Although Glenbard East won 52-38 over visiting Elgin on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams, the coaches for both squads were happy with what they saw.
The Rams got a balanced scoring attack with Elie Donovan and Brasia Solid each hitting for a team-high 11 points. Alison Hansen and Rachel Leifheit put through 8 apiece.
"That's what we've been working on," said Glenbard East coach Don Finnie of the team's balanced scoring. "No one person is the team."
After leading 15-10 after the first quarter, the Rams went up 19-10 midway through the second before Elgin's Anna Eckholm converted on the Rams' second straight turnover to pull to within 19-14. However, Glenbard East closed out the first half on an 8-2 run to lead 27-16 at intermission.
Ashley Brown hit a 3-point basket at the buzzer to restore her team's double-digit advantage.
"That 3 at the end of the first half really hurt us," said Elgin coach Nick Bumbales. "Overall, we looked a lot more composed than we did in the past. I wish we had shot the ball a little better.
"Glenbard East is vastly improved. I see improvement in both our programs," he said.
The Rams scored the first 10 points of the third quarter before Elgin's Maggie Powers, who scored a game-high 12 points, sank a 3 with 4:41 left in the period to make it 37-19.
With just seconds left Melanie Berg hit net to make it 41-24 at the end of the third, and the Maroons carried that momentum into the fourth quarter.
Elgin did all the scoring during the first half of the final quarter. Powers hit 1 of 2 free throws and converted on a drive to the basket to cut the Rams' advantage to 14.
The teams traded points the rest of the way and Glenbard East held on to its double-digit advantage.
Berg finished with 9 for Elgin, who opens play Wednesday in the Elgin Academy Thanksgiving Tournament. The Maroons finished second last year and Bumbales considers Elgin and Hampshire to be the co-favorites for the championship.
Meanwhile, Glenbard East starts play Saturday in its own Rachel Bach Tournament.
"This was a good start tonight. It's something for the kids to build on. It was a tough season last year," Finnie said.