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As the only returning starter from last year’s West Suburban Gold championship team, one of Toni Romiti’s last expectations when the season began was for Hinsdale South to do it again.
But that wish became reality when Willowbrook lost to Morton Jan. 26. Two days earlier, the Hornets defeated Willowbrook 52-46 behind Romiti’s 30 points and seven three-pointers to force a tie in the conference race. The loss by Willowbrook (19-5, 9-2) gave the Hornets an outright opportunity to win the conference with a 47-42 victory over Leyden Friday.
The title gave Hinsdale South (15-7, 11-1) back-to-back conference championships for the first time in 13 years.
“I was excited for the most part,” Romiti said. “I didn’t think we could do this. It feels great.”
Romiti has done everything within her power to keep the Hornets withing striking distance of Willowbrook throughout the season. The Warriors beat Hinsdale South 49-35 Dec. 15 in the first meeting. She scored more than 30 points in consecutive games by defeating Downers Grove South with a 32-point effort Jan. 26 in a 67-53 win. Those totals didn’t even top her career high of 38, including 10 three-pointers, to beat Hinsdale Central Nov. 15.
But a mighty opponent looms for Hinsdale South when the Class 4A playoffs begin next week.
If the eight-seeded Hornets can beat ninth-seeded North Lawndale in its opener Feb. 13 at Little Village, Hinsdale South will likely play No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Young (22-4), which won its fifth consecutive Public League title Saturday. The Little Village Regional final is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15.
Romiti said she isn’t ready to consider playing a state power such as Young with season-ending games this week against Glenbard West, Silver champion Proviso West and at Benet (17-9) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the regular season finale.
“I think the focus is on our next couple of games,” said Romiti, when asked about Young.