CRYSTAL LAKE – There wasn't much Dundee-Crown didn't do right in the first eight minutes against Crystal Lake Central on Tuesday.
The Chargers pressured the Tigers into 11 first-quarter turnovers, moved the ball almost effortlessly on offense and finished 8 of 12 from the field with all but one shot coming from inside the paint.
D-C's in-your-face defense and hot shooting set the tone for the rest of the game, and the Chargers came away with a 50-33 Fox Valley Conference win over the Tigers at Central Fieldhouse.
The Chargers (15-5, 7-0) remained tied with Hampshire, which beat Huntley on Tuesday, for the conference lead. Central (12-4, 5-2) fell two games back of the FVC co-leaders.
D-C led, 18-8, after the first quarter, and pushed its lead to 30-15 at halftime. The Chargers ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run, getting their first points from the outside on an Alaina Azar 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.
The Tigers struggled to keep pace with D-C and went scoreless for a span of 7:40 between the first and second quarters.
"I think we did a very good job defensively," said junior Katelyn Skibinski, who had three of D-C's 22 steals. "A lot of our girls were hustling back, we had people diving, and we had people on the help-line, just constantly in their face, hands up and distracting them."
After the Chargers forced a turnover, they quickly looked upcourt for their next fast-break opportunity.
"They do a really good job of creating pressure and speeding you up," said Tigers coach Derek Crabill, whose team committed 34 turnovers. "They sped us up and just got us out of whack. I think that's what carries them the most."
Sophomore Gianine Boado led the Chargers with 14 points, shooting 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and added three assists and three steals. Payton Schmidt had nine points, four assists and five assists, and Alyssa Crenshaw had eight points and seven rebounds.
Skibinski scored eight points, and Kendall Kieltyka had a team-best seven steals for D-C.
Boado said the team is starting to click at the right time.
"We're getting closer together, the chemistry is getting better, and we're working together more, on and off the court," Boado said. "Right now, we're playing amazing."
D-C has another big test in three days, when the Chargers host Hampshire at 6 p.m Friday. The winner will be in sole possession of first place in the FVC.
The Chargers beat Hampshire, 46-39, in D-C's Charger-Komaromy Classic on Dec. 28, but that didn't count toward the conference standings.
Chargers coach Sarah Miller knows how big of a week it is.
"This is a huge week," Miller said. "It defines what type of team we are. We're tough. We're going to go against teams and put everything out there."
Cori Hamill led Central with eight points, Nora Ryan tossed in five points, and Paige Keller and Emma Fleming both had four.
STAR OF THE GAME
Gianine Boado, Dundee-Crown, so., G
Boado scored a game-high 14 points, sinking 4-of-6 3s, to go with three assists and three steals.
7: The Chargers have won their first seven FVC games.
AND ANOTHER THING ...
Dundee-Crown's first 11 shots came from underneath the basket. Alaina Azar broke up the streak with a corner 3 to end the first-quarter scoring.
Dundee-Crown 50, Crystal Lake Central 33
DUNDEE-CROWN (50): Boado 5 0-0 14, Schmidt 4 1-2 9, Crenshaw 3 2-5 8, Deegan 1 0-0 2. Skibinski 4 0-0 8, Kieltyka 2 0-0 4, Azar 1 0-0 3, Ryza 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 3-7 50.
CRYSTAL LAKE CENTRAL (33): Hamill 2 3-4 8, Ryan 0 5-6 5, Keller 0 4-4 4, Penza 1 0-0 3, Douros 1 0-0 2, Lichte 1 1-2 3, Fleming 1 2-2 4, Wozniak 1 0-0 3, Haslow 0 1-2 1. Totals: 7 16-20 33.
Dundee-Crown 18 12 8 12 – 50
Crystal Lake Central 8 7 3 15 – 33
3-point goals: Dundee-Crown 5 (Boado 4, Azar), Crystal Lake Central 3 (Ryan, Penza, Wozniak). Total fouls: Dundee-Crown 18, Crystal Lake Central 13.