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Homewood-Flossmoor's Divinity Stephens (30) puts a shot up against Bolingbrook's Amarah Coleman (10) and Sharett Fisher (24) during their baskebtall game in Flossmoor Thursday, January 3, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Bolingbrook junior Kristen Moore says that the Raiders play their best when their backs are against the wall.
They had plenty of experience in Thursday night’s 66-65 SouthWest Suburban Blue overtime victory against host Homewood-Flossmoor.
Trailing by as many as 20 points, having three starters foul out, and being forced to the extra session by a buzzer-beating three-pointer, the Raiders finally came from behind for good in the final 1:39 of OT with two late steals and layups, and a single free throw.
Aysia Bugg had 14 points and five rebounds, Destiny Harris (six rebounds) and Moore 12 points each and Amarah Coleman 11 points as Bolingbrook improved to 11-4, 4-0.
H-F (8-8, 2-2) was paced by Jaiveonna Norris (17 points, nine rebounds), Ashley Johnson (10 points), Candace Hicks (nine points, nine rebounds) and Sydni Johnson (nine points).
The very physical affair saw 51 fouls and 60 turnovers. It also saw the Vikings, coming off of a dismal performance at the Hillcrest Holiday Classic, roar to life as Norris and Ashley Johnson each hit a pair of threes in a 21-10 first period. The H-F lead grew during the second quarter, topping out at 39-19 with 1:38 left in the half after a rebound and putback by Chardae Greenlee.
“We needed to turn our intensity up,” Moore said. “We need to learn to play from the start, so we don’t have to play down. We can just play free from the start.”
The Raiders cut the deficit down to 14 points by halftime, but were still down 47-31 with 3:11 left in the third quarter after Emily Russo drained a three for H-F. A seven-point flurry, capped by a Bugg trey, made it a 47-38 proposition going into the final period.
H-F struck first in the fourth via a bank-in by Norris, but Bolingbrook responded with back-to-back three-pointers by Coleman and Kamari Jordan. Then Moore drove for a layup and was fouled by H-F’s Sydni Johnson. It was Johnson’s fifth.
Soon after, two more Vikings would foul out, while three Raiders also left the game with five fouls.
Bolingbrook finally went in front 54-53 with 3:43 remaining via a layup by Bugg. It was 58-55 at the end of regulation when Russo swished a three-pointer for H-F as the buzzer went off.
In overtime, H-F led 61-58 before Harris tied it with a trey. Down 63-61 with 2:23 left, Bolingbrook went back-to-back with steals, Ashley Drain and Smith delivering layups at the other end. A free throw by Bugg with 7.5 seconds left made it 66-63, before Amanda Davis passed on a three and drove for an H-F basket as time expired.
“It’s tough to take. But you know what? We haven’t been playing very good basketball,” H-F coach Dana Noble said. “Our girls busted their butts out there. They played the game of their life. They did everything we asked them to do.
“My top three players were on the bench at the end of the game (with fouls), but the girls that were in there took us to overtime. Give them credit. I can’t be more proud of how these girls played.”