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Metea Valley's Lori Obendorf shoots against Oswego East at Oswego East High School in Oswego, Ill., on Saturday, Dec 29, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Lori Obendorf had her mind set on winning a championship.
She put forth a remarkable effort to make sure it happened.
The Metea Valley senior scored a career-best 28 points, collected 11 rebounds and played all 32 minutes to lead the Mustangs to a 59-53 victory over Oswego East in the championship of Saturday’s Wolves Holiday Classic in Oswego.
“We wanted this so badly,” Obendorf said. “We haven’t won a tournament before so that makes it that much sweeter. We came together as a team and did a great job to win this.”
Metea Valley (14-3) took the lead for good midway through the first quarter on a three-point play from Obendorf, which snapped an 8-8 tie.
The Mustangs began to pull away in the opening half, taking a 32-21 lead on a pair of free throws from Anna Petersen with 1:02 left before halftime. Petersen would finish with just those two points, but she collected a game-high 13 rebounds before an injury forced her out of the game with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
“I thought both players stepped up [in Anna’s absence] which was good to see,” Mustangs coach Kris Kalivas said. “Morgan [Snyder] gave us a couple good minutes and Katie [Lawrence] has been giving us some great minutes,”
Nia Flowers scored all 10 of her points in the first half to help the Mustangs build a 32-23 lead. In the second half it was Jenny Voytell who became an offensive force, scoring 10 of her 12 points.
“Nia had a great first half but got a little cold,” Kalivas said. “Then it was good to see Jenny slash to the hole. She just has to have the confidence to do that and hopefully it started tonight.”
Oswego East (8-7) relied on the three-point shot to keep the game close. LeRoyia Campbell (24 points) drained four from beyond the arc while Venita Parsons (13 points) made three.
The Wolves trailed 50-40 with 4:18 left in the contest but pulled to within 55-51 with 18 seconds left. The Mustangs converted 15-of-18 free throws, including 3-of-4 in the final minute to seal the championship.
“Anytime they drove, they got the ball to [Obendorf], and when she got it she put it in the hoop,” Wolves coach Abe Carretto said. “That’s why she was the tournament MVP.”
East Aurora’s Desiree Rhodes and Tyshee Towner were not only all-tournament team selections, but are now in the record books. Rhodes established a single-tournament record for rebounds (54) and Towner did the same for points (96).
Aurora Central’s Lisa Rodriguez was also selected to the team.