RIVER FOREST | Kevin Green wasn't the biggest fan of Seton Academy's first quarter against Walther Lutheran, when the Sting fell behind by a dozen points. But the Sting coach was really perturbed by the third quarter, given that Seton had rallied to force a halftime time.
It was in the third quarter that the Sting let their dream of going to the Class 2A basketball semifinals die.
That's when Walther senior Isimene Edeko took over, and when the Sting were stung.
The final score, a 57-47 win for Walther, wasn't indicative of how the Broncos broke the game up. The 15-4 margin in the third quarter was.
"We just decided not to come out and play," Green said of his players. "We lost intensity as a team."
Green said one of his players didn't play hard throughout, and while he didn't call her out by name, 6-foot-1 junior center Marian Cole finished the game scoreless and with only two rebounds. That was a lot for junior Ebony Bailey (18 points, three rebounds) and sophomore Desiree Jackson (11 points, eight rebounds, eight blocks) to make up.
"They wanted it more than we did tonight," Green said. "I can say that with no problem."
Edeko wanted it all. She scored 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
"We're been trying hard to get this," Edeko said. "We've been making it to supers, but never to state. Now that I can say we've made it, I feel really blessed."
She was also faster than any Seton player.
"She was quick to the basket," Green said. "When we adjusted, we adjusted pretty well, and then I tried to go back against my better judgment. I want to take the whole third quarter back."
Green said he wouldn't sleep well, but applauded the Broncos, who play Nashville in Friday night's first semifinal.
"You take anything away from them," Green said. "We lost, but I love to see a team that wanted it. I'm a basketball fan. That's why I made my girls stand out there and clap (at the plaque presentation)."
It's also a moment that the young Sting squad — of the starters, only Charlita Berry and Tiffany Ellis are graduating — will likely have seared into their minds. That, and the third quarter, when it all went haywire.