NEW CHICAGO | Back on Jan. 19, when No. 10 Whiting lost 56-52 to No. 4 Noll in the Greater South Shore Conference championship game, Whiting coach Kevin Moynihan kept his team on the court to watch the Warriors cut down the nets.
“I wanted them to know how it was done,” he said dryly.
Message received loud and clear.
The Oilers took their turn cutting down the sectional championship nets Saturday night. They erased two close defeats earlier this season when they beat Noll 65-48 in the Class 2A River Forest Sectional championship at Bill Logan Gymnasium.
Both teams came out fast and aggressive, running the floor on offense. They traded baskets three times before Noll’s Brenda Pennington dropped in a pair of jumpers to give the Warriors a 10-6 lead with 4:11 left in the first.
Noll led 14-12 at the end of one quarter.
The Oilers attacked in the paint heavily in the second quarter, driving across the lane for layups. Abigail Bondi and Mariah Aguilera each scored on a pair of layups, and Brianna Blackwell hit a pair of jumpers to give Whiting a 29-23 lead at the half.
The Oilers finished the second quarter with an 8-0 run to get the lead.
Whiting picked up right where it left off, going on a 11-2 run to start the third, making it a 19-2 run over the two quarters.
The run made the score 40-25 Whiting with 2:45 left in the third.
Noll coach Vanita Gary said that controlling the tempo was key for the Warriors.
“We needed to dictate the speed and the pace of the game tonight,” Gary said. “We couldn’t allow them to set up outside.”
But Whiting was able to penetrate inside and then kick out to the guards, holding its own on the pace.
Moynihan said that the Oilers ability to run disciplined sets on offense was the difference.
“Not the first shot but the best shot,” he said. “When we run our offense the way we designed it, we get clean looks at the basket.”
On defense Whiting contested every Noll shot with a hand in the face. The Warriors only scored six baskets in the second half.