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Harris leads Romeoville to regional title

02/15/2013, 11:53pm CST
By Tim O’Brien

Romeoville won its first regional title since 1989 55-52 over Plainfield East Friday night. They won behind stellar performances from Kiera Currie and Brianna Harris, who combined for the winning free throws.

Romeoville's Abigail Smith (14) holds onto the plaque and celebrates with her team mates the win over Plainfield East at the Lemont regional class 4A title championship game held and Romeoville won 55-52 at Lemont High school, Illinois on Friday, February

As a four-year varsity starter, Romeoville’s Brianna Harris has run the gamut as a Spartan.

The senior was part of a seven-win team as a freshman and saw the program begin the steady climb.

With a win over Plainfield East in the final week of the regular season, the Spartans claimed the Southwest Prairie Conference outright.

Harris and her teammates, though, wanted more than just conference.

Playing Plainfield East for a fourth time this season, it was Harris giving them more. Hitting the game-winning free throw in Friday’s 55-52 win at the Class 4A Lemont Regional final, it was a simple formula.

“We just had to keep our composure because we knew it’d be a close game throughout,” Harris said. “I was nervous, but when I missed the first one I knew I had to knock the next one down.”

The regional title was the first for the program since 1989. Angelica Osusky (13 points) and Abby Smith (11 points) led Romeoville (27-4), which will play Bolingbrook on Tuesday in a Oswego Sectional semifinal. Plainfield East closed at 24-5.

In a 52-all game, Harris stepped to the line with 10 seconds left and missed her first attempt wide right. She swished the second shot.

“We knew we had the heart to win it,” Harris said.

Things were far from over for Romeoville. After an East timeout with seven seconds to go, East’s Faith Suggs drove middle and tried to pass the ball to Gabby Williams under the basket. Romeoville’s Kiera Currie (19 points, 8 rebounds) stepped in, intercepting the pass.

“It was such a close game, and we were all doing our part,” Currie said. “It was the little things that count.”

Currie was fouled and hit two free throws with two seconds remaining. East failed to get a shot off from midcourt as the buzzer sounded.

“We know it would come down to a shot here, a shot there,” Romeoville coach Julio Carrasco said. “The two teams are such mirror images. Brianna hits the free throw, Kiera makes the steal. They’re just basketball players.”

Williams (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Suggs (15 points) led East.

“You have to make a couple of stops in a row against a team like Romeoville,” East coach Missy Mitidiero said. “A couple of breakdowns killed us. It’s difficult when the kids fought so hard. It’s just one little misstep.”

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