One day after making only 2 of 11 free throws in a loss to Lake Park, it was accuracy at the charity stripe that helped Addison Trail's girls basketball team earn its first win in the West Suburban Gold.
The Blazers' game-ending 11-0 run in the final 5:48 consisted of 11 of 14 free throws which secured a 51-39 victory over visiting Leyden on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Rachel Baumgartner scored 6 of her 13 points in the final quarter, including 4 straight free throws after a rebound layup by Jannely Hernandez had pulled the visitors to within 40-39 with 5:58 left in the game.
Baumgartner's 4 free throws began the 11-0 run by the Blazers (4-13, 1-5).
She also played a major role in the Blazers' 28-22 rebounding edge.
"Rachel did a really nice job boxing out," said Blazers coach Rob Schader, a former standout guard for Conant High School. "She just has to pick up a few more post moves and she will be a real nice player."
It was also nice for Addison Trail to get a 17-point scoring effort from senior guard Connie Barkoulies, who tossed in two big 3-pointers as well.
The game's top scorer, though, was more concerned about emphasizing her team's defense after the Blazers gave up 62 points to Lake Park on Friday.
"We played much better defense," said Barkoulies, who was 3 points shy of her career high of 20 points against Ridgewood. "We've really been working on that lately. It's a lot of zone and we have to communicate a lot more in it and we did."
Barkoulies' 3-pointer in the first quarter gave Addison Trail an 11-6 lead that increased to 16-8 when the senior led off the second quarter with her second 3-pointer.
Junior guard Alondra Chavarria used a half-circle drive from the top of the key to score a layup that got Leyden to within 16-15 with 5:31 left in the second quarter.
The hosts led 22-20 at the break and never trailed in the second half, building a 38-31 lead on senior Brianna Murphy's nice drive to the basket for a bank shot with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Eagles (5-7, 0-4) had one more run in them.
A rebound layup by sophomore Rebecca Miranda sparked an 8-1 rally that got Leyden to within 40-39.
Freshman Autumn McGee hit a big 3-pointer during the run.
"They (Addison Trail) made their free throws," said Leyden coach Drewann Pancratz, who like Schader, also was a standout guard in the Mid-Suburban West (for Schaumburg). "They played well, and they wanted to win more than us which was disappointing.
"Foul trouble hurt us (senior Elizabeth McCluskey fouled out and Chavarria picked up her fourth with 5:19 left in the third quarter) and finishing around the rim."
Chavarria led Leyden with 13 points while McCluskey had 8, including 6 in the third quarter. Freshman point guard Artasia Gusman chipped in 7 points.
One day after hitting six 3-pointers against Lake Park, the Blazers kept their hot hand from the outside, converting four more from long range.
In addition to two from Barkoulies, junior Stephanie Messina also had a pair.
Juniors Annina Beltrano and Kelly Delawder chipped in 5 points apiece for the winners.
"We've started shooting better from the outside lately which is helpful because that opens up things inside," Schader said. "And I was happy with our intensity."
Schader said the Blazers haven't seen a lot of the 1-3-1 defense played by Leyden, which defeated Addison Trail 44-30 earlier in the season.
"We practiced for that," he said. "We have been running different sets against it. We also did a better job rebounding and we hit our free throws down the stretch."
It all added up to win number one for Addison Trail in the WSG.
"It feels great to get the win," Barkoulies said. "We knew coming into the game who we had to stop and we did. Coach did a real good job with that. He had us well prepared."