After giving up 78 points in a loss to Crystal Lake South Friday night, South Elgin girls basketball coach Tim Prendergast was looking for a much better defensive effort against McHenry on Saturday.
The Storm coach's wishes were granted.
Limiting McHenry to 10 field goals and 25 percent shooting, the South Elgin defense was key in a 61-39 win in third round action of the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament.
"Our emphasis on defense is moving our feet and we did that well today," said the South Elgin coach. "We got good position on defense and we rebounded well. We did a good job of contesting shots. We can play 10 to 11 kids and we played good team defense during the entire game no matter who was on the court."
Another positive for the Storm (1-2) was balanced scoring. With 3 3-pointers off the bench in the second half, Taylor Ford paced the winners with 9 points. Savannah Uveges, Cara Fahey and Bridgette Williams scored 8 apiece while Laura McIntosh chipped in 6 points for South Elgin. The Storm, which made 5-of-12 from 3-point range for 41 percent, committed only 9 turnovers while forcing 21 Warrior turnovers.
"Everybody on this team can be depended on," said Uveges. "We have a lot of depth and we have very good and competitive practices which helps us in games. Today we played strong defense and did the little things necessary to win. It was a good to get a win."
Leading 24-12 at halftime, the Storm seized control of the game in the third quarter.
With Ford connecting on 2 3-pointers and Nadia Yang burying a trey the Storm scored the first 9 points of the second half to extend a 12-point halftime lead to 33-12 with 6:22 left in the third quarter.
Missing its first 6 shots of the second half, McHenry finally got on the scoreboard with 4:33 left in the quarter on a 12-footer in the lane by Sawyer Lay to make the score 33-14.
South Elgin's biggest lead of the game was 24, 49-25, after a layup from Kennede Miller with 5:22 remaining in the game.
Lay led the Warriors with 11 points which included 2 2-pointers. The McHenry senior also snared 10 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. Carly Mattson added 7 points with a 3-pointer for McHenry.