ST. CHARLES — The North County Tech girls are making history.
The Golden Eagles trailed Bowling Green by 10 points early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's Class 3 sectional basketball game at St. Charles West High School.
But North Tech rallied, despite missing nine free throws in the final four minutes, and defeated Bowling Green 64-61 with an impressive late charge to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round.
"We're excited," guard Angela Randall said. "This is Tech's first time winning districts and going on. We have to bring our fans out to support us. Nobody really supports Tech like that — they think that Tech is just a small school. We have a lot of potential at our school. People just don't know. We're trying to put us on the map this year."
North Tech (20-5) advances to play either California (23-2) or Macon (24-4) in the Class 3 quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hannibal High School. California is ranked third in Class 3; Macon is ranked 10th.
"Hopefully we can make a run that can put us on the map," coach George Merritt said. "North Tech has a hard time finding a map, so just to be on there would be nice."
The Golden Eagles were led by 21 points from guard Yelena Rosado and 19 from Randall, who gave North County Tech its first lead of the night with a steal and a layup with 1:32 remaining. Alarra Bill-Binder added 10.
Bowling Green (24-4), ranked fifth in Class 3, led 13-11 after one quarter, 31-24 at halftime and by as many as 12 in the third quarter.
"Their athleticism is so much better and they get after it a whole lot more than what we normally see," Bowling Green coach Bobby Spoonster said. "As a group, they are just so much more athletic than we normally see on an everyday basis."
The Bobcats ran into trouble late in the fourth when their top two players — 6-foot-3 McDonald's All-American and University of Texas signee Anne Marie Hartung (18 points) and forward Talia Brown (22 points) — fouled out in a two-minute span.
With Hartung and Brown out, North Tech held Bowling Green to four points in the final two minutes. North Tech missed seven straight free throws at one point but scored seven points in the final two minutes to pull out the Golden Eagles' first playoff victory in school history.
"It would have been really sad to lose this game because of free throws, but we did some other big things that came through for us and some doors opened up at the end," Merritt said. "Getting those two players out definitely helped."
Whitfield, the Class 3 runner-up from a year ago, had four players in double figures — Zach Ellis (22 points), Julian Johnson (16), Michael Gallagher (12) and Alex Rudd (11) — and rolled to a 75-45 victory over Elsberry in their Class 3 sectional game.
Whitfield (20-10) advances to face either Schuyler County (27-1) or Blair Oaks (22-6) at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Hannibal High. Schuyler County is ranked sixth in Class 3.
Scott Kroeger led Elsberry (21-8) with 15 points, all in the first half.