The opening game of the Oswego girls basketball regional features Neuqua Valley taking on the number four seed, Naperville Central. The Redhawks swept the season series, but won by only three points in the most recent matchups.
The Wildcats have lost ten straight games heading into this one, but NV starting strong in the playoffs with ten straight points to start the game, Jada Devine with the layup and the foul.
Central finds its footing late in the first, senior Lauren Umbright hesitates and drives for the and one to put the Redhawks down 11-6.
A minute later, Central sets a screen to free Gabi Melby and she delivers, tying the game at 11.
Neuqua Valley moving the ball well on this possession, Jessica Sun feeds Ellie Wisner for the corner three. Wildcats lead 14-11 late in the first.
Wildcats on another run now, Tia Poulakidas gets the pass from Jada Devine and hits the short jumper. A 7-0 run puts NV up 18-11 heading to the 2nd quarter.
Redhawks defense helps another comeback attempt, Katlyn Allen with a steal and full court drive through traffic for the layup. Central trails by two 20-18.
More crisp passing from Neuqua as Claudia Gallegos gets the ball in the middle and drives for the layup to push the Wildcat lead up to 4.
Under a minute to play in the half, Emily Spisak drives and kicks to Sara Opalka for three. Central down by one 26-25.
Final seconds of the half, Jessica Sun gets a little space and buries the three pointer, putting Neuqua on top 29-25 heading to the break.
Ellie Wisner on the break in the third quarter, the junior with a tough finish off the glass. 18 in the game for Wisner.
Next time down the floor, Wisner looking for another three. Kara Vonnahme gets the rebound, the only senior on the Neuqua roster puts it in to put her team up 43-37.
Into the 4th quarter, Wildcats looking to break the press, Jada Devine finds Claudia Gallegos for the layup. NV takes a 14 point lead with 5:33 to play in the game. 23 points and 13 boards in the game for Gallegos.
Central down by 13 a minute later, Gabi Melby with a pull up three in transition, you know she’s not ready to give up. Redhawks down 10 with 4 minutes left.
Redhawks down by 9, Katlyn Allen to Sara Opalka for the corner three and just like that, it’s a 6 point game with three minutes to play. 15 in the game for Opalka
After NV splits a pair of free throws, Karly Maida picks a good time for her first three of the game. Coach Nussbaum calls timeout as Central trails 56-51.
Out of the timeout, Neuqua gets a look to Gallegos who is off target, but Jada Devine with the putback. 14 in the game for Devine. But Central hurries up the court, Emily Spisak finds Aditi Prasad for the mid range jumper. 58-53 Neuqua with two minutes left.
Under two minutes to go, Opalka hands off to Emily Spisak who hits the deep three. In less than four minutes, Naperville Central has cut a 14 point lead down to two. 58-56 with 1:53 to play.
Following a Neuqua turnover, Karly Maida flips a pass to Gabi Melby who unloads from NBA range and buries it! 19 in the game for Melby and the Redhawks have their first lead of the game 59-58. Redhawks stay with the full court press, but Neuqua breaks it as Ellie Wisner finds Claudia Gallegos who draws the foul and gets the go ahead layup to fall. Melby fouls out on the play. Wildcats back in front 60-59.
Three point Neuqua lead with three seconds left, Redhawks hoping for another half court miracle, but Maida’s heave is blocked and Neuqua Valley ends a ten game losing streak, shocking Naperville Central 64-61. Wildcats advance to face Oswego in the regional championship.
Check out other basketball games in our Girls Sports Highlights!
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