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The Bartlett girls basketball team missed its first nine shots Thursday night against Waubonsie Valley.
The Hawks heated up after that, making 19 of 38 the rest of the way to come away with a dominating 56-25 win in Upstate Eight Valley action at Bartlett.
The win was the fourth in a rown for Bartlett (13-8, 7-1) and its sixth in the last seven games. It also sets up a Saturday showdown at U-46 rival South Elgin, with second place in the Valley -- and a crack at the division title still possible -- on the line.
"We've got some big games ahead but we're focused on one game at a time," said Bartlett coach Denise Sarna, whose team hosts diviison leader and state-ranked Neuqua Valley next week.
"Tonight we paid attention to the task at hand."
The Hawks led from wire-to-wire. They led 12-5 when a free throw from junior Lauren Janczak with five seconds left in the first quarter started a 15-0 run that produced a 27-5 lead after an Ashley Johnson 3-pointer with 2:55 left in the first half.
Senior Ally Giampapa celebrated her 18th birthday with a game-high 16 points to lead Bartlett. She hit 4 3-pointers on 4 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc, prompting Waubonsie Valley coach David Owles to quip, "she's an all-stater tonight," after Giampapa's fourth trey with 2:21 left in the third quarter.
"When your team sets good screens and you're left wide open anybody can make shots," Giampapa said.
Bartlett led 29-7 at halftime as the Warriors (4-15, 3-6) made just 3 of 18 from the floor in the first half. Senior Andrea Colin scored all of Waubonsie's points in the first 16 minutes and finished with 11 for the game.
But it was the lack of defense that had Owles most concerned.
"We didn't play good defense," he said. "We've been playing good defense but we didn't tonight. We didn't take away any of their strengths. Our scouting report said you can't leave Giampapa open for 3s and we left her open. We know we don't have the offensive firepower to make up that kind of (halftime) deficit and we didn't have it defensively tonight."
The Warriors did battle in the second half, shooting 8-for-19, but no other Waubonsie Valley player scored more than 2 points and the Warriors committed 23 turnovers.
"We've been putting in some extra work on defense," Sarna said. "We've still got some things to work through but offensively Ally shot the ball well tonight and we moved the ball around well. We're getting contributions from a lot of different players and that helps our team."
Senior Liz Arco added 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Hawks, while sophomore Kelly Harris had 10 rebounds.
"We just want to keep pushing," said Arco. "There's always things you can do that will help you get better. We want to finish strong. We're excited for the rest of conference and looking forward to the playoffs."