Rappe lets her play do the talking in Carmel victory
It's pronounced "Ra-PAY," not "Rap." And contrary to the Carmel Catholic girls basketball roster, Emma Rappe is a sophomore, not a junior.
Not that the soft-spoken 6-footer is complaining.
She'll let 6-1 senior Kayla Quinn be a vocal leader on the floor for the Corsairs.
"She's loud," said Rappe, meaning it in a good way. "She talks and she likes to help control the game."
Quinn wasn't in uniform Wednesday night at Libertyville, however, after the starting center and team leader suffered a concussion in last week's win over Highland Park.
Enter Rappe, whose fourth-quarter play helped put a rap, so to speak, on Carmel's 58-39 win in the nonconference game.
The victory for Carmel (16-7) was its fifth straight, equaling its longest winning streak of the season.
"I think the first 3½ quarters we were kind of tight," said coach Kelly Perz, whose Corsairs ended the game with a 13-0 run and outscored the Wildcats 17-4 in the fourth. "And then we just started taking what the defense was giving us."
Libertyville (9-13) had no answer for Rappe, who finished with a season-high 12 points. She shot 6 of 6 from the floor, showing off a soft shooting touch as well as an ability to finish in the low post.
"She played really well off the bench for us," Perz said. "I told the girls before the game, 'Someone has got to step up for us (because) Kayla was out.' "
Cassidy Kloss (6 points) and Kathleen Felicelli (11 points) helped make up for the absence of Quinn's rebounding, as each junior grabbed 7 boards. Claire Ogrinc scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the first half, and Leah Lach added 7 points for Carmel.
Rappe, who made her lone shot in both the second and third quarters, scored 8 points in the fourth.
"I just knew I needed to come in and play hard because we had a player out," Rappe said. "I usually come off the bench and I just try my best to fill the role."
Libertyville got strong play from its own 6-foot sophomore. Becky Deichl came off the bench to score 8 of her season-high 10 points in the third quarter and keep the Wildcat close. She shot 5 of 5 from the floor in the second half.
"I was taking some good shots and my teammates were really doing a good job of getting me the ball," Deichl said.
When Deichl finished a dish from Rosie Lynch with 29 seconds left in the third, Libertyville trailed 37-35. But Carmel's Nicole Bitter (6 points, 3 steals) fed Paige Gauthier for a layup just 11 seconds later.
Then came a tough one to swallow for Libertyville.
Talk about bitter.
Carmel inbounded the ball under its own basket with four seconds left, and Bitter drove the length of the floor for a buzzer-beating layup, making the score 41-35.
"The air kind of let out of the gym with that play," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "We never got the emotion back."
Deichl's short jumper had the Wildcats within 45-39 with 4:57 left in the fourth, but the home team didn't score again.
"We definitely had a tough fourth quarter," Deichl said. "We ended the third with a full-court layup and it was just tough to come back from. We just got to rally together as a team in practice and be ready for another big game Friday (at home against Mundelein)."
Olivia Mayer led Libertyville with 11 points. Haley Hoeksel added 8, and Dana Kym finished with 6 points and 6 rebounds.
"We deflated in the fourth quarter," Pedersen said after his team committed 5 of its 17 turnovers in the final quarter. "We're a better team than that."
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