|Click Photo to Enlarge
|Mooseheart senior Jade Sanni (No. 20) shoots in a crowd of players, including Faith Lutheran's Megan Schoenleb (No. 25.)
|Mooseheart senior Jen-ni Serrano (right) shoots over Faith Lutheran's Natalie Horsman.
Hinckley, IL Feb. 10 – Girls basketball playoff wins haven't come very often for Mooseheart – so you can bet the Lady Ramblers enjoyed every minute of Monday's 38-26 victory over Faith Lutheran in the opening round of the IHSA Class 1A Hinckley-Big Rock Regional.
By the time Mooseheart's smiling players left the court, they had secured their first postseason victory since 2008 -- and that win over Illinois Lutheran ended a streak that dated to 1988.
"You take them when you can get them," Mooseheart coach Bryan Miller said. "We didn't play our best ball tonight. But it was important to get a win. We'll see where that takes us in the tournament."
Mooseheart faces the host Royals – the No. 1 seed in the regional on Tuesday. Hinckley-Big Rock enters this year's tournament seeking its eighth straight regional title. Tip-off for the contest is 6 p.m.
"We have a monumental task ahead of us," Miller said. "It's something we're going to try to get our girls focused into. Coming off a game like this, you've got to step up things a lot more."
Monday's win required Mooseheart (3-17) to mount a second quarter rally, using a six-point surge to open a 12-9 lead. Faith Lutheran led just once the rest of the way, at 11-10. In that surge, a pair of Kammie Kolb baskets gave the Ramblers some energy.
"(Kolb) came in very active for us around the hoop," Miller said. "Her aggressiveness, tenaciousness and her fire really fired our team up."
Once they had the lead, the Ramblers seemed to relax offensively. Aishah Adebayo scored 10 of her 13 points in the first half. Jade Sanni scored nine of her 11 points in the second half.
"We kind of switched up things after a three-game home streak to end the regular season last week," Miller said. "(Sanni) played profoundly well for us and attacked the basket well. She played the whole game for us and was productive. She had a handful of buckets down low, and you can't fault that."
Faith Lutheran rallied in the second half and cut the lead to 30-23 on a Clauss basket with 5:48 to play. The Ramblers called timeout and consolidated the victory.
"Coming out the second half, our mentality was to win the game," Miller said. "We had that mentality – you could see it in our eyes down the stretch."
Mooseheart 4 14 11 9 - 38
Faith Lutheran 7 5 6 8 - 26
Ballard 1 0-0 2
Tucker 0 0-0 0
Kparta 0 0-0 0
Kolb 1 2-2 4
Lamas 1 0-0 2
Gamas 0 0-0 0
Sanni 5 1-4 11
Camacho 0 0-0 0
Serrano 1 0-1 2
Alade 2 0-2 4
Adebayo 5 3-9 13
Totals 16 6-18 38