Brookfield hangs on to bounce Crestview
The Rebels rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
By JOHN BUTERA
HANOVERTON -- Using a late rally, the Crestview High girls basketball team appeared to be on the brink of pulling off an amazing comeback Thursday.
But Brookfield came through in the end, edging the Rebels, 56-54, in a Division III district semifinal game at United High.
Saturday at 2 p.m., the Warriors (18-4) will play Ursuline (18-4) for the district title.
Down 50-41 with three minutes remaining, the Rebels' Elyse Mongillo carried her team to a 50-50 tie in less than a minute and a half.
Mongillo cashed back-to-back baskets. Then following a turnover, she hit a 3-pointer to make the count 50-48 at 2:08.
Mongillo wasn't done. Moments later, her two foul shots (the last of her team high 21 points) tied the count at 50-50 at 1:36.
Crestview grabbed the lead twice, the last at :48 when Paige McElroy connected to pull her team ahead, 54-53.
Brookfield's Morgan Bonekovic came through with the winning basket eight seconds later.
"We got a little worried and nervous when it got close," Bonekovic said. "But all of our games have been like that right until the end so we're pretty good at sticking it out."
Down 55-54, Crestview missed a layup at :13 but following a Brookfield rebound McElroy stole the ball to give Crestview new life with seven seconds to go.
After a timeout, the Rebels got a nice look, but the layup by Bri Phillis wouldn't fall.
"Bri stepped up as a senior and got a good shot off," Crestview (21-2) coach Tanja Simione said. "But it didn't fall."
Phillis was the Rebels' big gun, hitting three of her team's five 3-pointers en route to 19 points. She also dished out six assists and grabbed six rebounds.
For Brookfield, Bonekovic took scoring honors with 23, most of them coming off her impressive inside game.
"We had a nice lead there," Brookfield coach Shawn Hammond said. "Then were left them back into it.
"Defensively we kept plugging away but we knew every possession was going to be crucial."
About Ursuline, Hammond said, "They speak for themselves. It's going to be a big challenge."