The South Elgin girls basketball team used its defense to control the first half Friday night.
The offense finally got going in the second half as the Storm cruised to a 58-43 victory over Lake Park in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division play in South Elgin.
"We were able to get our shots to start falling, which helped a lot and picked up the momentum," said Storm junior Anna Tracy, who scored 9 second-half points.
South Elgin, which only trailed for 13 seconds, went 11 of 32 (34 percent) from the floor in the first half. The Storm forced Lake Park (0-10, 0-5) into 14 turnovers in the first two quarters to take a 23-19 lead at halftime.
A Brianna Erri layup 11 seconds into the second half got the Lancers within 2, 23-21. The Storm (7-5, 2-2) answered with a 6-0 run to increase the lead back to 8. Lake Park wouldn't get any closer than 6 the rest of the game.
South Elgin scored 19 points and shot 62 percent (8 of 13) in the third quarter.
"We had look after look in the first half, great looks," Storm coach Tim Prendergast said. "I knew our offense would start clicking in the second half. It wasn't a matter of not executing. The lid was on the basket in the first half."
The Lancers trailed by 9 in every quarter, but always found a way to fight back. They trailed by 11 late in the first quarter and cut the deficit to 5 midway through the second. They cut a 12-point third-quarter deficit down to 6, 45-39, with 5 minutes remaining in the fourth.
"We had a really good week of practice this week and really tried to work on some fundamentals out of our offense, and I think that showed," Lake Park coach Andrea Miller said. "We improved a lot today. We still have a ways to go."
Sophomore Emily Duckhorn led the Lancers with 22 points. Erri finished with 9 points. Maria Zepeda added 10 rebounds off the bench.
Tracy finished with 11 points to lead South Elgin. Delaney Kelleher and Amanda Behles each had 10 points. Kennede Miller finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds.