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A month ago, Taylor Brown missed two weeks because of shin splints.
Most recently, she missed a game because of illness.
But there was no doubt the Elk Grove girls basketball team had a healthy Brown on Thursday night.
The 5-foot-5 senior guard scored a career-high 19 points to help lead the Grenadiers to a 49-40 triumph over visiting Lake Zurich in the nonconference contest.
"At first, they thought it (shin splints) might be a fracture," said Brown, who also had 2 steals. " "But then I just had to use lots of tape, ice and do stretching exercises. They said it wasn't going to get any better. But I'm not going to miss my senior year."
She didn't miss any free throws Thursday, either, converting 12-of-12, as the Grens improved to 5-11 over the Bears, also 5-11.
"Taylor played really well and came out with a lot of energy," said Grens coach Kathie Swanson. "She was attacking the baskets, making her shots and she had good energy on defense, too."
Speaking of defense, junior Amber Lindfors pulled down 9 rebounds, with 6 blocked shots and 15 points.
"I thought Amber was pretty physical inside in the first half," Swanson added.
Lindfors and Brown (one 3-pointer) combined for 12 points as the Grens raced out to a 17-1 lead in the first seven minutes.
Senior Melissa Solorio had the other 5 points, including a 3-pointer. She finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Alex Masnica handed out 4 assists for the Grens, who led 27-10 at the break.
A putback by Lindfors gave the Grens their biggest lead at 41-20 lead with 6:10 left in the game.
But the Bears showed their heart, and closed the game by outscoring the hosts 20-8.
"Give Lake Zurich credit," said Swanson, whose team also got 4 points from sophomore Cassie Slattery and a bucket from freshman Jenny Banak. "They were hitting their free throws. It should not have come down to that but we were not playing smart."
Sparking the Bears' late rally was sophomore guard Abby Pirron, who scored 10 of her 13 points in the final eight minutes.
"We've had some trouble starting games," said Bears coach Chris Bennett. "We'll get down 10 points and then we get in a comfort zone and start playing defense. We've got to try and find a solution for that. We haven't yet."
A driving layup and 2 free throws by Pirron got the Bears to within 45-36 with 2:16 left before Brown hit a pair of free throws. Lake Zurich never got closer than 9 points.
"We got a little nervous (at the end)," Brown said. "They were hitting their free throws (14-of-15 in the final quarter). It got a little crazy but we came back and just slowed down the offense."
Sophomore Frankie Nasca added 7 points for the Bears while juniors Elly Daleske and Megan Holbrook each chipped in 6.
"I thought we did a nice job attacking the basket in the second half," Bennett said. "We got aggressive on the defense end and that's what creates better offense."