All season, Hampshire girls basketball coach Ed Haugens has talked about getting his team to play four good quarters. The Whip-Purs came pretty darn close Tuesday night while defeating Crystal Lake Central, 51-27.
The only thing that kept Hampshire from getting maximum style points was a truckload of missed layups in the first half. Despite leading 22-11 at halftime, the Whip-Purs shot just 10-for-35 from the field, with most of the misses coming from inside 5 feet.
"I thought for the most part we played four pretty good quarters," Haugens said. "It starts with defense. I think our kids played some pretty good defense, to keep them to 27 points."
Sara Finn and Jenny Dumoulin scored 12 points apiece to lead Hampshire in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division matchup in Hampshire. Nikki Dumoulin added 9 points, and Emma Benoit pulled down 8 rebounds for the Whip-Purs (8-11, 3-3), who have now won 8 of 10 after opening with 9 straight losses.
After giving up two straight layups to start the second half, the Whips broke the game open with a 13-2 run to go ahead 37-19 entering the fourth quarter.
While the shots didn't always fall, the defense was a constant. Hampshire was a steals machine, hounding the visitors into 29 turnovers and also holding them to 35 percent shooting.
While Hampshire didn't exactly shoot the lights out, the Whip-Purs got 26 more shots thanks to the turnovers and a 23-20 rebounding advantage.
"We're keeping our defense tough and strong," said Finn. "Our defense has been working for us through our games. Through four pretty consistent quarters we held them, but we needed to make our short baskets."
Kelsey Schmitt scored 12 points for the Tigers, but no one else came close to double figures.
Tricia Dumoulin added 7 points and Benoit 6 for Hampshire.
The Tigers never led and were never tied after 2-2.
With Hampshire leading 30-17, Finn converted a breakaway layup after a steal and got fouled. She made the layup for a 3-point play. After Evelyn Youel answered for the Tigers, Tricia Dumoulin scored on a fast-break layup set up by Jenny Dumoulin's rebound and long pass. Jenny Dumoulin then scored herself to complete the big run.