Wheaton North was just biding its time, waiting for the right moment to make its move.
"I think we realized we needed to bring something else in order to win," Falcons senior Emily Barry said after a huge fourth quarter led to a 61-60 comeback victory over the host Dukes at the York Thanksgiving Tournament on Wednesday. "I think we did the job. It was a great team effort, everyone across the board, all 19 of us did it."
Other than Emmy Gryna's quick 3-pointer to open the game, the Falcons trailed through the first three quarters. The Dukes led 28-26 at halftime, 42-36 after three quarters. Then came the fourth.
"The fourth quarter I just said, you know what? It is what it is," Falcons coach Dave Eaton said after foul trouble had Wheaton North playing cautiously. "We've got to go and we've got to play."
The Falcons (2-1) looked like a different team in the fourth, using a 19-5 run to take an 8-point lead after another Gryna 3 with 3:23 to play.
"In the fourth quarter they stepped up and knocked down some big shots," said York coach John Constable, blaming his transition defense for his team's collapse. "Ultimately that's what cost us the game."
York (1-2) hit some 3-pointers down the stretch to make the game close, but Kelly Thornton went 4 of 6 at the free-throw line in the final 48.2 seconds to secure the victory.
"Kelly's a great free-throw shooter and we want the ball in her hands," Eaton said. "We knew that teams are going to try to take it away, so we've got different ways of trying to get her the ball. She did a good job of hitting free throws to keep us ahead."
Each Wheaton North starter scored in double figures. Thornton and Gryna each had 14 points, 6-foot-1 post player Chrissy Baird had a dozen, Emari Jones 11 and Barry a personal-best 10 points.
"Our team did really well at transitioning, getting out, and we just run the floor really well," Barry said.
"Emily Barry is playing fantastic for us right now," Eaton added. "For her to come in and get 10 points and play under control and play as well as she is defensively, we're really excited with how she's playing."
Baird added 14 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists and made an impression in Elmhurst.
"You've always got to worry about (Thornton)," Constable said. "When you've got the inside-out game between her and No. 23 (Baird). No. 23 single-handedly beat us in the game. I thought she was the difference-maker because they spread us out, got the ball inside, we couldn't defend her 1-on-1, so we tried doubling, and when we tried doubling she found shooters and the shooters knocked them down."
"That's sort of what we're expecting out of Chrissy," Eaton added. "She's a phenomenal player."
Jenny Coffin led York with 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Post players Paige Wrasse and Molly Schlecht added 11 points apiece.
"We knew that they knew only one true post player in terms of size, and we wanted to exploit their lack of size in certain positions," Constable said. "Our post players were 7 for 10 in the first half. They only got 10 shot attempts between the two of them and our guards went 5 for 19. I just kept trying to reiterate to them, we've got to get post touches. We cannot keep chucking it up from the cheap seats, we have to get post touches."
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