Basketball

High school girls basketball insider: McHenry's Ava Interrante is athlete of the week

Ava Interrante, McHenry
Ava Interrante, McHenry

Athlete of the Week

Ava Interrante, McHenry, jr., G

Interrante has led the Warriors in scoring in five of six games this year and recorded a career-best 32 points in three quarters of play against Freeport last week in a 73-23 victory. She also had nine assists and four 3-pointers.

Through six games, Interrante is averaging 20.2 points with 13 3s for the defending Fox Valley Conference champions.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Dundee-Crown (3-2): The Chargers' two losses so far have come against Hononegah and Rockford Boylan, two Class 4A teams capable of deep playoff runs. D-C played Boylan tough, losing, 38-36. The Chargers beat Huntley, 42-16, in their FVC opener on Tuesday, holding the Red Raiders to four second-half points.

2. Hampshire (4-2): The Whip-Purs knocked off McHenry, 62-55, to start their FVC schedule. Hampshire was led by 6-foot-2 sophomore Kelby Bannerman with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

3. McHenry (4-2): The defending FVC champions fell in their FVC opener against Hampshire. McHenry, which won the FVC at 15-1 last year, opens the conference schedule with five road games.

4. Marengo (4-2): The Indians came out firing in the second half of their KRC opener and beat Johnsburg, 75-57. Sophomore Jennifer Heinberg had a game-high 23 points off the bench and missed only 2-of-10 shots.

5. Crystal Lake Central (4-1): The Tigers are off to a fast start and picked up a 62-38 win over Jacobs to start FVC play on Tuesday. Their only loss so far is to last year's Class 4A runner-up, Montini. Central is averaging 57.2 points a game and looking to make another jump in the FVC standings. Maddie Haslow and Cori Hamill gives Central a dangerous backcourt duo.

Noteworthy

Thunderous applause: Woodstock North senior guard Taylor Prerost broke the single-game scoring record for the Thunder in a 57-45 win over Delavan-Darien (Wisconsin), pouring in 28 points and hitting 18-of-22 free throws.

The previous mark was held by Haley Ahr, who had 27 points in February 2015 in a regional final loss to Woodstock. Ahr is North's all-time leading scorer with 1,032 points, and also has the most career rebounds.

1,000-point club: It didn't take long for Marengo's Marissa Knobloch to reach 1,000 career points in her senior season, as the 5-foot-7 guard and NCAA Division-II University of Indianapolis commit went past 1,000 career points with 21 points and three 3s in a 60-45 victory over Belvidere North in the third game of the season.

Knobloch likely would have hit the mark during her junior season if not for an injury that wiped away almost her entire freshman year.

The next area player closest to 1,000 points is Johnsburg's Morgan Madsen with 954 points.

Nice start: Hampshire gave up a season-high 55 points to McHenry on Tuesday, but Whips coach Mike Featherly was proud of his team's defensive effort, especially in the second half.

He praised the defensive effort of senior guard Sarah Bowen, who matched up against Izzy Gscheidle, one of the area's top outside shooters.

McHenry averaged 61.6 points a game last year, beating Hampshire both times in FVC play.

"With McHenry, you always have to have a hand ready," Featherly said. "Hand up in the face, because they'll shoot when they walk in the gym. They're so athletic and they're such a tough team to defend."

Featherly feels good about his team's chances in the FVC this season with the majority of his players back. Hampshire tied for first in conference two years ago and placed fourth last year.

"That was a good psychological win for us, to kind of get over that hump," he said. "If we play hard, good things will happen for us."

Devastating loss: Dundee-Crown and coach Sarah Miller were on the receiving end of bad news Monday when they found out Cassidy Randl will miss the rest of her junior season with a torn ACL. Randl was injured in the first game of the season for the Chargers making a move to the basket.

Randl was set to take on a bigger role for the Chargers this year. In the preseason, coach Miller said of Randl, "Cassidy brings a great overall game, including her 3-pointer that will help our offense, and an overall offensive skillset to drive and defend. She also has great leadership."

Randl will have surgery in a couple of weeks, Miller said.

"She is staying strong, but it has been devastating for her," Miller said. "She's one of the hardest working kids we have who put in so much time this offseason. We all have her back and she will come back stronger."

What to watch

Dundee-Crown at Prairie Ridge, 7 p.m. Friday: The Chargers will look to build off an FVC-opening win over Huntley, while the Wolves look for their first conference win under first-year coach Tim Taege.

Crystal Lake South at Hampshire, 7 p.m. Friday: Both the Gators and Whips are off to 1-0 starts in the FVC.

Crystal Lake Central at Prairie Ridge, 7 p.m. Tuesday: The Tigers are 1-0 in the FVC and enter the season with high expectations after going from zero FVC wins to seven in 2017-18.

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