CARPENTERSVILLE – Dundee-Crown girls basketball coach Sarah Miller and Chargers players recently got after one of their own, senior Kennedy White, for hanging around the 3-point line too much and not attacking.
White, a 5-foot-7 guard, took her coach’s and teammates’ words to heart Tuesday, settling for only one 3-pointer against Hampshire.
She made that shot.
The other 13 of White’s game-high 16 points came from quick transition baskets and aggressive play from inside the 3-point line. By halftime, White had 12 points and D-C held an 11-point lead.
D-C’s defense did the rest, forcing 18 turnovers in the first three quarters, and the Chargers beat Hampshire, 42-30, in a Fox Valley Conference game.
D-C improved to 11-7 overall and 6-3 in the FVC, and the Whip-Purs fell to 8-11 and 3-5. Hampshire defeated D-C, 31-28, 12 days ago at the D-C Charger-Komaromy Christmas Classic.
Miller said White’s play sparked the rest of the offense. D-C jumped out to a 13-6 lead after the first quarter and built a 25-14 lead by half.
“We’ve been getting on her a lot,” Miller said of White, a three-year varsity guard. “She’s got that explosive first step. She just made a full change. That’s what she’s capable of doing every game. I feel like her intensity to the hoop is what motivated the rest of the team, and kind of fed off that energy.”
“I like the criticism,” said White, who finished 6 of 7 from the field and made all three of her free throws. “I feed off it. It’s just a matter of doing it. Everybody’s attacking, everybody’s rebounding. It’s just effective. You saw tonight. I just have to listen to it and do it.”
Even Hampshire coach Mike Featherly noticed White’s change of play from the last time the teams faced each other.
“They’re gonna get up, they’re gonna scream and give a lot of energy,” Featherly said. “You just have to match that. I thought No. 3 (White) had a pretty good game against us. ... A lot of transition baskets. She definitely didn’t have that in the first game.”
Gianine Boado and Payton Schmidt tossed in seven points apiece for the Chargers. Anna Kieltyka and Alyssa Crenshaw both had four points.
Dundee-Crown held Hampshire to single digits in the first three quarters and led, 34-20, going into the fourth. The Whips shot 30 percent (9 of 30) from the field and committed 21 turnovers.
“Coach (Miller) really talked about stressing the help line and having each other’s backs,” said sophomore Katelyn Skibinski, who Miller pointed to as being a key to the team’s defense. “We were just trying to get quick steals, and look up for (quick points).”
“I’m super proud of our defense,” Miller said. “That’s the defense we’re typically holding up as our standard. Sometimes, even on forced turnovers, it was from us being so scrappy out there.”
The Chargers finished with 16 turnovers, but 11 of those came in the second half with a more comfortable lead. D-C shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from the field.
Featherly said the Whip-Purs couldn’t match the Chargers’ energy from the game’s opening tip.
“We keep having to fight out of a hole,” Featherly said. “You take that early run out, and it’s an even game. I thought they took it to us, and we didn’t respond to it well. We didn’t answer their challenge.”
Hampshire was led by freshman Kelby Bannerman with 14 points and nine rebounds. Ally Cermak had seven points and McKenzie Rasmussen tallied five points in the loss.