PBL eighth-grade girls basketball team's season ends with 32-24 loss to Peotone in IESA Class 3A sectional

ONARGA -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda eighth-grade girls basketball team's 2018 season came to an end in the IESA Class 3A Onarga Sectional on Wednesday with a 32-24 loss to Peotone.
 
“I’m very proud of this team," PBL eighth-grade coach Lynn Rubarts said. "I never thought we would be here to play in the sectional championship game, and we just peaked at the right time.”
 
The Panthers were in a sectional game at the junior high school level for the first time since 2012
 
“It’s kind of nice to get back into it, and we’re hoping to keep this as a recurrence – that we’re here every year," Rubarts said.
 
“I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in high school. I think those five that I had on the court will really help that high school program down the road. The high school (team’s) playing really well right now, and I just think with these girls coming up, the future looks bright for the PBL girls basketball program.”
 
Peotone (21-6) advanced to the state tournament with its win on Wednesday. The Blue Devils will face Hillsboro (14-7) in the first round at Germantown Hills on Saturday. 
 
“They’re just a really good team," Rubarts said. "They’re very athletic and just took the ball to the hole.”
 
After going into halftime with a 15-10 deficit, PBL outscored Peotone 12-6 in the third quarter.
 
A basket by Losa Suaava cut the Panthers' deficit to 15-12. After Peotone's Mackenzie Strough made a basket to make the score 17-12, Emily Robidoux drained a 3-pointer to cut PBL's deficit to 17-15. 
 
A free throw by Strough with 4:48 left in the third quarter was followed by a game-tying trey by Robidoux that tied the game at 18-18 with 3:03 remaining in the quarter.
Suaava then made a basket to give PBL a 20-18 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter before a jump shot by Johnson extended the advantage to 22-18.
 
“I really thought then that me might have a shot to finish it off," Rubarts said.
 
Peotone's Jenna Hunter made a free throw with 51.1 seconds left in the third quarter before Sara Pierson tallied a basket to cut the Blue Devils' deficit to 22-21 as the third quarter came to an end.
 
Hunter scored on an inbounds pass to give Peotone a 23-22 lead. before a free throw by Mady Kibelkis and a basket by Hunter extended the lead to 26-22.
 
Suaava scored on an offensive-rebound putback to cut PBL's deficit to 26-24 with 2:21 remaining, but that would be the last time the Panthers scored for the rest of the game.
 
An offensive-rebound putback by Sara Pierson made the score 28-24 with 2:02 left in the game.
 
A steal by Schroder set up a Kibelkis free throw that extended the Blue Devils' lead to 29-24 with 1:50 left in the game before Schroder stole the ball again and scored on a fastbreak layup to maek the score 31-24 with 49.2 seconds remaining.
 
Another steal by Hunter led to a free throw made by Kibelkis with 27.3 left in the game that concluded the scoring at 32-24.
 
“We just had a bunch of turnovers in the fourth quarter and got into a little foul trouble," Rubarts said.
 
Baskets by Suaava gave PBL first-quarter leads of 2-1 and 4-3, but she picked up her second foul with 1:45 left in the opening quarter as Kibelkis made a game-tying free throw. 
 
After Schroder made a go-ahead basket for Peotone, Hunter tallied a foul shot with 42.3 seconds left in the first quarter via Johnson's second foul to make the score 7-4 before Brooke Kleinert made a basket to cut PBL's deficit to 7-6 before the opening quarter ended.
 
Suaava and Morgan Uden each had four personal fouls by the game's end while Johnson and Robidoux each had three fouls.
 
Baskets by Schroder and Brooke Gwiazda extended Peotone's lead to 11-6 early in the second quarter before Bailey Bruns made two free throws with 3:28 left in the quarter for PBL. 
 
A basket by Marissa Velasco extended the Blue Devils' lead to 13-8 before Suaava scored on a two-point field goal to make the score 13-10. Kibelkis then scored while getting fouled with 24.2 seconds left in the first half to make the score 15-10.
 
Suaava finished the game leading PBL in scoring with 12 points while Robidoux had six points and Johnson, Bruns and Kleinert each had two points.
 
For Peotone, Kebelkis led the way with nine points while Schroder had eight points.
 
“I felt like our defense held them very well," Rubarts said.
 
Peotone 32, PBL 24
PBL 6   4  12  2   -- 24
PEO 7   8   6  11  -- 32
PBL (14-8)
Morgan Uden 0-0-0, Kate Wilson 0-0-0, Trixie Johnson 1-0-2, Kendyl Enghausen 0-0-0, Bailey Bruns 0-2-2, Brooke Kleinert 1-0-2, Jazmyn Kurland 0-0-0, Losa Suaava 6-0-12, Emily Robidoux 2-0-6. Totals 10-2-24.
Peotone (21-6)
Makala Smith 0-0-0, Brooke Gwiazda 1-0-2, Mackenzie Strough 1-1-3, Mady Kibelkis 2-5-9, Jenna Hunter 1-2-4, Marissa Velasco 1-0-2, Sara Pierson 2-0-4, Maddie Schroder 4-0-8. Totals 12-8-32.
3-pointers -- PBL 2 (Robidoux 2).

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