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A dominant 9˝ minutes Monday night is sending the Bartlett girls basketball team to state for a second time.
The Hawks outscored DeKalb, 28-11, to open the second half, turning a 4-point game into a 48-30 rout of the Barbs in the Class 4A Elgin supersectional at Chesbrough Field House.
"It's amazing. Words can't even describe," Bartlett senior Lisa Palmer said. "It's so surreal. We have been talking about this since we were in elementary school together, our senior year going downstate and now it's really happening."
Bartlett (31-1) set a school record for wins, which was previously held by the 2004-05 team. That team went 30-5 and finished as the Class AA runner-up in the Hawks only other trip to Normal. The Hawks will play Whitney Young, which defeated Bolingbrook in four overtimes Monday, at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals at Redbird Arena.
"All I can say it was meant to be," said Hawks senior Haley Videckis, who is heading to Indiana. "We knew we were going to go downstate."
Both teams started slowly Monday night as the nerves were evident. The Barbs (28-5) missed their first 9 shots. The Hawks had only 2 field goals in the first quarter, but held a 7-6 lead.
DeKalb led 11-8 with 5 minutes left in the first half. The Hawks answered with an 8-0 run, started by a 3-point play from Palmer and capped by a 3-pointer from the right corner by Videckis, to take a 16-11 lead.
Bartlett led 20-16 at halftime, but struggled to play the up-tempo game it likes to play as DeKalb controlled the boards on its offensive end. The Barbs grabbed 9 offensive rebounds, one more than Bartlett grabbed defensively.
"We were a little out of sorts early on," Bartlett coach Denise Sarna said. "Even at halftime I said, 'Come on you guys, just relax.' "
The Hawks picked up the defensive pressure and crashed the boards much better to open the second half. The turnovers and defensive rebounds led to easy baskets. Bartlett scored the first 8 points, in less than a minute and a half, of the third quarter to take a 28-16 lead. An offensive rebound and putback from Katie Gutzwiller with 4:49 left in the third quarter gave the Hawks a 32-18 lead.
"With (Bartlett's) length and athleticism, I think they took us out of some of the things we like to do," Barbs coach Ben Bates said. "They got after us, especially in the second half. We were looking to keep the game in the 30s or low 40s. We were right on pace at halftime. They took a lot of energy out of us in the second half."
The lead increased to 18, 42-24, with 40 seconds remaining in the quarter on a Janessa Baker drive and scoop shot. After a 3-pointer from the Barbs' Taylor White ended the third-quarter scoring, the Hawks scored the first 6 points of the fourth quarter. Videckis hit 1 of 2 free throws and Baker converted a 3-point play and had a layup as the Hawks took a 21-point lead, 48-27 lead with 6:33 remaining.
The Hawks didn't score again, but it didn't matter as the game was in hand.
"We really picked up the defensive intensity and ran transition," said Baker, another senior. "I don't think we did that so well in the first half. The second half we picked up the intensity and ran the floor. We got a lot of easy fastbreak points."
Baker and Videckis each scored 15 points to lead the Hawks. Palmer added 6 points and 6 rebounds. Senior Kristin Conniff led Bartlett with 7 rebounds.
Rachel Torres led DeKalb with 12 points. White finished with 6. Emily Bemis grabbed 7 rebounds, including 5 offensive boards.