High school girls basketball insider: Alden-Hebron's Rachel Pahl is athlete of the week

Rachel Pahl, Alden-Hebron
Rachel Pahl, Alden-Hebron

Athlete of the Week

Rachel Pahl, Alden-Hebron, jr., G

Pahl had 54 points in three games as the Giants tied their school record for most victories in a season with 19, set in 2006.

The junior guard scored a season-high 24 points on 12-of-14 shooting in a 61-34 Northeastern Athletic Conference win against South Beloit, 20 points in a 57-38 win against Harvard, and 10 points in a 56-38 loss to Marian Central.

Pahl is averaging 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game for the Giants (19-4, 6-0).

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Marengo (20-5): The Indians reached 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1998 and 1999. Marengo is 14-1 in its last 15 games and tied with Burlington Central for first in the Kishwaukee River Conference at 9-1 with games against Richmond-Burton and Woodstock remaining.

2. Hampshire (23-5): The Whip-Purs' 23 victories are the most in six years under coach Mike Featherly and the most for the school since 2011. Hampshire leads the FVC at 12-1 with Cary-Grove, Huntley and Dundee-Crown left on its schedule.

3. Dundee-Crown (19-7): The Chargers beat McHenry, 54-36, to remain one-half game behind Hampshire in the FVC. D-C has four conference games left against Crystal Lake South, Jacobs, Crystal Lake Central and Hampshire.

4. McHenry (17-9): The Warriors beat Prairie Ridge, 60-42, and lost to D-C, moving to 8-4 in the FVC.

5. Johnsburg (15-10): The Skyhawks' four-game winning streak ended with a loss to Burlington Central. Johnsburg still can wrap up third place in the KRC on Friday with a win over Woodstock North.

Worth noting

Playoffs update: The assignments for the Class 3A and 4A playoffs were released last week. Seedings will be released about 4 p.m. Thursday on, while pairings will be released Friday.

All of the FVC teams will compete in the 4A Belvidere North Sectional, with Cary-Grove, Elgin, Hononegah and Jefferson serving as regional sites. In 3A, the KRC teams and Marian Central are all in the Carmel Sectional, with Woodstock, Grayslake Central, St. Viator and Chicago Resurrection as regional hosts.

Survey says: Marengo received a vote in the latest Class 3A Associated Press Poll released Tuesday. It's the first time all year the Indians have appeared on the list of top teams in the state.

Burlington Central received two votes after being ranked in the Top 10 for most of the season. Marengo is averaging 57.5 points a game and allowing 41.6.

Helping hand: D-C's Mia Deegan had some big buckets for her team in Saturday's win against McHenry, including two during a 12-2 run in the third quarter that helped the Chargers put away the Warriors.

Deegan, a senior center, ended with seven points and four rebounds off the bench. She is just starting to get into basketball shape after missing more than half of the season with a torn ACL.

"I just felt like she went out there and did exactly what we needed her to do," D-C coach Sarah Miller said. "She did exactly when she needed to do off the bench, and she lifted us. It was big."

Keeping it in the family: Marengo's Hannah Ritter recently became the Indians' all-time leader in career assists, passing her aunt, Elisa Hanson (Ettner), who also is the the team's JV coach. Ritter also set the school record for most assists in a season in the team's win against Harvard last week.

Ritter has 165 assists in 25 games this year for an average of 6.5 assists a games. In her career, Ritter has 528 assists, beating the previous record of 403. The previous single-season record for assists also was held by Hanson with 154 in 1999.

What to watch

Alden-Hebron vs. Durand at Class 1A Durand Regional, 6 p.m. Tuesday: The No. 4. Giants are going for their second straight regional title, which would be a program first. If A-H wins, the Giants likely will face top-seeded Aquin in the championship at 7 p.m. Thursday. Aquin is ranked ninth in state.

Crystal Lake Central at Dundee-Crown, 7 p.m. Wednesday: The Tigers can play spoiler as the Chargers look toward their second conference title in three years.

Hampshire at Huntley, 7 p.m. Wednesday: Like D-C, Hampshire is going after its second FVC championship since 2017. Huntley (9-16) has three wins over its last four games following a five-game losing streak.

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