Speedgirls shock Midgettes
"It's awesome," said Bessemer senior Sarah Trudgeon, who scored 17 points and was 12 of 12 at the free throw line. "We've pretty much been dreaming of this since the seventh, eighth grade because they're always the best school.
"We wanted it more, really bad. We all talked about it before. It's just something we all looked forward to, beating Hurley."
The Speedgirls pulled away in large part thanks to Whitney Trcka, who scored all of her 21 points in the second half. She didn't even start, but she sure finished her shots.
"Whitney came in in that second half and just got hot, lights out," Bessemer coach Richard Matrella said. "Big win. Congrats to the girls. Great game to watch."
Hurley had never lost an Indianhead Conference East Division game; the division is now in its third year. The Midgettes' loss to South Shore, a West Division team, in January snapped an 84-game conference winning streak. That streak started after a loss to Mellen on Dec. 14, 2007. The new streak lasted just 10 games.
Both of those games were close, though. The Speedgirls pulled away in this one.
"Hurley's got a reputation and it's good to get over the hump," Matrella said. "These girls going into the game, I felt was evenly matched. I was worried a little bit. (Beka) Harrington played great for them. She was killing us on the boards."
Bessemer shot really well, especially from behind the arc (6 of 11, 55 percent) and 44 percent from inside it. Hurley, though, found anything but the net. They shot an incredible 92 times but made just 22 from the field. That's 23.9 percent.
Hurley pulled within 32-27 on a basket by Gabby Pecotte in the third quarter.
That's when Trcka took over.
After Sarah Trudgeon hit two free throws, Trcka scored Bessemer's next eight points for a 42-29 Speedgirl lead.
Up 53-41 a short time later, Trcka scored again, underneath and then her third 3-pointer to ice the game at 58-44.
"They shot the lights out," Hurley coach Melissa Oja said. "Whitney Trcka in that second half, she couldn't miss. She was truly the answer. She did an awesome job."
Matrella said, "She's really a good shooter. I've been working on her about not pressing to score and I think she just finally relaxed. You see the damage she can do when she gets hot. She lives up by me and she's out shooting all by herself all the time. She works."
The Midgettes are transitioning to a life without Sam Ofstad, who was the Indianhead Conference co-player of the year last season. Just the second game into the season, the transition isn't over for Hurley, which has just two seniors.
"It's been tough because losing Sam, you lose your eyes on that floor," Oja said. "We have a lot of girls that are doing a good job taking some of those positions. But we're just out of sync. Something isn't working. We're trying to figure out what the missing piece is to the puzzle. That's what we talked about in the locker room. There's nothing to hang your head about. We haven't been in this position in a long time and it's something that will build character and give us something to work for."
Beka Harrington scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the first half. Natalie Moon scored all of her 17 points in the second half. Both gave Hurley size inside.
"They were great," Oja said.
Caitlyn Pelissero scored 14 points for Bessemer.
Hurley - Gabby Pecotte 5, Natalie Moon 17, Beka Harrington 19, Kayla Subert 2, Makayla Wolfe 7, Felicia Herlevi 2, Dani Irons 2, Kirkie Pecotte 4. FTs: 11-23. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: K. Pecotte. 3-pointers: G. Pecotte 1.
Bessemer - Caitlyn Pelissero 14, Jazzmyn McGeshick 7, Valerie Rowe 2, Rachel Mazurek 6, Mikhayla Sampson 1, Whitney Trcka 21, Sarah Trudgeon 17, Claire Tourville 7. FTs: 21-27. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: None. 3-pointers: Trcka 3, Pelissero 1, Trudgeon 1, Tourville 1.
Hurley 13 22 39 58
Bessemer 12 27 46 75