Naperville Central girls basketball captures first regional title since 2018 after a shootout with Plainfield East

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After a dominating semifinal win over West Aurora, Naperville Central is ready to go in the girls basketball regional final. Now the Redhawks want to keep ball rolling and capture their first title since 2018. Standing in their way is the Plainfield East Bengals, a team that’s also in search of their first plaque since 2017. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Bengals start fast

The Bengals are off to a great start up 7-4 before Anna Jenkins makes it 9-4 after getting the board and put back. 

The Redhawks are trailing by seven but when they need a play, Callie Tumilty comes to the rescue with a three. 

Plainfield East could run away early

Bengals just use that as momentum fuel and 1,000 point scorer Lexi Sepulveda continues to make shots look so easy.

Plainfield East dropped 78 on Plainfield Central in the semifinals and is on pace to score 92 after this Jocelyn Trotter basket helps cap off a 23-12 first quarter. 

However Trinity Jones and the Hawks won’t let that happen on their home court. She gets the Ella Bruke inbounds pass and lays it in. 

Then they step up on defense with Tumilty stealing the ball and goes to the hoop for the easy lay-in. Central trails 26-19.

Trinity Jones being Trinity Jones

This possession right here shows how much fight the Hawks have. Jones nearly loses the ball but gets it back. She takes a shot and misses but gets her own board, then she falls down and still finds a way to get the ball in the basket.

Naperville Central and specifically Tumilty continue to give trouble for the Bengals. She steals another pass and scores and we got ourselves a one point game. 

We are approaching the break so the Hawks are looking for a securable score and here is Jones getting the basket plus the foul. An 18-7 run for Central ties this game up at 30 going into the half. 

New half, new run

To the second half we go and the Redhawks have taken all the momentum with Jones contributing once again. They take a 32-30 lead. 

You want more scoring? Megan Norkett for Central has you covered getting the Natalie Jordan miss and gets the rebound to go. That starts the third quarter on a 10-4 run. 

Jordan is not happy about her miss but she gets another chance and nails it. However just when Central was running away, Trotter quickly answers with a Plainfield East three to get back in it. 

Then Nia Wilkerson gets the Bengals a little closer with a jump shot and it’s back to a 46-42 deficit. 

Central keeps responding

Hawks have been responding to every swing and Erin Hackett is no exception by sinking a corner three. Central leads 52-42 going into the 4th. 

Don’t count out the Bengals just yet because Trotter continues to hit clutch shots, this one cuts the lead to six.

Jones is also clutch for the Hawks by leading the Hawks with 27 big ones on the night after this bucket.

If you thought this game was over Wilkerson and Plainfield East says think twice. She fights through the defense and floats her shot in with a foul. The Bengals continue to hang around.

Hawks ice it at the line

Down the stretch central is in free throw mode and the shots are made when needed. For the first time since 2018 Naperville Central takes home a girls basketball regional title after outsourcing the Bengals 59-40 in the last three quarters. A 71-63 win for the Redhawks to secure the regional crown. Up next is Waubonsie Valley in the sectional semifinals.

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