Ahead most of the way against one of the top programs in Class 4A, the Normal Community High School girls basketball team surrendered its lead in the final minutes Saturday in a tough 64-63 nonconference loss at Lombard Montini.
"We felt great for basically 3 1/2 quarters. We came on the road and gave the effort it took to win a game, unfortunately it didn't come out on the scoreboard," said NCHS coach Marcus Mann, whose team was led by Abby Feit's 20 points. "It was a long day and we still made it a close contested game throughout."
Ranked No. 9 in 4A, the Iron slipped to 21-6. NCHS also got 13 points from Caelyn Steffens, 11 from Kylee Schneringer and 10 from Summer Stoewer. Schneringer added seven rebounds, Stoewer had four steals and Maya Wong delivered six assists to go with her nine points.
Aaliyah Patty and Lindsey Jarosinski each scored 18 points for No. 3 Montini (28-2).
After NCHS took a 38-24 lead into halftime, the Broncos began the third quarter with a 9-0 run. Montini went ahead with two minutes to go and extended a two-point advantage with a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining.
Feit hit a quick 3-pointer to cut the deficit to a point, but the Iron could not stop the clock.
Normal West 52, Danville 36: Tresoir Newson finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in leading Normal West to a home Big 12 Conference win over Danville on senior night.
Ayanna Gibbs added 13 points, Arie Sims had 10 boards and Jess Jacobs handed out five assists for the Wildcats (15-9, 6-3).
Erin Houpt led the Vikings (18-7, 6-3) with 16 while Mikala Hall had 13.
BHS 49, Peoria ND 41: Ellie Weltha finished with 16 points and nine rebounds as Bloomington overcame a 16-8 first-quarter deficit for a Big 12 Conference win at Peoria Notre Dame.
Bett O'Neal added 12 points and Bree O'Neal had nine, each with three 3-pointers for the Purple raiders (14-12, 5-4).
Kaitlyn Osmulkski had 21 for the Irish (9-18, 2-7).
Sacred Heart-Griffin 45, U High 31: Addy Loeffler had 19 points and eight rebounds for University High in a Central State Eight loss to Sacred Heart-Griffin at Normal.
Catie Eck finished with 21 points for the Cyclones (20-7, 13-3), who limited the Pioneers (10-17, 9-8) to five points in each of the first two quarters.
Monticello 61, Prairie Central 32: Olivia Weber had a team-high eight points for the Hawks, who lost an Illini Prairie Conference makeup game to Monticello at Fairbury. Zanna Myers led the Sages with 22.
Olympia 65, Flanagan-Cornell 61: Trey Wilson led all scorers with 27 points as Olympia held off Flanagan-Cornell at Stanford in their anhual nonconference matchup.
Dalton Spencer added 15 points for the Spartans (10-12), who led 23-15 after one quarter but trailed 29-28 at halftime.
Karson Kimpling had 21 points to lead three players in double figures for the Falcons (10-14). Tyler Harms contributed 14 and Jeremy Durdan 11.
Pontiac 71, EPG 54: Ryan Weir had 22 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks for host Pontiac in a nonconference win over El Paso-Gridley.
Carter Dawson added 11 points for the Indians, who led 37-23 at halftime. Teron Fairchild netted 17 and Hub Halvorsen 15 for the Titans.
Williamsville 56, Tri-Valley 54: Clayton Leipold poured in 23 points but Tri-Valley came up just short in a nonconference loss to Williamsville at Downs.
Mason Cagley added 14 points for the Vikings (12-10), who led 15-6 after one quarter before Williamsville pulled even at 26-all at halftime.
Ryan Nevill had 19 points and Casey Tuttle 13 for the Bullets.
Clifton Central 48, Dwight 37: Dakota Wahl scored a team-high 14 points as the Trojans fell to Clifton Central in the seventh-place game of the Sangamon Valley Conference Tournament at Watseka.
Pontiac wins Illini Prairie meet: Brett Spires and Trevor Plenert each won two individual events to help Pontiac claim the inaugural Illini Prairie Conference Invitational title by 10 points over Mahomet-Seymour at Stanford.
Plenert won the 200-yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 1.13 seconds and topped the 500 freestyle in 5:30.97. Spires captured the 100 butterfly in 55.16 and the 100 backstroke in 53.42. The duo teamed with Jared Trembley and Kevin Sennott on the Indians' winning 400 freestyle relay (3:39.85) while Spires was joined by Ryan Lauritsen, Auden Makowski and Zavier Turner in winning the 200 medley relay (1:50.26).
Pontiac finished with 535 points in edging the Bulldogs, while Central Catholic (486) placed third in the eight-team competition. Lincoln (390) took fifth while host Olympia (213) came in seventh.
Reece Haney notched a pair of wins for the Spartans, topping the 50 and 100 freestyles (23.71; 53.36). The Saints' quartet of Chris Russell, Max Moews, Ben O'Meara and Nick Barnes placed first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:42.71).
U High 2nd in CS8: University High senior Colton Stogner and sophomore Andy Ritsema won two individual events apiece and teamed up on a pair of winning relays as the Pioneers placed second in the Central State Eight meet at Springfield's Eisenhower Pool.
U High totaled 347 points to finish behind Chatham Glenwood (407) in the six-team event, while host Sacred Heart-Griffin (244) was third.
Stogner claimed the 50 freestyle in 21.83 and the 100 in 48.32. Ritsema won the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.77 and the 100 backstroke in 53.23. Anthony Williamson topped the 200 freestyle in 1:46.68, while Josh Nepomuceno captured the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.56.
Harrison Fudge joined Ritsema, Stogner and Williamson in taking the 200 medley relay (1:38.92). Stogner, Nepomuceno, Ritsema and Williamson teamed up in winning the 400 free relay (3:18.69).
Intercity trio advances: Normal Community junior Molly Turek and Bloomington seniors Kristi Collins and Megan Varney advanced as individuals from the Decatur MacArthur Regional at Spare Time Lanes.
Turek rolled a six-game series of 1,066 to place fifth among individuals not on advancing teams. Collins was seventh at 1,010 and Varney ninth at 1,003. The top 10 moved on to the LaSalle-Peru Sectional next Saturday.
Led by freshman Felicity Kruger (1,026) and sophomore Kaylee Sroka (1,024), Streator advanced as a team with a 4,697 total that placed fourth behind Pana (5,192), Abingdon-Avon (4,958) and Hoopeston (4,887). BHS came in sixth at 4,610.