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Elgin's Maggie Powers brings the ball up the court against Larkin on Friday. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
Kristin Tayag and Abby Pierre-Louis delivered in the clutch for Elgin in a 44-35 win over Larkin on Friday for a second victory in three games against their rivals, but the Maroons can’t claim bragging rights at this point.
The IHSA announced its pairings Friday for the regionals, and there will be a fourth game between the teams in the first round of the Streamwood Class 4A Regional Feb. 11.
“It’s the way they set the state tournament up — they wanted more rivalries early in the tournament and that’s what they got,” Elgin coach Nick Bumbales said.
Larkin staged a second-half rally Friday behind Amber McGhee, Quixmia Washington and Elizabeth Oladokun that came up short thanks to an untimely bench technical foul with 1:02 remaining and Tayag’s ill-advised-but-clinching three-pointer after she had missed the second of two free throws.
“If we would have come out with that kind of fire in the first half, we probably would have given them a better run,” Larkin coach Ruben Flores said. “We shut them down to four points in the third period, but unfortunately the technical foul was called on our bench when it was a fan in the stands in the third row — but he (the referee) wasn’t buying that even though that’s exactly what happened.”
Elgin (8-15, 1-8) had been up as many as 14 (37-23) with 3:17 remaining, but a layup by Shawndrea Hill, a three-point play by Washington and a three-pointer by McGhee put the Royals in position for a miracle comeback.
Pierre-Louis came upcourt in a crowd and hit a key banker in the lane with 1:15 left for a 39-32 lead, and then Tayag made one free throw after the technical. She later hit another free throw and then the three-pointer to lock it up at 44-35.
Tayag finished with a game-high 18 points, including 11 in the first half, when Elgin charged out to a 25-12 halftime lead.
“She (Tayag) has been practicing well, so it wasn’t surprising,” Bumbales said. “She’s been working on expanding her range. She did miss a couple bunnies, which she usually never does. It got her in a funk for a while.”
Pierre-Louis scored seven of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Maroons keep Larkin at bay.
“The quicker the pace goes for her, the better,” Bumbales said. “Any type of scramble situation she does a really good job with.”
Elgin had seven points and 10 rebounds from Jess Ramirez.
For Larkin (3-20, 1-9), team scoring leader Washington netted 12 points, but had only four by halftime.
“We got it to five there in the last minute (40-35), but didn’t have the legs to finish,” Flores said.
They’ll get a second chance at a rubber match, though.
“Tonight was kind of like our mega-bowl,” Flores said. “I thought we could take it from them, seeing as how this was our third time, second time in conference.
“We’ll see them down the road and we’ll go at them again.”