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It's not how much you lead in a basketball game, it's when you lead, and senior Hannah McGlone did everything in her power to make sure Streamwood led when it counted Thursday night at St. Charles East.
McGlone, fresh off notching her 1,000th career point in her previous game against Larkin, scored inside to tie the game with 1:41 remaining, then made a free throw with 1:17 left. That turned out to be the final point in the Sabres' 50-49 Upstate Eight Conference River Division win.
St. Charles East (10-12, 3-5) led for all but 15 seconds until three minutes remained in the game.
"We definitely picked up second half on defense," said McGlone, who had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. "We got a couple quick steals and that helped our offense get rolling."
Streamwood (9-10, 4-4) trailed 29-21 at halftime, with McGlone scoring 14 of her team's points. Holly Foret, held scoreless in the opening half, hit a 3-pointer to start her 10-point second half, cutting the Saints' lead to 31-26 and sending St. Charles East coach Lori Drumtra to her bench for four substitutes.
Only point guard Katie Claussner stayed on the court, and she assisted Marlena Detzel to momentarily stop the bleeding. But McGlone and the Sabres kept clawing. She scored a bucket, threw a three-quarters court pass for an assist to Kiana Jeremiah, then hit a jumper to bring the Sabres within 35-34.
Claussner's baseline drive for a reverse layup beat the third quarter buzzer and put the Saints up 41-36.
Freshman Jenejha Williams, who came off the bench for 11 points and 7 rebounds, scored on a putback. Foret followed with a 3-point play on another long outlet pass from McGlone, trimming the Saints' lead to 44-43.
The Saints turned the ball over twice, and the Sabres finally capitalized on a Williams jumper from a McGlone assist for a 45-44 lead.
St. Charles East regained the lead twice, first on a Claussner pass to Hannah Vitkus at 46-45, and then again at 49-47 when Vitkus completed a 3-point play off an offensive rebound.
After McGlone put the Sabres up 50-49, the Saints got the ball three times with a chance to win but all three shots rimmed out, including Kyra Washington's that hit the rim twice but didn't drop at the buzzer, after Streamwood nearly cost itself the comeback win by missing 2 front ends of 1-and-1s.
Claussner led the Saints with 19 points, 5 assists and 6 steals, and Vitkus added 9 points.
"You have to take care of the ball," Drumtra said of her team's 18 turnovers. "That's what I'm disappointed about, that and the execution at the end of the game."
We'll come back tomorrow and see if we can take care of the ball better. We have to take care of the ball better on Saturday (vs. Geneva)."