It was a scene that's becoming all too familiar for the Bartlett girls basketball team. And one that Hawks' coach Denise Sarna has seen quite enough of.
The Hawks played as well in the first half as they have all season Wednesday, then crumbled in the second half in losing 50-37 to Mother McAuley in the opening round of the 30th annual Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown.
"It's frustrating," said Sarna, whose 2011-12 senior-laden team won the Charger Classic championship. "Turnovers have been our Achilles' heel and we've been telling the girls that over and over. At this point of the season, we need our ballhandlers to step it up. We're just making too many turnovers."
The Hawks (8-8), who lost their third straight, committed 26 turnovers in the loss as they struggled with the pressure defense applied by Mother McAuley (10-2). But Bartlett used a sizzling 11 of 15 shooting performance in the first half, coupled with the Mighty Macs shooting just 8 of 32, to grab a 24-21 lead at halftime.
"We were bad for a long time," said McAuley coach Ashley (Luke) Clanton, the former Waubonsie Valley, Penn State and DePaul standout who is in her first year as McAuley's head coach.
"We started off sluggish and almost had to wake ourselves up. Bartlett did a nice job of defending and making us look ugly."
The Mighty Macs were anything but ugly in the third quarter, when they outscored Bartlett 18-4 and helped the Hawks commit 9 turnovers. By the end of the quarter, McAuley led 39-28, a lead Bartlett couldn't cut into in the fourth quarter.
"We needed that third quarter real bad," said Clanton, whose father BJ, the former football coach at Waubonsie Valley and now the football and girls track coach and athletic director at Danville High School, was in attendance.
While Bartlett's hot start shooting cooled off to the tune of just 5-for-18 in the second half, McAuley was 11 of 31 in the second half to finish the game 19-for-63. The Mighty Macs, though, only turned the ball over 8 times in the game.
"We shoot well when we get shots within our offense," said Sarna, whose team will face Dundee-Crown in a 12:30 p.m. consolation bracket contest today. "But you don't shoot well when you're just throwing it up and you're all out of sync like we were in the second half."
Freshman Nicole Gerdevich (4 assists) and junior Ally Giampapa had 7 points each to lead Bartlett, while Alyssa Hernandez (10 rebounds, 6 blocks) and Chantel Zasada added 6 each off the bench.
"We got some nice contributions off the bench from the freshmen today," Sarna said. "They added a nice spark."
Junior Lauren Carlson led McAuley, which plays Maine South at 5 p.m. today, with 19 points and senior Alyssa Siwek added 10.