MCHENRY – Foul trouble has plagued Crystal Lake Central junior guard Kelsey Schmitt.
That problem again arose Saturday in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic against Harvard when Schmitt picked up her third foul with 2:49 left in the second quarter. However, the fouls never slowed her down. Schmitt scored a game-high 12 points on 6 of 13 shooting to lead Central to a 45-27 win.
Central (7-6, 1-2 in pool play) faces North Chicago at 6 p.m. Thursday in the third-place bracket.
“As a team, we really wanted to come out with high intensity and that’s what we did,” Schmitt said. “That’s how we got our lead at the beginning of the game.”
Schmitt admitted the fouls are frustrating and Tigers coach Paul Lichtenheld said it’s been an issue at times this season. However, the Tigers were able to sustain their success against the Hornets because of the inside presence of forward Shannon Ellman (11 points and seven rebounds) and Evelyn Youel’s ability to attack the basket, which helped Central build an 11-point lead at halftime.
The lack of fouls called on Central drew the attention of Harvard coach John Lally, who was given a technical foul in the third quarter for arguing. The physical play contributed to Harvard’s 32 turnovers, which resulted in 26 points for the Tigers.
Forward Sam McCloud led Harvard (2-12, 0-3) with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Hornets play Woodstock at 6 p.m. Thursday in the fourth-place bracket.
Lakes 44, McHenry 30: With a spot in the tournament’s championship bracket on the line, one bad quarter by McHenry ruined that opportunity in a loss to Lakes.
The Warriors (7-6, 2-1) scored only two points in the second quarter and trailed 22-9 at halftime. Trailing by one point through the first eight minutes, Greta Taylor’s layup with 6:54 left in the second brought McHenry back within one after Lakes scored to open the quarter. Twenty-three turnovers, including nine during the second quarter, disrupted McHenry’s offense, although Brittany Avonts capitalized in the paint and finished with a team-high 13 points.
McHenry squares off against Burlington Central at 6 p.m. Thursday in the second-place bracket.
“We just stopped playing,” Warriors coach Scott Morris said of their second-quarter performance. “It’s just the way this season is going. We’re up and down from game to game, from quarter to quarter. We can’t have that.”
Lakes 51, Crystal Lake Central 33: The Tigers trailed by seven at the half, but Lakes blew the game open by outscoring Central 17-8 in the third quarter en route to the pool play win.
Evelyn Youel led Central with 11 points and Shannon Ellman added 10 points.
McHenry 50, Harvard 37: The Warriors’ offense found a rhythm early against the Hornets, scoring 17 points in the first and hit double digits in each quarter during their tournament win.
Taylor paced McHenry with a game-high 17 points while Harvard’s Abby Linhart returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game with a sprained right ankle and finished with a team-high 14 points.