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Glenbard South's youth finally caught up with it.
The Raiders saw their postseason run end in the Class 3A sectional semifinals, losing to St. Joseph 59-37 at Glenbard South on Tuesday night.
The underclassmen-led Raiders got out to a nightmare start, falling behind 11-0 while committing 8 turnovers. By the end of the first quarter, St. Joseph led 20-2. It was 34-10 at halftime.
"We got off to a really bad start," said Raiders senior Patrice Hicks. "We weren't playing our game. We let them get into our heads, but the second half we brought it back up, started playing our game."
"Glenbard's a good team. We just got out on them early," St. Joseph coach Jim Maley said.
Youth wasn't the Raiders' only problem. It was a physical game, and that wasn't in the Raiders' favor either.
"Obviously, the tone of the game was set early when the pushing and shoving was let go by," Raiders coach Julie Fonda said. "It doesn't really play into my favor. It definitely plays into St. Joe's."
"They were playing some pretty good man-to-man defense," Maley said of his Chargers (22-10). "That was the key, tough man-to-man defense. That's the size of it. We know they have a pretty good press, and pretty much the last three days that's all we did at practice. I just thanked our second team for going through a boring practice, going through that press time and time again. One day we did it the entire hour and a half."
Sophomore Tomei Ball led Glenbard South with 12 points, and freshman Jenna Brambora added 10. Senior Patrice Hicks finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
"It's definitely tough," Fonda said. "I'm proud of my girls for battling. They could've definitely fallen into a hole, but you're playing for pride in that situation, and that's what I told them. They came out and they played to the buzzer, and that's all I can ask them to do."
Briya Wilburn scored 18 points to lead St. Joseph, and Donna Koerber added 14.
The playoff run gives the Raiders plenty to look forward to next season.
"Being 17-12 with four freshmen from the get-go and two sophomores, you can't be disappointed in that," Fonda said. "They've done a lot. They surpassed expectations of a lot of people. I knew coming in it was going to be a battle to get to where we got to, and that's often hard at the beginning of the season. We went through the trials and tribulations of a young team, and they turned out pretty darned good."
"I feel great (about the season), especially because we have a really young team," Hicks said. "I'm really proud of them that we made it."