H.S. GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mount Carmel rallies for win over Central Columbia
MOUNT CARMEL - From the reaction of the crowd and the Mount Carmel players, Ali Varano was not guilty of a charge in the third quarter.
But the officials didn't see it that way and that was the exact spark the Red Tornadoes needed as they rallied from seven down at that point to beat Central Columbia 37-31 Wednesday night in Heartland II action.
Varano had a breakaway after making a steal the ball and laid the ball in for what would have been her first points of the game, but the whistle negated those points and put the Red Tornadoes' leader in foul trouble.
"I don't complain about officiating, but I think when you have a call that's controversial that ignited the crowd and the team," Mount Carmel head coach Lisa Varano said. "They felt it wasn't a fair call. It was a spark."
The Red Tornadoes outscored the Blue Jays 20-7 the rest of the way and got contributions up and down the lineup.
Ali Varano scored all 10 of her points after the phantom charge. Freshman guard Maura Fiamoncini scored a bucket and gave the Tornadoes a lift with fresh legs off the bench, and Brianna Lutz hit a clutch 3-pointer with two seconds left in the third to pull the Tornadoes to within a point.
Fiamoncini then hit a floater on the Red Tornadoes first possession of the fourth quarter to give Mount Carmel its first lead of the game.
Central's Kimmy Hollister hit a two from the corner to give the Jays back a one-point lead, but Varano scored the next three points for the Tornadoes and they never looked back.
Mount Carmel forced 21 turnovers after the half. The Red Tornadoes' play in the second half was in sharp contrast to the first half when Mount Carmel's defense came away with only seven turnovers and the offense shot just 7 of 27 from the floor.
"The intensity they played with in the second half was tremendous and what got them back in the game," Lisa Varano said. "They came out flat, shots weren't falling, we weren't creating any offense and Central was playing a great game.
"If we keep up that intensity, we'll be alright."
CENTRAL COLUMBIA (31) - Hollister 4 0-0 10, Moroney 1 0-0 2, Murtin 1 2-4 4, Carl 1 2-4 4, Harder 0 0-0 0, McCracken 4 1-3 9, Flick 0 0-0 0, Knorr 0 2-6 2. Totals 11 7-17 31.
MOUNT CARMEL (37) - Bolick 0 2-4 2, Lutz 2 1-2 6, Hornung 2 0-2 5, Winhofer 0 0-0 0, Varano 4 2-6 10, Fiamoncini 2 0-3 4, Hood 0 0-0 0, Stellar 1 2-4 4, Parker 2 2-3 6. Totals 13 9-24 37.
3-point FGs: Hollister 2, Lutz, Hornung