Neuqua Valley Takes 'Needed' Defeat
Byline: Joshua Welge email@example.com
Neuqua Valley nearly pulled itself out of a most unfamiliar spot.
Trailing by 12 at Trinity after three quarters -- only the second time all year they've been behind entering the fourth -- the No. 3-ranked Wildcats mounted a furious rally before falling short 39-33 on Wednesday in River Forest.
Neuqua (21-2) used a 14-3 run to get within 34-33 with 1:28 left on an Allison Hedrick basket but never drew closer.
"I think the urgency of the situation took over with our kids," Neuqua coach Mike Williams said. "We're OK. How many teams would like to be 21-2 right now? We're fine."
The smallest kid on the court hit the game's biggest shot. Out of a timeout Trinity 5-foot-4 freshman Annie McKenna, who minutes earlier passed up an open 3-pointer, buried a corner 3 to get the margin back to 4.
"I knew we needed a shot there," said McKenna, who had 11 points and hit three 3s. "Somebody had to shoot it."
Neuqua makes a living off turning teams over with its pressure defense, but for three quarters Trinity handled the heat as well as any Wildcats opponent. Trinity's ball movement was crisp and quick, and talented junior point guard Lauren Prochaska did the rest.
Trinity (18-3) committed just 7 turnovers through three quarters and led 31-19 after a Taylor Nazon turnaround jumper as time expired.
Myia Starks started the fourth with a three-point play for Neuqua, and Hedrick's steal, score and three-point play made it 31-25. …