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Article updated: 2/5/2014 11:25 PM
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Uveges coach-player tandem succeeds for South Elgin
 

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Uveges coach-player tandem succeeds for South Elgin
  • South Elgin's Bridgette Williams, left, blocks a shot by Barrington's Megan Talbot during Wednesday's game at Barrington.

    Purchase Photo | South Elgin's Bridgette Williams, left, blocks a shot by Barrington's Megan Talbot during Wednesday's game at Barrington. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  South Elgin's Nadia Yang, left, tries to strip the ball from Barrington's Brooke Gunderson during Wednesday's game at Barrington.

    Purchase Photo | South Elgin's Nadia Yang, left, tries to strip the ball from Barrington's Brooke Gunderson during Wednesday's game at Barrington. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Barrington's Carrie Madden, front, passes the ball while helping her team maintain possession during Wednesday's game against South Elgin.

    Purchase Photo | Barrington's Carrie Madden, front, passes the ball while helping her team maintain possession during Wednesday's game against South Elgin. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

Serving as the South Elgin junior varsity girls basketball coach the past four seasons, John Uveges has never lost a game.

He is now undefeated as a varsity coach, too.

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Filling in for head coach Tim Prendergast, Uveges guided the Storm to a 50-41 nonconference victory at Barrington on Wednesday night.

It also gave Uveges the rare opportunity to coach his daughter Savanah in a varsity girls basketball game.

For many years, John coached Savanah in club soccer.

"But it was different having him on the basketball court as my coach," said Savanah, a Nebraska soccer recruit. "It's not really a parent-daughter when we're on the court, it's more like coach and player."

John Uveges was proud of all his players as the Storm rebounded from a 65-61 loss to Neuqua Valley on Monday night when Prendergast was assessed a pair of technical fouls, which meant he could not coach Wednesday.

"It's games like that one (Neuqua Valley) and this one (vs. an 18-7 Barrington squad) that really help us in the postseason," said John Uveges, a physical education teacher at Grove Junior High in Elk Grove. "Like the Neuqua Valley game, this game also elevates our play. It's nice to play these kind of teams."

Senior Savanah Uveges and classmate Kennede Miller each scored 14 points to pace the Storm (17-8) while freshman Mackie Kelleher chipped in 8 points off the bench.

A 3-pointer by Nadia Yang gave the visitors the lead for good at 15-13 with 5:49 left in the second quarter.

A free throw and 10-footer from the baseline by Kelleher and fastbreak layup by Uveges extended the lead to 20-13.

Anna Tracy's 3-pointer gave South Elgin a 27-19 lead early in the third quarter.

The Storm built it biggest cushion at 35-21, thanks to 4 consecutive free throws by Uveges to end the third quarter.

Barrington got its senior night crowd excited when it opened the final period with a 10-0 run.

The tear included a pair of steals and layup by Carrie Madden, a steal and layup by Brooke Gunderson, 2 free throws by Auri Grayson and a 15-footer from the baseline by Megan Talbot.

Talbot, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals.

"Megan worked very hard and had a very nice game," said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro.

But with the score 35-31, South Elgin wouldn't allow the hosts any closer.

A 15-footer from Kelleher broke the visitors' scoring drought and Miller added a layup to get the Storm back on track.

"Kennede (Miller) played a great game," said John Uveges. "She is always reliable on free throws and rebounding and just provides leadership to the team and fires everyone up."

John Uveges liked how everyone contributed.

"I was pleased with all the girls that we subbed in," he said referring to Delaney Kelleher, Laura McIntosh, Cara Fahey, Bridgette Williams and Mackie Kelleher. "They all stepped up and did a nice job."

Angie Kirchoff stepped up with 10 points and 8 rebounds for Barrington while Gunderson finished with 7 points and 5 assists.

"We shot 28 percent, made 21 turnovers, were 5-of-17 from the free throw and we didn't finish around the basket," Barreiro said. "But that's not to take anything away from South Elgin. That's a very good team and they work very hard. But we took the game away from ourselves."

Cassidy Goldsmith, Kirchoff, Aoife Callanan, Gunderson and Madden, the team's five seniors, were Barreiro's starting five.

"I thought Cassidy had a great game," Barreiro added. "She was very active underneath the basket. Cassidy has one of the biggest hearts on this team. And I thought she showed that."

South Elgin showed its heart after the tough loss to Neuqua Valley. And John Uveges got to show his skills as a head coach.

"It was a little weird looking over and seeing him coaching us," Savanah said. But I thought he did a good job. I'm proud of him."

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