The Prairie Ridge girls basketball team advanced to Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. regional semifinal against Crystal Lake South with a lopsided 58-37 win over Grant in which defense was P-R's shining star.
The Wolves' full-court press frustrated Grant, especially in the second quarter when P-R (18-8) forced one turnover after another, leading to easy transition baskets. It's a strategy the Wolves have employed all season, but that until Monday night, had worked in varying degrees of success.
"We were finishing shots and converting after we made the steals, after we played good defense," P-R coach Rob Baker said. "A lot of the year, we've played great defense and then missed shots. A lot of the year, we made shots and didn't play great defense. Tonight, in that second and third quarter, we really played hard defense and then converted."
The Wolves used a 24-6 scoring surge in the second quarter to build a 35-15 lead after leading only by two going into the second quarter. Kelly Klendworth led a balanced P-R offensive attack with 13 points while Kelsey Bear (11) and Alex Neckopulos (10) provided plenty of support.
"We're excited to keep playing," Baker said. "We know South and Cary-Grove are some big teams and Central is good team, too. It's going to be a challenge for us to win those games, but we're excited to get the chance to play again."