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Norridge Tuesday 12.11.12. Ridgewood's Jaclyn Stroud (12) shoots in front of Fenton's Rachael Leschewski (21) during their game on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Norridge. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
The Fenton girls basketball team seemed poised for a relaxed final quarter Tuesday night after Dana Fritz’s 3-point play gave the Bison a 12-point lead near the beginning of the fourth quarter.
But Ridgewood, a team which was 1-9 entering Tuesday night’s game, fought back with fury. The Rebels answered the sophomore’s 3-point play with a 17-2 run capped by senior Sladana Nikezic’s 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the game.
Despite having all the game’s momentum against them, the Bison rallied for a 49-46 victory by relying on senior Sidney Montano down the stretch. Montano scored a basket to cut the Rebels’ lead to 46-45 and then made the game-winning free throw with 28.7 seconds remaining.
“We definitely weren’t expecting it to be that close of a game,” said Montano, who scored 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for Fenton (8-2). “But once it did get close, we decided we had to really step it up and really show our full potential.”
Ridgewood (1-10, 0-4) relied on its senior backcourt to key its fourth-quarter comeback. Jackie Stroud, who scored a game-high 21 points, drained a pair of 3-pointers during the Rebels’ 17-2 run. Senior point guard Ines Grepo took a pair of rebounds coast-to-coast for easy layups during that stretch. Grepo finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five steals.
But in the last two minutes, Fenton’s ability to sink free throws – the Bison went 12-for-18 from the line while Ridgewood went 5-for-13 – was the difference in the game.
“The girls on Fenton beat us on the line, they did not beat us on the court,” Ridgewood coach Amanda LoBianco said.