GIRLS BASKETBALL MVP TONI ROMITI: 'She's phenomenal'
Meet our entire All-Area girls basketball team below the jump.
DARIEN — Anyone who watched Toni Romiti play basketball could clearly see her emotions at play on the court.
And that was her dialing it back a bit.
"Each year I try to learn to control my emotions," the Hinsdale South senior said. "Everyone who knows me knows I'm a colorful player, but from last year to this year I progressed and I feel like I learned to control myself because you have to if you want to be able to lead in a positive way."
And lead she did, helping lift the Hornets to a second consecutive West Suburban Gold title and a win over Proviso West in what was a de facto WSC title game in early February.
"It was probably a surprise to a lot of people," Romiti said of winning the conference title after the Hornets graduated four starters. "It surprised me a little bit and I'm pretty sure it surprised our coach a little, too. ... I experienced that last year so I'm happy the team got to experience that with me this year."
Romiti's teammates also got a chance to play alongside one of the best players to ever don a Hinsdale South uniform. She tallied more than 1,200 points in four varsity seasons, closing out with 476 points this season. Included in those 476 points were highlight-reel-type showings against Proviso East (40 points, what is believed to be a school record) and 10 three-pointers against district-rival Hinsdale Central (also a school record).
"She's phenomenal," said Downers Grove South coach Ellen O'Brien, whose team fell to Romiti and the Hornets twice this season. "She definitely has the talent, and she just exudes confidence."
As impressive as those single-game performances were, Romiti will take away a whole lot more from this season.
"The whole season was awesome," she said. "I remember when Kerry Just took a charge in the Proviso East game. I'm pretty sure it was her first charge of the year so that was really awesome."
Romiti also said a game in which MacKenzie Kern scored 26 points will be a major memory when she looks back on her senior season.
"That was a big deal to me because she's a good friend and we played together in grade school," said Romiti, who is looking to play at the next level and has visits planned to Long Island University and South Carolina Upstate.
As competitive and demanding as she was on the floor, Romiti was a bit of a softy away from the court. Before home games, she would take freshman Tatyana Presley and Sydney Kopp to Portillo's in an effort to help nurture the next crop of Hornets. And what does she hope they learned during those meals?
"One thing I always want them to remember is having fun and competing and playing with heart," she said. "Playing with heart, a coach can't teach you that. Anybody can have the skills, but playing with heart and hustle, that's what matters to me."
Romiti's basketball favorites
Current player: Derrick Rose
All-time player: Kobe Bryant, when I was younger
Movies: "Hoosiers," "Love and Basketball"
— Jason Rossi
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