A strong fourth quarter helps Nazareth Academy girls basketball get by Waubonsie Valley in the IHSA 4A Semifinals

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Waubonsie Valley is in the IHSA 4A girls basketball State seminal for the time in program history after an overtime super-sectional win over Alton. This next task won’t be easy as the Warriors face the defending 3A State Champs Nazareth Academy, who is back in the State series for the fifth time in program history but for the first as members of class 4A. The Roadrunners defeated the Warriors 59-35 earlier in February. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

6-5 Warriors halfway through the first quarter until freshman Maya Pereda extends that with the three-point basket from the corner.

Tied at nine, Nazareth jumps in front with top scorer Olivia Austin, who gets the rebound, fights through the defense, and goes off the glass.

The Roadrunners stay on that pace from there. Mary Bridget Wilson is open on the wing and takes the three herself, and it’s good to make it 16-12 Nazareth after the first.

More three’s on display for the team in navy blue so Amalia Dray catches and rips another triple through the net. Naz grows the lead up 21-12.

Warriors hit big shots to stay close

The Warriors need to play catchup, so Arianna Garcia bounces passes to 2nd team All-State selection Danyella Mporokoso, who turns around, hits it, and gets her team back within seven.

It’s now a three-point game but that’s no problem for the Roadrunners and Dray, who’s online from behind the line.

Mporokoso is doing everything she can to keep Waubonsie in the so she gets the Lily Newton miss and puts it back in to put the Warriors down 27-21.

On the next possession, they call up veteran Hannah Laub who shoots and hits a clutch three to get Waubonsie within striking distance at 27-24. The closest the score has been in ten minutes.

The Roadrunners want some insurance before the break so Austin scores the basket with a foul. The three-point play has them up 30-24 at the break. 

New half, same fast-paced Roadrunners

The Warriors had that secret stuff at halftime because Mporokoso remains on point from three, and the green and gold trail by three, 30-27.

Then Naz gets back to their strength on offense as Stella Sakalas fools everyone by assisting to Danielle Scully who uses the glass as her friend to push the lead back to double digits.

Despite the surge, Laub and the Warriors are doing their best to stay in it by quickly hitting three balls. They trail 43-34.

Sakalas wants to score too, and she does from three-point land. The Roadrunners are up by a dozen at 46-34.

In the fourth quarter, freshman Nicole Douglas for Waubonsie gets involved with a shot that has some air time but eventually falls with the Warriors down nine.

Nazareth Academy to the 4A championship game

The final quarter is a dominant one for the Roadrunners as Austin scores with the foul. Nazareth Academy goes on a 20-4 run to end the game and will move on to the 4A State Championship against Loyola, while Waubonsie Valley gets Fremd in the third-place game. The Roadrunners advance after a 69-44 victory.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!