight) were all Day 1 winners.
St. Charles East’s Isaiah Vela also notched a preliminary round win at 126 pounds.
The meet continues today and Saturday with matches in the championship and consolation brackets.
Burlington Central 65, North Boone 30: At Burlington, Central (12-13, 10-1 Big Northern Conference East) clinched at least a share of the conference title behind a balanced scoring effort. The Rockets can clinch the title outright if they win at Richmond-Burton in next week’s conference finale.
Mooseheart 61, Hope Academy 47: At Chicago, Mooseheart won in its regular season-closing nonconference contest.