CALUMET CITY | Three seniors played their last basketball games Wednesday for T.F. South, as the Rebels bowed out of the T.F. north Class 4A Regional with a 55-45 loss to Marist.
But the Rebels, who matched a program high with 20 wins against six losses, won't be looking for three younger players to replace Ninah Bertrand, CeCe Keys and Alexis Greenhill.
"We don't need three players to fill their shoes," Rebels coach Steve Breshock said. "We need six, so we can have (a nine-player rotation), so we can take a step forward."
Again Wednesday, the Rebels suffered not from a lack of talent in their starting five. They jumped out to an early six-point lead over Marist (12-15), and led 17-15 after one quarter.
The RedHawks stormed to a 34-25 halftime edge, withstood a third-quarter charge that got the Rebels within four, then hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
"Our biggest problem was we don't have enough players to rest players," Breshock said. "Against good teams, we need a deeper bench, plain and simple.
"But, all year, we tried to play to a standard, not to an opponent. I think we did that tonight. I'm very proud of the way we played."
India Pierson and Ren'Cia Rolling led the Rebels with 14 points each. Bertrand added nine points.
Marist got 13 points from Brooke Wyderski and 12 from Katelyn Rosner to earn a surprise date with T.F. North (10-13), a forfeit winner in the first game after the state's No. 1 Class 4A squad, Homewood-Flossmoor, was barred from the tournament for IHSA bylaws violations.
"We wanted to get to H-F," Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. "We were looking forward to it.
"Of course, it makes it a little easier road without them — not that we're looking past T.F. North."