Aggressive and stifling.
Those words aptly describe Cary-Grove impressive defensive effort in a 60-28 win over Grant in semifinal action of the Class 4A Cary-Grove girls basketball regional Monday night.
The Trojans, who had 14 steals, 10 leading to layups, held the befuddled Bulldogs to 10 field goals and 20 percent (10-for-50) shooting.
Grant (12-16), the sixth seed, connected on only 3-of-20 from 3-point land for 15 percent and was forced into 23 turnovers.
‘We always want to create offense from our defense and we did that well tonight,” said Cary-Grove coach Rod Saffert, “We got a lot of easy baskets from our pressure. We were outstanding on the defensive end, We did a good job of contesting their shots and didn’t give them a lot of good looks.”
Grant coach Matt Lukemeyer lauded Cary-Grove’s defensive effort.
“I give Cary-Grove’s defense a lot of credit for our offensive problems tonight,” said Lukemeyer. ‘They were very physical, contested every shot and didn’t allow us to run our offense.”
The third-seeded Trojans (17-11), who will play second-seeded Crystal Lake South Wednesday at 8 p.m., were equally as impressive on offense.
With 18 assists, Cary-Grove connected on 24-of-40 shots for 60 percent. Katie Barker paced the Trojans with 17 points while Sarah Kendeigh scored 14. Both connected on a pair of 3s.
‘I like the way we shared the ball and got a lot of people involved in the offense,” said Saffert, “It was good to get Katie some offensive help.”
Scoring her team’s first 10 points, Barker propelled the Trojans to a 10-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
“I got into a rhythm early and made some shots,” said Barker. ‘It was important to start fast.”
The Trojans never looked back.
Cary-Grove, which led 27-13 at halftime, held its biggest lead of the first half at 16, 25-9, after a layup by Karissa Wilczynski with 1:33 left before intermission.
The Trojans ensured there wouldn’t be a Bulldog comeback by scoring the first 9 points of the second half. Five points from Kendeigh including a 3 along with baskets by Barker and Abby Glaysher spearheaded the Trojan run and a 23-point, 36-13 advantage with 4;43 left in the third quarter,
The Bulldogs didn’t score in the quarter until a 3 by Kaylie Kanzler at the 3:14 mark made the score 36-16.
Kanzler led Grant with 12 points.