She won three straight IHSA regional championships as a standout forward for the Barrington girls basketball team in the early 1990s.
Now Ashley Berggren has won one as a head coach.
In her fourth season at Schaumburg, Berggren watched her No. 10-seeded Saxons outscore No. 3 Willowbrook 18-3 in the third quarter and pull away to a 60-39 triumph in the Class 4A Schaumburg regional title game.
The Saxons (16-14) will be making their first appearance in a sectional semifinal since 2008 when they face No. 3 Wheaton North at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bartlett High School.
"I'm so proud of the way the girls came out and played in the second half," said Berggren, whose club nursed a 23-20 advantage at intermission. "We've typically had a lull in the third quarter. So at halftime we stressed the importance of dominating on defense."
The Saxons did exactly that, limiting the Warriors to 1 field goal and 1 free throws in the third quarter.
Senior guard Amanda Kelly scored a game-high 19 points while sophomore Jada Blackwell added 17 for the Saxons, who also received 9 points from Riley Williams. Carly Brossard had 8 rebounds and Blackwell 6.
Williams hit a 3-pointer, then drove to the basket for a bucket that put Schaumburg ahead 35-23 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
Brittany Reinhart's putback made it 37-23 lead with 1:16 left in the period.
Kelly went coast-to-coast for a basket that made it 49-27 with 5:04 left in the game.
She also hit a 3-pointer with just under four minutes left to make it 54-29.
"Amanda really turned it up on the offensive end in the fourth quarter," Berggren said. "And she also did a good job taking on their point guard. She completely elevated her game offensively and defensively.
"At the end it was great to get all our seniors (Williams, Kelly, Brossard, Jasmine Bethea, Vicki Frullani, Jackie Gallis and Holly Giglio) in for their final home game. They are a good group which has really contributed to the program. It was great to be able to recognize them at the end."
Maine South 51, Maine West 35: No. 2-seeded Maine South won the championship of its own regional as No. 7 Maine West finished at 13-16.
The Warriors were led by junior forward Brittany Collins (19 points, 18 rebounds) and senior guard Alexia Prosperi (10 points, 3 rebounds).
Regina 51, St. Viator 41: Regina earned the championship in the Class 3A Norridge (Ridgewood) regional as St. Viator closed out its season at 15-16.
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