MADISON – Hand girls’ basketball coach Tim Tredwell had the scorebook in his left hand and had only one thing to say to his senior captain Gabby Egidio.
“Look at the third and fourth quarters,” he told her at midcourt minutes after No. 10 Hand (12-3) escaped with a 60-57 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over Career Friday night.
He had reason to show Egidio that. With sophomore point guard Sara Wohlgemuth sidelined for the second straight game with the flu, Egidio took over the game in the final 3:46, scoring 13 of her 22 second half points.
“That’s the beauty of having a senior,” Tredwell said. “She’s been in big moments before and has come through. Tonight, it couldn’t be much bigger.”
Down 49-43 with 3:46 to play and not having led since late in the first quarter, Egidio began her run. She hit a basket and then converted a three-point play to make it 49-48. After Carmen Rosemond missed a short baseline jumper, Hannah Martin put Hand ahead for good with a jumper from the right corner with 2:43 to play.
Egidio followed by scoring the next six points from the free throw line to make it 56-49 with 1:16 to play. She added two more free throws to put it away with a minute to go and Hall Freund iced it with two freebies in the final 21 seconds.
“I credit Egidio,” Career coach Steve Bethke said. “She just willed them to win.”
Bethke said he was disappointed with the way the Panthers executed in the final few minutes.
“I think we made some bad decisions on the offensive end,” Bethke said. “We rushed shots with the lead. We just played like we were behind instead of ahead.”
Early on though, it was the Kayla Franklin show for Career. She scored 12 of the first 18 Panther points as they took an 18-12 lead with 7:06 to play in the second quarter. At that point, Tredwell moved Egidio over to cover Franklin and Freund to take Carmen Rosemond. Franklin was held to three points after that.
“We didn’t know she would put up that many shots,” Egidio said. “When she started hitting them, we had to adjust.”
Layups by Freund and Summer Adams closed it to 18-16. However, Career scored the final six points before intermission, four of them by Ky’Jae Hargrove, to take a 27-18 edge at the break.
Without Wohlgemuth, in the first half, the Tigers badly looked like they were missing their floor general as they rushed their shots and had trouble getting into any flow on the offensive end.
“We knew we weren’t playing our best and we were overdribbling the ball,” Egidio said. “A lot of us were rattled. Career comes in with so much energy and is so athletic, we freaked out. In the second half, we moved the ball well on offense and stepped it up on defense.”
Still, Career exploded on a 12-4 spurt to open the second half with Carmen Rosemond’s layup giving the Panthers their biggest lead of the night, 39-24, with 3:03 to go in the third quarter.
Even Tredwell thought his team was in deep trouble at that point before they pulled it out.
“If we only get one (of those), maybe we’re done with it,” Tredwell said. “It certainly didn’t look good for us.”
But Hand came storming back with an 11-0 run with six points by Egidio to cut it to 39-35 with 7:07 left in the game. The Tigers cut it to 41-38 on a trey by Emma Sullivan with 6:01 to go.
Hargrove (19 points) hit a pair of free throws with 4:46 to give the Panthers a 48-41 lead, but it all was all Egidio and Hand’s defense in the paint, especially from Freund in the second half. The Panthers were unable to get the ball inside the paint as much as they had in the first 16 minutes.
“Halle never gets any credit,” Tredwell said. “Look at the fight she puts up in the trenches every night. She’s steady, quiet and gets the job done.”
Career fell to 9-5 with the loss. Three of those losses have come by three points and another by five points.
HAND 60, CAREER 57
CAREER 13 14 12 12 – 57
HAND 12 6 15 27 – 60
Ky’Jae Hargrove 6 7-8 19, Carmen Rosemond 4 0-0 9, Kayla Franklin 5 0-0 15, Ciara Little 4 0-0 11, Yariliz Santiago 1 0-0 3, Kayla Emery 0 0-0 0, Jaylyn Council 0-0 0 0, Arkaysee Booker 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 7-8 57.
Emma Sullivan 3 0-0 7, Gabby Egidio 5 12-14 22, Hannah Martin 4 1-2 9, Halle Freund 4 4-4 12, Summer Adams 3 0-0 6, Anna Beccia 2 0-0 4, Grace Hartman 0 0-0 0, Maddie Thomas 0-0 0 0.
3-point field goals: Career (Rosemond, Santiago, Franklin 5, Little 3). Hand (Sullivan).