One of the strengths of Streamwood's girls basketball team this season is the ability to score in transition.
The Sabres used that asset to its fullest Friday night, scoring 24 points as a direct result of transition in a 51-38 Upstate Eight River win over St. Charles North.
"When we rebound we can run and when we run we're really tough," said Streamwood coach George Rosner. "We got some rebounds, we got some tips and steals, and the transition game got us going."
Streamwood, which hadn't played in nine days, showed some of that rust at times but after breaking out to a 7-0 lead, the Sabres (5-1, 1-0) never gave up the advantage.
Senior Jessica Cerda led the Sabres with 19 points and senior Deja Moore added 15, but junior Hannah McGlone would have had a triple-double for Streamwood had she not missed four layups. As it was she had 7 points, 13 rebounds and 10 steals to go along with 5 assists and 3 blocked shots.
"The frustrating thing was I was blowing wide open layups," said McGlone. "But us being able to run creates the other team being one-and-done because they're trying to get back on defense."
Every time the North Stars (1-6, 0-2) would creep closer to the Sabres, Streamwood would go on a run. St. Charles North had closed the gap to 18-15 early in the second quarter when Moore scored twice and Cerda once to make it 24-15. The Stars again closed to within 24-20 but a McGlone basket with 32 seconds left in the half gave the Sabres a 26-20 lead at the break.
Cerda scored to open the third quarter and made it 28-20 but St. Charles North came back with a basket from sophomore Nicole Davidson and a 3-pointer from senior Alex Silverman to make it a 28-25 game.
But that's when the wheels fell off for the North Stars, who didn't score again in the third quarter. Streamwood used steals and pressure defense to go on a 14-0 run and take a 42-25 lead in to the final period. The final score would be as close as the North Stars would get.
"We had a hard time taking care of the ball," said North coach Colleen Backer, whose team had 25 turnovers on the night. "They had a lot of transition points and that's what they like to do. We fought hard in a half-court set but the game switched when we gave them the ball. We had a rough offensive third quarter and turnovers really hurt us."
Streamwood finished the night shooting 22-for-54 from the field including 7 of 11 in the third quarter, while North went just 2 of 13 in that period. Cerda, who sat out the fourth quarter with what Rosner called a Charlie horse, was 8 of 13 on the night.
"We were all over and she had 17 points a minute into the third quarter," said Backer.
"Jess got us going early but we missed a lot of layups tonight," said Rosner. "It's no excuse but we've been off for nine days and we didn't get real fired up at the beginning tonight."
Silverman led the North Stars with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Davidson added 7 points for SCN, which outrebounded the Sabres 38-34 but only shot 17 of 54 from the field.
"We've made progress as a basketball team," said Backer, whose squad plays at rival St. Charles East today. "We've played a very tough schedule and we've made progress."