In the end, Sara Mickow and Crystal Lake South held on.
The Gators ran out to a big lead, withstood a spirited Hampshire comeback, then pulled away again for a hard-earned 46-41 victory in a Fox Valley Conference crossover girls basketball game in Hampshire Friday night.
Mickow finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds for South.
The Whip-Purs missed their first 14 shots as the Gators pulled ahead 16-3. But the Whips finally found the basket and came roaring back with a 23-6 run spanning halftime. The Whips actually took a 25-22 lead, but South answered with a 12-2 run to regain the advantage.
The Whip-Purs pulled even one final time at 38-38, but the comeback seemed to take too much out of them, and the Gators pulled away in the closing minutes.
Hampshire's defense, led by Sara Finn, kept the Whip-Purs (0-7) in the game.
Finn had 11 steals, had a hand in forcing several other turnovers, and just missed a couple of others. She also added 9 points and 4 rebounds.
"She does a great job in our defense anticipating and picking off the passes," said Hampshire coach Ed Haugens. "She's really picked up our defense pretty well. You don't think she's going to get there and somehow she does."
Jenny Dumoulin had 13 points to lead Hampshire.
Rachel Rasmussen had 9 points, Chanel Fanter 8 and Carly Nolan 7 for Crystal Lake South (4-3).
"At halftime, we had them at 3 for 23 from the field. A team like this is not going to continue to shoot like that, especially with the shots that we were giving them," said South coach Kyle McCaughn. "In the second half, they increased the tempo and got some of those same looks and, guess what, they didn't go out, they went in."
Hampshire's second unit, including Anna Baxter, Becky Dumoulin, Tricia Dumoulin and Samantha Okubo got Hampshire's comeback going in the second quarter. Becky Dumoulin had a short jumper and a 3-pointer to make it 16-8 and give the Whip-Purs some life.
"They were making the decisions I wanted the starting unit to be making," Haugen said of that unit.
After the break, the Whips upped the intensity, pressing and running at every chance. The result was 11 straight points to open the half. A steal and layup by Jenny Dumoulin gave Hampshire its first lead at 21-20. Finn then added a basket for a 3-point lead.
Emma Benoit had 10 rebounds to go with 7 points for Hampshire.
But Hampshire really had no answer for Mickow, who seemed to score at will inside and come up with every rebound at times. She had a double-double by halftime with 10 points and 10 boards.