Girls Basketball

Lockport girls rally past Minooka

Porters advance to Thursday’s title game with victory

Lockport Township High School logo

OSWEGO – A quick look at the Lockport girls basketball roster reveals nine seniors out of the 13 players listed.

However, for the Oak Lawn Tournament in mid-December, Porter coach Dan Kelly brought freshman Alaina Peetz and sophomore Veronica Bafia up to the varsity.

Both youngsters were pivotal Wednesday afternoon in a 39-35 win over Minooka that put Lockport into Thursday’s title game of the Oswego East Holiday Tournament against Sycamore. It was the 11th straight win for the Porters, who improved to 13-4.

Peetz, Veronica Bafia and Angelica Bafia each scored eight points to lead Lockport, and Peetz had a team-high seven rebounds. All of Veronica Bafia’s points came in the second half.

Minooka’s pressure stifled Lockport in the early going, as the Indians (7-6) jumped out to an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter before Lockport closed it to 8-6 at the end of the period.

Lockport got a bucket from Peetz to tie the score early in the second, but Minooka sandwiched baskets by Andie Burch and Alyson Riley around a putback by Lockport’s Paige Rannells to take a 12-10 lead at the mask break midway through the quarter. Lockport, however, scored the next six points on a basket by Rannells and back-to-back hoops by Angelica Bafia to move ahead, 16-12. Minooka closed the half with a basket by Linzie Caves (13 points) to make it 16-14 at intermission.

“We pulled [Peetz and Veronica Bafia] up a couple weeks ago in the Oak Forest Tournament,” Kelly said. “They have played really well for us. Alaina, it’s amazing what she has been able to do. She didn’t have her eighth grade season, and she was hurt during our summer camp.

“Both of those young girls have been contributing a lot, and you add that to the experience that our seniors have and it’s pretty good.”

The game was tied at 22 with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter. Lockport then ended the quarter on an 8-2 run. Peetz scored back-to-back baskets to start the run before a jumper by Veronica Bafia. Minooka’s Kennedi Brass took a rebound coast-to-coast for a bucket before the quarter ended on a basket by Lockport’s Elizabeth Sochowski.

The Lockport run continued in the fourth, as Veronica Bafia scored on consecutive trips down the floor for a 34-24 Porter lead. Key in the run was the Porters’ ability to break the Minooka press.

“It was a matter of doing what we should be doing,” Kelly said about Lockport’s ability to break the press. “At halftime, we went over what our responsibilities were and we looked to attack.”

Minooka wasn’t out of it yet.

The Indians got a 3-pointer by Brass, then a basket by Caves tightened the gap to 36-29. After a putback by Angelica Bafia, Caves hit a free throw and, with 1:15 remaining, Brass hit another three-pointer to make it 38-33. Minooka’s Brianna Simmons scored on a putback with 7.2 seconds to play, making it 38-35. Sochowski hit a free throw with 3.2 seconds left for the final margin.

“We knew coming in that they had a good team,” Minooka coach Jeff Easthon said. “The last time we played, they beat us, 59-27, so we knew we had to play at a higher level. We just didn’t get enough shots to fall for us.

“I can’t fault our girls’ effort. They played hard and they were right in it until the end. Kennedi’s two three-pointers were huge. Ashley Currier had a real good game for us, too. She is on the point of our press and she does a lot of the little things that don’t always get noticed.”