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The rematch of the 2012 South Elgin girls basketball regional final between the Streamwood and South Elgin is officially on, this time on the Sabres' home court.
By virtue of No. 2 seed South Elgin's 69-41 win over No. 3 Elgin, coupled with top-seeded Streamwood's 47-23 win over Dundee-Crown Tuesday night in a pair of Class 4A Streamwood regional semifinals, the Storm (17-11) will look to defend their title at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. South Elgin beat the Sabres 66-50 on their home court last year.
"It's going to be a good game because it's on their court," said South Elgin coach Tim Prendergast, who said there might be some matchup problems with the Sabres' Hannah McGlone, but that the Storm's depth and speed could offset that.
"We knocked them off last year so they're going to be looking for revenge and it's going to go either way."
South Elgin used a balanced approach offensively to beat the Maroons with 3 players scoring in double figures. Kennede Miller had a game-high 13 points to go with her 7 rebounds as she was offensively effective against the Elgin zone. Savanah Uveges chipped in 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals and Anna Tracy poured in 10 points while four other Storm players scored at least 5 points or more.
"We're pumped going into it," Uveges said of Thursday's title game. "We've still got some things we'll work on (today) to make sure we're mentally and physically all together. "We have to come out strong and not get too excited or (have) too much adrenaline going into it, just calm down and take it slowly and one step at a time."
South Elgin won Tuesday's rebound battle 40-29, including grabbing 20 offensive boards.
It wasn't until near the of the third quarter where South Elgin really pulled away. The Storm jumped out to leads of 6 and 13 in the first half but Elgin (9-20) kept hammering away at the lead. The Maroons tied it at 11 in the first quarter with 2:50 remaining on Destiny West's putback.
But the Storm ended the second quarter on a 5-2 run and then outscored the Maroons 14-11 in the third, where Uveges drained a left corner 3-pointer with 2:40 to go and then off Sara Szalay's steal, she gunned it to Miller who found Nadia Yang for a layup to make it 49-34. The Storm came away with 6 steals in the third quarter, which helped add to Elgin's 32 turnovers.
"I think we did a much better time defensively in the second half," said Prendergast, whose team was without Nell Wentling (flu). "We just needed to do a better job defensively. Offensively we knew we could score the points, defensively we just needed to shut them down."
South Elgin outscored Elgin 19-5 in the fourth quarter and while Abby Pierre-Louis led the Maroons with 11 points and 5 rebounds, Elgin couldn't repeat the first 6 minutes of the game at all in the second half.
"We hit a couple shots," said Elgin coach Dr. Nick Bumbales, whose team shot 16 for 51 from the field. "We were taking care of the ball a little bit better, they switched the press up a couple times, we just had issues getting open against the press. Their guards; there was a turnover or two, I thought that was the difference in the game."