Linnae Harper had been here with Bolingbrook before, so she had a succinct message for her Whitney Young teammates in the huddle before overtime.
“This thing’s not going to a second overtime,” the Dolphins senior told her teammates. “I was having flashbacks to last year.”
And it didn’t. A year after its four-overtime epic with Bolingbrook on the same floor, Whitney Young blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead, but recovered to win 61-60 in overtime in Monday’s Class 4A Hinsdale Central supersectional.
In a back-and-forth overtime, Whitney Young took the lead for good with 10 seconds left, Brittany Morris finding an open Khaalia Hillsman for a layup on an inbounds play underneath the basket. Bolingbrook had one last shot, but Harper stole a pass at midcourt and dribbled the clock out.
“The last play actually was designed to go to Linnae,” Young coach Corry Irvin said, “but they covered her and left (Hillsman) open. We’ve got used to that and needed other girls to step up.
“We didn’t expect a 17-point game,” Irvin added, whose team led 38-21 in the third quarter. “We’d expect nothing less from a Bolingbrook team than to fight back. We did a lot of things to let them back, but the important thing is we recovered.”
Kentucky recruit Harper was sensational with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists but did miss 5 shots in the fourth quarter. Hillsman scored 9 of her 12 points in overtime for defending 4A champ Young (28-4), which advances to play Marian Catholic in a Friday state semifinal.
Young led 32-19 at half, by as much as 17 in the third quarter, and a Harper steal and score made it 44-28. From there, though, Bolingbrook (24-6) ran off an 18-2 run, Kennedy Cattenhead’s free throws with 1:22 left tying it.
“My girls play hard, compete hard and they never quit,” said Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith, whose team pressured Young into seven fourth-quarter turnovers. “That’s a coach’s dream.”
Kristen Moore’s free throw seconds into overtime gave Bolingbrook its first lead of the game at 49-48, and Amarah Coleman’s corner jumper had the Raiders ahead 59-57 with 59 seconds left. Hillsman answered with a score for Young, and Moore split two free throws, setting up Hillsman’s final score.
Coleman scored 14 points and Illinois-bound Cattenhead 13 for Bolingbrook, which until last year had advanced to state every year since 2004.
“This is Bolingbrook. We don’t take pride in coming close,” Smith said. “We’ve come up short again. That’s our season.”
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