Tiger girls lose 40-37 nail-biter at districts


For the Call

Throughout the season, the Oakville Senior High girls’ basketball team has endured more than its share of setbacks.

The Tigers (14-11, 2-6 Suburban West) lost junior center Sherry Zehner to a rotator cuff injury near the end of January and then found themselves without junior forward Faith Zabek because of a sprained ankle.

Yet Oakville battled to win four of its last eight games before losing to Fox 40-37 in the first round of the district tournament.

“I was really proud of the girls,” Tiger head coach Paul Harrington told the Call. “We had a good start and really fought through some adversity with injuries and illness.”

The Tigers had a 14-9 advantage at halftime before the Warriors tied the game at 18-18 after the third quarter. The scoring picked up in the fourth quarter as Fox scored 22 points to Oakville’s 19.

Nicole Norberg led the Tigers with 11 points, 12 rebounds and one blocked shot in the loss. The freshman forward has been a pleasant surprise for the Tiger coaching staff after averaging 6.6 points and 6.2 rebounds a game this season.

“Nikki is just a breath of fresh air for us,” Harrington said. “She became the best rebounder on the team and that’s been so valuable for us.”

Four seniors will depart from Oakville this year. Forward Danielle Chaney, guard Stephanie Dippold, forward Ashley Riley and forward Brittnie Selbert have worn the black and gold for the last time. But several young Tigers also gained experience for next year.

“The downside of this season was the injuries and illness while the upside was that we got some kids some playing ex-perience for next year,” Harrington said. “The key is to work hard this summer, make a commitment to our game and come back ready for next year.”