HAMPSHIRE – In practice, Dundee-Crown will send two or three girls at forward Alyssa Crenshaw to prepare her for the physicality of games.
“Sometimes she still ends up getting the rebound,” Chargers senior Cassidy Randl said.
Nothing could stop Crenshaw on Friday night. She pulled in 11 rebounds and scored 14 points for the Chargers in a 48-29 win over Hampshire. D-C clinched the Fox Valley Conference championship outright with the victory.
The Chargers (25-6, 17-1 FVC) set the tone defensively, forcing six turnovers in the first quarter and jumping out to an 11-2 lead. That defensive pressure kept up for most of the game.
“They executed [the defense] to perfection,” coach Sarah Miller said. “Turning them over, getting deflections, tips. I’m just so proud because everyone contributed. Everyone truly played a part in that defense.”
Hampshire (16-14, 11-7) couldn’t find any flow offensively and had only 11 points at halftime. Coach Eric Samuelson said the Whip-Purs weren't as crisp moving the ball as they have been in previous contests.
Going up against Hampshire’s sizable forwards Kelby Bannerman and Alyssa Cork, Crenshaw found a way to get her hands on many rebounds and loose balls.
"Alyssa is a beast, a full-on beast," Randl said. "We’ll get her the ball, and she’ll score on top of, like, three people. It’s just how she is."
Crenshaw and her teammates remembered last year’s regular-season finale, when Hampshire defeated D-C to win the FVC title outright.
“We just made it a target,” Crenshaw said. “We don’t want to feel like that again – that sting of having that loss. We really just wanted to prove it this year that we are a better team and that we’ve come back stronger.”
This time it was D-C winning the conference title on Hampshire’s home floor.
“They absolutely earned the Fox Valley Conference this year,” Samuelson said. “They came in here and played hard – not just tonight.
“Those kids are tough. That’s what I just told our girls. We did not play with heart tonight; we didn’t play with grit."
Bannerman led Hampshire with 13 points. Katie Del Re and Jacey Lambert each added four points.
Miller said this was D-C’s first outright FVC title since 2004. The Chargers last won a share of the FVC title in 2017, when they were part of a four-way tie with Hampshire, Huntley and Cary-Grove.
The Chargers did it most of this season without three-year starter Gianine Boado, who suffered an ACL tear early in the season.
“I’m just so proud of this group because so many people counted them out when Gianine went down,” Miller said. “They never at one point lost confidence in the journey, and they practiced like they had a target on their back every day.”
The Chargers won the title with a one-game margin over Burlington Central, which ended the regular season with a win over Huntley on Friday.
Behind Crenshaw’s 14 points, Randl scored 13, making three 3-pointers. Randl scored five straight points after halftime to help the Chargers extend the lead to 15 points. Payton Schmidt added eight points for the game.
STAR OF THE GAME
Alyssa Crenshaw, Dundee-Crown, jr., F
Crenshaw led D-C with 14 points and 11 rebounds in a Fox Valley Conference win over Hampshire. D-C clinched the FVC title outright with the victory. The Chargers last won a share of the FVC title in 2016-17.
4: Dundee-Crown held Hampshire to four points in the first quarter to set the tone defensively. After halftime, the Chargers again held the Whip-Purs to four points in the third quarter.
AND ANOTHER THING …
D-C held Hampshire scoreless for nearly a quarter of game action from the final minutes of the second quarter to the 3:15 mark of the third quarter.
“Our defense is our identity and it thrives our offense,” D-C coach Sarah Miller said.
Dundee-Crown 48, Hampshire 29
D-C 11 10 10 17 – 48
Hamp 4 7 4 12 – 29
Schmidt 4 0-0 8, Skibinski 1 0-0 2, Randl 5 0-2 13, Gotter 1 0-0 2, Crenshaw 6 2-2 14, Oldham 1 0-0 2, Azar 1 0-0 3, Sanchez 1 0-0 2, Koehlert 0 2-2 2. Totals: 20 4-6 48.
3-point field goals: 4 (Randl 3, Azar 1).
Del Re 1 1-2 4, Dumoulin 1 0-0 2, Walker 1 0-0 2, Bannerman 4 4-6 13, Cork 1 0-0 2, Ramirez 1 0-0 2, Lambert 2 0-0 4. Totals: 11 5-8 29.
3-point field goals: 2 (Del Re 1, Bannerman 1).