CRYSTAL LAKE – The Dundee-Crown girls basketball team goes into every game with an expectation to hold its opponent to 40 points or fewer.
For the second game in a row, the Chargers played suffocating defense and hit their goal, beating Prairie Ridge, 52-31, in the teams’ Fox Valley Conference game Friday. D-C (4-2, 2-0 FVC) opened the FVC schedule three days ago by holding Huntley to 16 points.
The Chargers took extra time in practice this week to work on defensive fundamentals. Against Prairie Ridge (3-4, 0-2), they forced 32 turnovers, including 28 in the first three quarters.
“Our offense comes from our defense,” junior guard Payton Schmidt said. “We’ve been working on taking charges, on having extra help, and we’ve been working on all of the little things. We really executed that today. We played for each other.”
Prairie Ridge trailed D-C, 24-18, at halftime and was outscored, 28-13, the rest of the way.
D-C forward Alyssa Crenshaw had 11 of her game-leading 16 points after the break and grabbed seven rebounds.
“I think we came out and pushed in the second half,” Crenshaw said. “Our communication, especially on our bench, we were all building off that positivity, calling screens out for each other, and just always being there.”
D-C held Prairie Ridge to single digits in three of four quarters and 13 points in the second half.
“It took us awhile to get going tonight, but we had some people step up in different positions,” D-C coach Sarah Miller said. “We talked about playing smarter and being more efficient with our defense in the second half, and I think that we did that.”
“We talked about that this was a little bit of an ugly game. We talk every conference game, that everyone is coming for us and everyone is going to play with us as physical as possible. I was proud of the way we handled and played through our ugly play. We didn’t lose confidence during those moments.”
Schmidt finished with 15 points and five steals, and sophomore Gianine Boado had nine points and five assists for the Chargers. Josie Munoz and Makayla Gotter added four points apiece.
Prairie Ridge was led by freshman guard Karsen Karlblom with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including three 3s. Karly Statter, who led the area in scoring last season at 18.4 points a game, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with six points. She was in foul trouble much of the game after picking up her third foul in the final 30 seconds of the first quarter.
Sam Gablenz had five points for Prairie Ridge, and Maddy Ljunggren had four.
Prairie Ridge first-year coach Tim Taege called D-C the best defense his team has seen.
“They just pressure the heck out of you, so you have to be able to handle that pressure,” Taege said. “It’s really tough for us to create [in practice] what we saw from D-C. You can’t duplicate that in the gym.”