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Abby Smith and her Romeoville teammates already were conference champions, sharing the Southwest Prairie title last season with Oswego East.
For her senior season, though, there would be no sharing, if Smith and the Spartans had anything to do with it. Needing a win Thursday night to take the title outright, Romeoville took down visiting Plainfield East 60-50.
“To have it to ourselves is amazing, especially my senior year,” Smith said.
“You get to leave high school knowing you’re a conference champ.”
Kiera Currie’s 21 points and 15 rebounds led Romeoville (25-3, 14-0), with Smith (13 points, 7 assists) and Angelica Osusky (15 points) also contributing.
“No one wants to share it,” Currie said. “We worked hard, put our time in and achieved one of our goals.”
Having watched a 22-9 first-half lead dwindle to 36-33 in the third, the host Spartans’ sense of urgency kicked in. Currie scored inside on a zip pass from Smith and Brianna Harris scored on a fast break, and the run was on.
Romeoville ended the quarter on an 11-0 spurt that also featured two Osusky buckets.
“Every time we play them, it’s the third quarter that kills us,” Smith said. “We knew we had to keep up the pressure and keep at it.”
Plainfield East (23-4, 12-2) got as close as 10 points four different times in the third period but never back into single digits. The Bengals finished 7-of-24 from the field in the second half with 10 turnovers.
“When they get off to a good start, they’re a tough team to beat,” East coach Missy Mitidiero said. “We let them dictate our offense, not the other way around. You won’t win games like that.”
Faith Suggs (13 points) and Gabby Williams (8 points, 9 rebounds) led East.
The two schools could meet a fourth time should each advance to the Feb. 15 Class 4A Lemont Regional final. Romeoville is seeded fourth in the Oswego Sectional and East earned the No. 5 seed.
“It’s a nice win, but we’ll still work hard,” Currie said.