Hampshire just had no answer for Morgan Dahlstrom.
Grayslake Central's 6-foot-1 center scored early and often to lead the Rams past Hampshire, 47-36, in Fox Valley Conference Fox Division girls basketball action in Hampshire Tuesday night.
Dahlstrom had 12 points in the third quarter alone as Grayslake Central extended a 7-point halftime lead to as many as 14. She finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds for the Rams (5-2, 1-0).
Sara Finn scored 12 points to lead Hampshire (4-2, 0-1). Emma Benoit had 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots before fouling out. Nikki Dumoulin and Tricia Dumoulin scored 7 points apiece for the Whip-Purs.
"We did a good job on defense, we held them to (36) points, we forced a lot of turnovers, which was one of our goals for the day," said Grayslake Central coach Steve Ikenn. "Offensively, we took advantage of what we got. We got the ball down low to Morgan, and when they rotated down on her, we penetrated."
Hampshire never led, but tied the game at 12 early in the second quarter. After a long scoring drought for both teams, the Rams reeled off 7 straight points to pull away. With Grayslake Central ahead 23-16 just after halftime, Carson Sparkman sparked an 8-1 run to give the Rams their biggest lead to that point. Sparkman finished with 12 points.
Hampshire coach Mike Featherly couldn't fault his team's effort, but lamented its mistakes, which included 22 turnovers.
"The effort is always there with this team," he said. "But we're still making first-week and second-week type mistakes."
With Dahlstrom and Benoit canceling each other out on the boards, rebounds were even at 23, and the Rams outshot Hampshire only 43 percent to 38 percent. The big difference came at the free-throw line, where Grayslake Central, taking advantage of its inside advantage, made 11 of 15 foul shots to just 3 of 7 for Hampshire.
Nikki Dumoulin made the game's only 3-pointer, a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter. That got Hampshire within double digits at 35-26, but the Whips could get no closer.