With one length-of-the-court drive and layup, Belleville West sophomore Chamya Darough turned a night to forget into one she will remember for a long time.
Darough hit a layup with 4.6 seconds remaining to give the Maroons a 41-40 win over Mater Dei on Wednesday in an early-season showdown of elite girls basketball teams.
Just 2-of-9 from the floor with six turnovers in the first half, the 5-foot-7 Darough tallied six of her 14 points in the fourth quarter. But no shot was more important than her layup, which gave the Maroons (5-0) the lead for good.
Mater Dei (3-1) had one last chance with 4.1 seconds left, but Darough intercepted the inbound pass to clinch the win for West.
“To her credit, Chamya showed a lot of composure in the last few seconds. During the timeout before the last play, she sat down, took a couple of deep breaths and just composed herself,” Maroons coach Seth Garrett said. “The last play had two options. If they (Mater Dei) was in zone, we were going to bring the ball down, penetrate and get the ball out for a shot. If they played man, she had the option of taking it to the basket or getting the ball to (Sydney) Thurwalker for a shot.”
The final play ended a second half full of momentum swings.
West, getting a pair of baskets by B’Aunce Carter, began the third quarter with a 9-4 run and took a 29-21 lead with just two minutes left in the period.
But Mater Dei responded with an 11-0 run, during which Ciara Perkes, Myah Beckmann, Kelsey Gerdes and Margo Lampe all scored. When Kierra Winkeler scored to open the fourth period, Mater Dei had its biggest lead of the night.
“I thought we played very well tonight against a very athletic Belleville West team. They always are,” Knights coach David Kohnen said. “We played (2-3) zone on them, and while they hit a couple of threes on us, we did a good job on the defensive end.
“We had some chances in the end. But I was proud of our effort.
West, getting a pair of layups and of steals from Brittney Walker and Darough, closed to within one point at 34-33 with five minutes left. Neither team would lead by more than three points the remainder of the game.
A 3-point basket by Winkeler with 56 seconds left gave Mater Dei a 40-39 lead. West then worked the clock down, but when Anjanice Jones was called for a traveling violation, Mater Dei had the lead and the ball with 38 seconds remaining.
The Knights ran the clock down before Gerdes was fouled with 16.6 seconds left. But when the senior missed both free throws, West had a chance.
Darough made sure the Maroons didn’t waste it.
“This is a tough place to win and against a very strong Mater Dei program,” Garrett said. “We could have quit when we were down, but we fought back and made the plays when we needed too. A 5-0 start, we’ll take that.”