1A girls basketball: St. Bede advances past Marquette in regional semifinal

Bruins’ Ali Bosnich records 23 points and 20 rebounds, Crusader’s Lilly Craig posts 30 points and 15 rebounds

St. Bede's Ali Bosnich eyes the hoop as she is couled by Marquette's Chloe Larson late in the fourth quarter during the Class 1A Regional semifinal game on Monday, Feb,. 12, 2024 in Bader Gym.

OTTAWA – As she had all game, St. Bede Academy’s Ali Bosnich went hard for an offensive rebound with less than a minute to play and her team trailing by three in Monday’s Class 1A Marquette Academy Regional semifinal.

She scored on the putback and was fouled but had to leave the game after being shaken up. Quinn McCain came in off the bench to swish the and-1 free throw to tie the game with the host Crusaders.

Then after a Marquette turnover and Bosnich returning to the floor, Lili McClain sank a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Bruins the lead for good in a 63-57 victory at Bader Gymnasium.

Bosnich finished the game with 23 points and 20 rebounds.

“That was huge for us to finally get the game tied up after it seemed we were behind almost of the second half and Lili just came through with a huge shot,” said Bosnich, who hit just 11 of 22 free throws in the contest that featured 45 fouls and 62 free throws combined. “This may have been the worst I’ve ever shot free throws in my life, and I kept thinking to myself I hope all of those I missed don’t end up being the reason we lost. It seemed like we kept watching each other miss free throws and it just became a collective mental thing, well except for Quinn ... she was ready and she came through.”

“Ali’s rebound basket, then Quinn coming off the bench to make a free throw and final Lili making that 3 to put us a head ... wow, what big plays when we needed them the most tonight.”

—  Stephanie Mickley, St. Bede girls basketball coach

Ashlyn Ehm (eight rebounds) and Lili McClain (10 rebounds) each netted 13 points for St. Bede. The Bruins reach the championship game at 7 p.m. Friday and will face Amboy, a 52-43 winner over Putnam County in Monday’s second semifinal. Lily Bosnich added seven points and five rebounds for the Bruins, which held a 57-40 overall advantage in the rebounding department.

“I did not know which way that game was going to go,” St. Bede coach Stephanie Mickley said, her team improving to 25-7 with their 14th straight win and third over MA in four tries. “We missed a ton of free throws (17 of 37) throughout the game but made a couple of key plays late to help push us to the win. We talked about how keeping our composure was going to be very important and I thought with how the game played out we did an excellent job keeping our cool no matter what was happening.

“Ali’s rebound basket, then Quinn coming off the bench to make a free throw and final Lili making that 3 to put us ahead ... wow, what big plays when we needed them the most tonight.”

Marquette (18-12) — which led 15-12 after the opening quarter, 31-30 at halftime and 45-42 heading to the fourth — finished 11 of 25 from the charity stripe.

A rebound basket and drive by the Crusaders’ Lilly Craig early in the final frame gave the hosts a 51-46 advantage. Later, an Avery Durdan layup off a Craig assist, and a Kaitlyn Davis long jumper from the wing with just over two minutes to go kept MA up 56-53.

“We had gotten caught out of rotation defensively a few times tonight and that just had to be one of them,” Marquette coach Eric Price said of Lily McClain’s lead-taking triple. “Some of that was the fact we had four freshmen out on the floor at the moment, but also give those St. Bede girls credit. Ali Bosnich had a huge rebound basket, [Quinn] McClain comes in off the bench cold to swish the free throw and then [Lili] McClain knocks down a the 3. One key was how many offensive rebounds they had, especially in the fourth quarter. With their size they are a tough matchup for us to keep off the boards. We played hard, but St. Bede just made a couple of key plays to help them win the game.”

Craig had a monster game in her last time in a Marquette uniform, scoring a game-high 30 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and recording a pair of assists and steals.”

“Lilly had another tremendous game for us, like she has had the past four years,” Price said. “She’s been the heart and soul of this program, so it was tough to see her career in a Marquette uniform come to a close.”

Craig finished her Crusaders career with 1,534 points.

“Things didn’t work out for us tonight, but we had talked before the game about playing as hard as we could from start to finish,” Craig said. “We did that, and I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful to be part of this team.

“The last four years have been fun.”

BOXSCORE

At Bader Gymnasium, Ottawa

Class 1A Marquette Academy Regional

Semifinals

St. Bede Academy 63, Marquette Academy 57

MARQUETTE (57) — Hopkins 1-4 0-2 3, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Craig 10-21 7-13 30, Davis 3-14 0-0 7, Durdan 2-5 2-6 6, Larson 3-17 1-2 8, Cuchra 1-2 0-0 2, Hjerpe 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 20-64 11-25 57.

ST. BEDE (63) — Ehm 6-10 1-6 13, L. McClain 5-14 2-2 13, L. Bosnich 3-7 1-2 7, Hermes 1-9 2-4 4, A. Bosnich 6-13 11-22 23, Q. McClain 1-5 1-1 3, Bray 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 17-37 63.

Marquette (18-12) 15 16 14 12 — 57

St. Bede (25-7) 12 18 12 21 — 63

3-point goals — Marquette 6-32 (Hopkins 1-4, Craig 3-10, Davis 1-8, Larson 1-9, Hjerpe 0-1); St. Bede 1-14 (L. McClain 1-6, L. Bosnich 0-2, Hermes 0-2, Q. McClain 0-4). Rebounds — Marquette 40 (Craig 15); St. Bede 57 (A. Bosnich 20, L. Mc Clain 10, Ehm 8). Assists — Marquette 9 (Davis 3); St. Bede 6 (A. Bosnich 2). Steals — Marquette 5 (Davis 3, Craig 2); St. Bede 2 (Ehm 1, A. Bosnich 1). Blocks — Marquette 1 (Cuchra 1); St. Bede 0. Turnovers — Marquette 14, St. Bede 18. Total fouls (fouled out) — Marquette 27 (Nelson, Craig); St. Bede 18 (Ehm).

Marquette's Lily Craig shoots a jump shot against St. Bede during the Class 1A Regional semifinal game on Monday, Feb,. 12, 2024 in Bader Gym.