CARPENTERSVILLE – A day after pulling off a third-quarter comeback to grind out its season opener, McHenry’s girls basketball team couldn’t find enough fire for an encore performance.
Instead of stampeding to a lead in the opening minutes of the second half, the Warriors went nearly 5 minutes without a basket while Palatine extended its advantage to 12 points. The run staked McHenry to a deficit it could not overcome en route to a 44-38 loss to the Pirates in the first round of the annual Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament on Wednesday.
In Tuesday’s three-point victory against Marengo, the Warriors relied heavily on their offensive output in the second half. On Wednesday, McHenry turned to its defense. The Warriors rolled out a stout man-to-man that held the Pirates to 19 first-half points, including nine in the first quarter.
“We are struggling shooting the ball right now, but [assistant coach John Dehn] is doing a great job with the kids, getting the defensive philosophy into them, and they’re buying into it,” McHenry coach Scott Morris said. “We’re doing some really nice things defensively.”
The Warriors led 4-3 with 3:30 left in the first quarter on a bucket from Brittany Avonts (game-high 13 points), but then fell into their first offensive drought of the game. McHenry didn’t score another field goal again until Laura D’Angelo’s basket from the elbow at the 4:23 mark in the second quarter. D’Angelo’s long jumper with 4:38 left in the second quarter tied the score at 11, but Palatine answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Jamie Loyd and Nia Pappas to go ahead 17-11.
“Tonight, I think we put in a great effort,” said D’Angelo, a guard who finished with seven points. “I think we hustled a lot and played good [defense]. I just think it was the little things.”
CL South 56, St. Viator 45: Junior Sara Mickow had 20 points and 19 rebounds in the Gators’ season-opening victory against the Lions.
Junior Rachel Rasmussen added 15 points, senior Lauren Del Vecchio and sophomore Carly Nolan added nine rebounds apiece, and coach
Kyle McCaughn got balanced contributions from the rest of his roster in what he hopes is the first sign of a successful season.
The Gators (1-0) outrebounded the Lions 42-27 and shot 40 percent (19 for 47) from the field. South was particularly effective at the post, scoring 34 of its points in the paint.
“I think the beauty of this year’s team is that we’ll have a lot more kids on the floor who can score,” McCaughn said. “We have a nice deep bench and a lot of talented young players.”
Hononegah 71, Huntley 44: The Indians leaned on their perimeter scorers and jumped out to a 27-13 lead by the end of the first quarter, and Huntley couldn’t find a way to stop Hononegah from raining down 12 three-pointers in the first-round game.
Ali Andrews scored a team-high 18 points, and Sam Andrews added 13 for Huntley (1-1).
Streamwood 52, Dundee-Crown 35: The Chargers scored 16 fourth-quarter points, but that wasn’t enough in a first-round loss.
D-C coach Michelle Russell was pleased with her team’s efforts against Streamwood, particularly the Chargers’ half-court defense and their tenacity in the second half. After falling behind 12-0 in the first quarter, the Chargers chipped away to pull within eight in the third.
“I give my girls a lot of credit because they played hard,” Russell said. “We played very good defense, and we came out shooting poorly but had a better second half and played right there with [Streamwood] in the second half.”
Lauren Lococo and Jesenia LaBoy scored eight points each, and Jillian Weichmann added seven for D-C (0-1).