McHENRY – McHenry sophomore guard Ashley Wachter went into Monday's Fox Valley Conference game against Hampshire with 36 3-pointers.
None were bigger than the pair she hit in the fourth quarter. Wachter's first 3 turned a one-point deficit into a two-point advantage. Her second, from the opposite corner, gave the Warriors a five-point lead.
Izzy Gscheidle later added McHenry's third 3 of the quarter as the Warriors held off Hampshire for a 47-43 win, handing the Whips their first conference loss of the season.
Hampshire (19-5, 8-1) fell into a first-place tie with Dundee-Crown, which beat Huntley on Monday. McHenry (15-8, 6-3), last year's FVC champion, kept its conference title hopes alive with the win.
"We needed something like this in the middle of the season to get us started," said Wachter, who made three 3s and went 6-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line for a game-high 15 points. "It's not the end."
Hampshire senior Sarah Bowen hit a layup with six minutes remaining to give the Whips their first lead, 33-32, since the opening two minutes of the third quarter. Wachter answered with a 3 from the right corner. Less than a minute later, she took a pass from point guard Ava Interrante and hit a 3 for a 38-33 lead.
Gscheidle's 3 gave McHenry a 41-33 lead with 1:56 left as part of a 9-0 run for the Warriors.
"To have a sophomore with the type of confidence to shoot the basketball, it makes it fun to coach," Warriors coach Rob Niemic said of Wachter's clutch shooting. "She knows I'm going to ride her tail for all four years. When you make big plays like that, you're gonna get smiles, handshakes and a lot of high-fives."
McHenry, which has won six of seven games, was coming off a 68-59 FVC win against Crystal Lake Central on Friday that saw the teams combine for 75 free throws. Saturday's practice ran almost three hours.
"They were mad at me then, but I told them, 'Our standard has to change,'" Niemic said. "And tonight I think they bought in. The whole game, they were in it together. Everybody was picking each other up. When you have player leadership like tonight, you're going to win a lot of games."
Gscheidle, a four-year varsity player, was one of three players for McHenry to reach double digits in scoring with 12 points and two 3s. Sophomore Katie Beyer added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Interrante tossed in six points.
"We played as a team, and I'm proud of what we did," Gscheidle said. "We're progressing, and I'm excited for what's ahead of us. We're gonna go back in the lab, in the gym, and get to work."
Ally Cermak led the Whips with 13 points and three 3s, Morgan Haefling had seven points, and Kelby Bannerman (eight rebounds, four blocks) tossed in six points on two 3s.
"I don't think we played our brand of basketball," Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said. "We didn't attack as much, we were a little bit timid offensively. We did some good things defensively, but you can't give standing 3s to this team, and we did."
STAR OF THE GAME
Ashley Wachter, McHenry, so., G
Wachter hit two big 3s in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points in the last eight minutes, and finished with a game-high 15 points on 3-of-6 shooting.
1: McHenry handed Hampshire its first Fox Valley Conference loss.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Entering Monday, four players were averaging double digits in scoring for the Warriors: Ava Interrante (16.4 ppg), Izzy Gscheidle (14.5), Katie Beyer (12.7) and Wachter (11).
McHenry 47, Hampshire 43
HAMPSHIRE (43): Cermak 3 4-6 13, Haefling 2 1-3 7, Bowen 2 0-2 4, Del Re 1 1-2 3, Bannerman 2 0-0 6, Walker 2 0-0 4, Heine 1 0-0 2, Dumoulin 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14 6-13 43.
McHENRY (47): Gscheidle 4 22- 12, Wachter 3 6-9 15, Howie 2 0-0 4, Interrante 2 1-4 6, Beyer 4 1-2 10. Totals: 15 10-17 47.
3-point goals: Hampshire 9 (Cermak 3, Haefling 2, Bannerman 2, Heine, Dumoulin), McHenry 7 (Wachter 3, Gscheidle 2, Interrante, Beyer). Total fouls: Hampshire 16, McHenry 17.