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Minooka's Kayla Finch covers a loose ball despite effort from West Aurora's Taylor Jacobsen and Alexis Wiggins in the Lady WarHawk Thanksgiving Tournament Friday at West Aurora | Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
West Aurora’s final possession didn’t go exactly as planned during Friday’s contest against Minooka in the Lady War Hawk Thanksgiving tournament in Aurora.
But it still worked as the Blackhawks won a nailbiter, 45-43.
The Blackhawks had intended on getting the ball in the post to Elizabeth Skaggs, but she got tangled up and went down to the floor.
Skaggs got back on her feet in enough time to set a screen and junior Erin Jacobsen used it to find an open route to the hoop to convert a game-winning layup with 10 seconds left.
Minooka was unable to answer as Skaggs intercepted a pass just beyond half court right before the buzzer sounded.
“It still worked out fine because (Skaggs) got over in enough time to set the screen,” West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said. “We were basically trying to score or just pick up a foul because we only needed one point.”
Jacobsen admitted that she was a bit surprised to drive to the hoop pretty much uncontested.
“I couldn’t believe it was that wide open,” she said. “I knew we just needed a point and went there as quickly as I could.”
West Aurora (2-2) nearly let the game slip away with a sluggish start to the fourth quarter. The Blackhawks had a 34-31 lead after three quarters, but the Indians held them scoreless for the first 4:22 of the final quarter to build a 40-34 lead.
“We were down six at half and then fought to where we were up six so that was a 12-point difference,” Minooka coach Ray Liberatore said. “It was just a matter at the end of someone stepping up and making some plays.”
Minooka (1-3) led 41-39 but Alexis Wiggins drained a three-pointer with 1:10 left to give the Blackhawks a 42-41 lead. The teams were deadlocked at 43-43 and each turned the ball over before the Blackhawks regained possession, called timeout and chalked up the game-winning play.
“I was really proud of their effort at the end there,” Siljendahl said. “They did a nice job, and it’s hard to play that way the whole game with that kind of intensity without getting any breaks.”
Jacobsen led the Blackhawks with 11 points while her sister Taylor Jacobsen chipped in with 7 points. Skaggs added 8 points.
Larissa McLemen scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Indians while Sydney Arlis had 12 points.