Kaylee Bambule escaped her usual habitat at the most unexpected time.
The Montini senior is known as a 3-point shooter, and putting the ball on the floor — especially against a team as athletic as Homewood-Flossmoor — is not her game.
Bambule's driving basket at the end of regulation sent the hotly contested battle of the Tribune's No. 1 and 2 teams into overtime. Aaliyah Patty added five points and a key block in the second overtime to lead top-ranked Montini to a 39-35 win Monday at the Class 4A Mother McAuley Supersectional.
"I knew Kaylee's shot was going in," Patty said. "She rarely drives. She didn't have an outside shot, so she had to get to the basket."
Bambule helped the Broncos overcome some first-half jitters with two big third-quarter 3-pointers, and her layup at the end of regulation saved Montini's season.
"I figured it was open," Bambule said, "So why not?"
The Broncos (32-1) will play Edwardsville (31-0) at 5:30 p.m. Friday in a 4A semifinal at Redbird Arena in Normal.
Patty showed why she's a highly coveted national recruit. The 6-foot-3 junior center had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots while playing solid defense against Eva Rubin, H-F's 6-5 Arizona State-bound center.
Bambule, a Ohio recruit, scored 12 points, and Claudia Kunzer played a nearly flawless floor game amid heavy pressure by H-F's guards.
Homewood-Flossmoor had trouble all game with Montini's active 2-3 zone. Karli Seay (16 points) and Nadia Green (11 points) led the Vikings, who led by four points with less than a minute left in regulation.
Patty scored five points in the first 1 minute, 19 seconds of the second overtime, while H-F (23-3) did not score in its final three possessions.
"I knew I had to come up big," Patty said. "They were playing our guards tight and I had to play strong and do big things."
Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Player of the game: Aaliyah Patty, Montini, 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks.
Key performers: H-F — Karli Seay, 16 points, 3 steals; Nadia Green, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals. Montini — Kaylee Bambule 12 points, 3 3-pointers; Claudia Kunzer, 8 points, 3 assists, 3 steals.
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