Jane Addams Middle School’s hopes of making it to next week’s Illinois Elementary School Association Class 4A 7th grade girls basketball state quarterfinals were shattered Wednesday night thanks to a 35-34 overtime sectional final loss to Oak Prairie Junior High of Lockport
The Mustangs (19-6) appeared to have victory in hand until an OakPrairie guard banked in an improbable off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to tie it at 29.
Arielle McElroy, who scored all 5 of her team’s points in overtime including a 3-point play on a drive that put the Mustangs up 33-32 with 1:23play, gave it her best on a drive at the buzzer but it rolled off the rim. Oak Prairie (14-5) won it with four free throws and a put-back in OT.
Twelve first quarter turnovers put Addams in a tough spot early before Alyssa Cazares (17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks) scored 5 points in the last minute and a half to give the Mustangs a 7-5 lead.
After an early second quarter layup by Jasmine Doguin off a nifty pass from McElroy made it 9-5, Oak Prairie went on 13-2 run over the next 7-plus minutes to go on top 18-11 with 3:03 left in the third quarter. But Makayla Conway came off the bench to rally the Mustangs with a free throw, a put-back and four rebounds to make it 18-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
McIlroy (10 points, 6 steals, 3 assists) and Cazares led a fourth quarter surge that saw the Mustangs take a 26-21 lead with 2:24 to play. With the score 28-26, McIlroy blocked an Oak Prairie shot with 9 seconds left in regulation, then hit a free throw with 6 seconds left to set the stage for the Bulldogs’ miracle three-pointer.