Plainfield east's lota Onua and Olivia Jenkins talk about moving to the sectional final and beating Bolingbrook
Posted by Plainfield Sports Network on Tuesday, February 21, 2017
History was made and matched Tuesday night in the East Aurora Sectional semifinal matchup between No. 7 seed Plainfield East and No. 1 Bolingbrook.
In the Bengals’ 69-60 win over the Raiders, East set a program record with its 25th win, the girls became the first team in school history to advance to a sectional final and they are only the second basketball team in District 202 history to advance to a sectional championship (Plainfield girls, 2001).
“We’re not settling,” Plainfield East coach Tony Wazonis said. “Our goal is to be taking pictures out there Thursday. And, we have a rematch from last year. It is great motivation for us.”
The win puts the Bengals up against the two-time state champion and top seed Benet at 7 p.m. Thursday at East Aurora.
“They are very similar to Bolingbrook with the pressure they are going to put on us,” Wazonis said. “When you have one day of prep it is nice to play a team with a similar style. But they are a bunch of veterans out there with winning two state championships. This is another level but we talked about getting better every game. Tonight we got a little better and we’re going to have to be even better Thursday.
In the win over the Raiders, East led throughout the game and held off several Bolingbrook runs to keep the lead the whole game.
“We were in that situation against Oswego East and all year long we’ve worked on it where you know teams are going to make runs,” Wazonis said. “These teams are good and athletic and will come after you. We had to weather the storm and we did. I was proud of them.”
The Bengals built leads of 22-11 and 28-17 in the second quarter before going into the half with a 31-25 lead.
The Raiders got to within two at 40-38 before building the lead back up to eight. It was a 46-42 advantage after three.
East pushed the lead up to 11 at 53-42 and held a 61-50 lead with three minutes left before a final Bolingbrook run cut it to 64-60 with 38 seconds left.
But the Bengals made their free throws down the stretch to finish off the win. Olivia Jenkins led the way with 25 points, while Lota Onua added 18.
“They are tough to stop,” Wazonis said of his inside duo. “Not only can they score inside, but they can take it to the basket. You can stop one person, but someone else is going to score. They really feed off each other.”