BRADLEY — The Moline girls' basketball team knew what was coming, they just could not handle it.
Bradley-Bourbonnais used its tenacious 1-2-2 three-quarter court pressure defense to hound the Maroons into 29 turnovers and a 67-52 win for the Boilers in Thursday's Class 4A Bradley-Bourbonnais Regional final.
"They have an amazing press," Moline coach Tracy SantAmour said. "They are so aggressive in it, and they love to pick your pocket from behind or gamble on the cross-court pass.
"We wanted to get the ball to Alannah (Crompton) in the middle, have her turn over and set up our passing game. Instead, we panicked and gave them a lot of easy layups off steals."
It also hurt that Crompton missed the last 5:20 of the second quarter after picking up her second charging foul. Both fouls, and a third in the second half on a charge, were questionable charges.
"She was never able to get into her offensive game," SantAmour said. "It's unfortunate that Alannah didn't get to play all the time. Three charges? It was like anytime she got to the lane."
The Boilers (23-7) got exactly what they wanted out of their defense.
"We knew that Moline was much stronger inside, and we had to get them running up and down the court," B-B coach Evan Tingley said. "We knew we were in trouble if they were able to set it up and pound the ball inside.
"We have been working on this defense for the last three seasons. Now, we're putting it in from the freshmen on up."
Even with Moline's struggles, the Maroons (19-12) never backed down until the final minutes. They cut the lead to 57-52 and got a steal. A long pass to a wide-open Hannah Thiele (19 points and five 3-pointers) in the corner slipped off her hands and out of bounds.
"Oh gosh, if she makes that, we have a great chance to win," SantAmour said. "We played so hard and kept battling our tails off, but we could just never make that 'next play' to get it to one possession."
Then, after B-B scored to make it a seven-point lead, Moline was called for a technical foul for having six players on the court out of a timeout. The ensuing two free throws and another score off the possession put the game on ice.
"That's on me," SantAmour said. "We put some subs in during the timeout, and I think in all the noise and confusion the player who stepped on the court didn't hear she was supposed to stay on the bench.
"What a tough way to end it for the seniors. They mean so much to Moline basketball, and we wanted to get them a regional championship. This doesn't take anything away from what they have accomplished."
Crompton finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out. Sophomore Cierra McNamee came off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds.
Mikayla Brandon led B-B with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Zoie Langois added 15 points, and Evey Evans had 13.