Gillespie Middle School will play for third place at the IESA Class 8-3A State girls basketball tournament at Metamora High School on Thursday, December 15.
The eighth grade girls team won its opening game Saturday over St. Joseph, 27-16. Gillespie whizzed to an 8-2 lead after the first quarter and led 13-5 by halftime. Hannah Barrett scored five of her seven points in the first half for the Indians.
In the second half, Gillespie scored 10 points in the third quarter for a 10-point edge heading into the final quarter of play. Both teams added three points in the fourth quarter giving the Indians a 27-16 victory. Barrett led the team with seven points while Keaton Link followed with six.
That win pushed Gillespie in a semifinal round game Saturday evening against Havana. The Indians got off to a slow start trailing 3-13 after the first quarter, but rallied in the second quarter outscoring Havana 12-3 cutting the halftime deficit to 15-16.
The Indians trailed heading into the fourth quarter, 22-28, and trailed by over 10 points with 90 seconds remaining before the Indians rallied a comeback scoring three 3-pointers and two bonus free throws sending the game into overtime. Gillespie scored 20 points in the fourth quarter compared to Havana’s 14.
With a handful of Gillespie’s players fouled out and a few more in foul trouble, the Indians couldn’t edge a victory as the team scored one basket in overtime compared to Havana’s one basket and two free throws ending the game by a two-point margin, 44-46.
Grace Bertolino led Gillespie’s scoring with 14 points while Shelby Taylor followed with 13. Barrett followed with seven points and Link had five points.
The Indians now have a 24-3 record and will meet Germantown Hills (23-2) at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15.
Springfield St. Agnes (26-0) and Havana (26-1) will play for the state championship following Gillespie’s game.