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A four-point loss in the semifinals of the Interstate Eight Tournament wasn’t the way Coal City’s Emily Halliday wanted to start the week.
“It was definitely a hard loss the other night but I think it gave us a lot of motivation to win this game,’’ the junior guard said.
Halliday scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, including a key board in the fourth quarter, to lead Coal City to a 48-44 victory over Peotone in the third-place game Thursday night at Wilmington.
“My coach definitely looks for me to be a leader because I’ve been on varsity three years and we have a young team,’’ Halliday said.
Halliday’s two free throws put Coal City (17-4) up for good 42-40 with 1 minute, 28 seconds left. She then blocked a shot at the other end, grabbed a defensive rebound with 39 seconds to play and made 1-of-2 free throws for a 44-40 lead.
“That’s typical Emily,’’ Coal City coach Brad Schmitt said. “Her feet have been to the flames three years now and when you have that experience you should be able to do what she did. I can’t say enough about what type of player she is.’’
Halliday added another free throw and Nicole Borgetti (11 points) was 2-of-2 from the line to seal the victory with two seconds to play.
“We hit our free throws when we needed to so they couldn’t get a bucket to get the lead,’’ Halliday said.
Forward Donjeta Shabani (12 points) was a key contributor near the end, pulling down five of her eight rebounds in the fourth quarter.
Kayla Paeth led Peotone (16-7) with 15 points and Brittany Campione had eight points and eight rebounds. Peotone overcame a 40-30 deficit early in the fourth quarter, tying the game 40-all on Paeth’s drive with 1:40 left.
“We showed some resiliency tonight, slow starting and came back in the first half,’’ Peotone coach Steve Strough said. “It was kind of the same thing in the second half, slow third and we made a nice run in the fourth to give us a chance to win.’’
In the title game, Plano was a 33-32 winner over Lisle.