CARPENTERSVILLE – Through the first six minutes of the Dundee-Crown girls basketball team’s final game in the 30th annual Charger Classic, coach Michelle Russell saw exactly what she wanted from her team.
The Chargers limited their turnovers and locked down on defense against Buffalo Grove in the 13th-place game, enabling them to take a five-point lead.
Their solid start quickly unraveled, however. Buffalo Grove went on an 8-0 run in the final 1:16 of the first quarter and never again trailed as the Bison knocked off the Chargers in a 50-34 win.
Buffalo Grove knocked down six 3s, which helped keep the Chargers’ defense off balance.
“They hit a few 3s on us and they’re a great shooting team,” Russell said. “We tried to get to the corners, that was our gameplan to stop them from the beginning but they just hit a lot of 3s and we had trouble stopping that.”
D-C’s offense sputtered in the second, held to four points. Jordan Bartelt’s pair of free throws with 1:15 remaining in the half ended a four-minute scoring drought for the Chargers (2-11).
They tried to mount a rally to open the second half after Emily Michalski made two free throws eight seconds into the third quarter to pull D-C within 11 points, 25-14.
But too many second chances on the offensive end for Buffalo Grove thwarted the Chargers’ comeback bid. Michawlski tallied seven points and Lauren Lococo scored six to lead D-C.
“I think [the Charger Classic] prepared us a lot,” Russell said. “We’re playing some of the top teams in the state, in the area and I think it’s going to teach us that you’ve got to come out every single day ready to play no matter whether you’re up or down or winning or losing. You have to stay ready to play.”
St. Charles North 60, Johnsburg 50: The Skyhawks set a frenetic offensive pace to open the 15th-place game against St. Charles North.
Johnsburg scored 17 points in the first quarter – nearly more than it scored in each of its previous two games – and extended its lead to six points early in the second. Miscues and a sudden inability to score cost the Skyhawks.
They were held without a point for more than five minutes which allowed St. Charles North to claim a 33-24 lead.
Despite better ball control in the second half, the Skyhawks weren’t able to recapture the lead in a 60-50 loss. One bright spot for the Skyhawks (2-14) was their ability to share the basketball.
Six players scored at least five points, led by Kayla Toussaint (team-high 11 points) and Kallie DiTusa (10 points).
“We had one goal today and it was to walk out of the gym and be proud of our effort,” Skyhawks coach Brad Frey said. “If you do what you’re supposed to do and play hard and play smart, and the other team scores more points than you, that’s all you can do. That was our goal and I think, despite the loss, we accomplished that.”