Johnsburg seemed destined for a dominating performance against Marengo.
The third-seeded Skyhawks took a commanding 13-0 lead less than three minutes into the game and were poised to control the regional quarterfinal game. However, No. 6 Marengo was determined to make Johnsburg fight to advance.
A barrage of 3-pointers from the Indians’ senior guard Lynsey Hoeske brought them back. Hoeske, who finished with a team-high 16 points, made three 3-pointers in the first half to help Marengo cut Johnsburg’s lead to 31-25 at the half.
"It's a pretty resilient group of girls," Marengo coach Nick Rode said. "I know there's definitely some close relationships on the team with each other so I don't think they get very rattled. It's good to see them bounce back the way they did."
The Skyhawks (11-18) didn't let the Indians (4-23) hang around for long. They opened the third quarter like they started the game, quickly building a double-digit lead.
By the end of the third, Johnsburg led 52-31 thanks in part to an impressive shooting performance from Erika Szramek, who made three 3-pointers in the quarter. With the win, the Skyhawks face No. 2 Richmond-Burton at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"That was one of the best starts I've ever seen and I think the girls were like, OK, we'e got them," Johnsburg coach Brad Frey said. "You can't do that. Marengo is a solid team. They played hard. ... We decided to come out [in the third] and just play basketball."