North Chicago's girls basketball team dominated Grayslake Central in the fourth quarter and went on to post a 57-34 win in the Warhawks' Class 3A regional final Friday night.
North Chicago outscored the Rams 22-3 in the fourth. The Warhawks (19-9) will travel to Ridgewood to play Vernon Hills in the sectional semifinals at 6 p.m. Monday. Grayslake Central, which was led by Morgan Dahlstrom's 15 points, finished 19-11.
North Chicago led 35-31 at the end of the third quarter. Samantha Rodriguez and Tineesha Coleman then took over, combining for 21 points in the fourth.
Rodriguez led all scorers with 23 points, and Coleman finished with 21.
"We talked about coming to play because we weren't playing as hard as we should have been," said Rodriguez, who scored 10 points in the fourth. "In the first half, we weren't stopping Morgan Dahlstrom, who is an amazing player and is really hard to stop."
North Chicago led 24-19 at halftime.
"We went into the locker room and told them that we had to be pacemakers, takers rather than givers, and now it's time for us to start playing basketball," North Chicago coach Laurence Brown said. "Samantha is our leader in that she does whatever is necessary to get our players set up and get them going." Kylah Collins added 11 points for the Warhawks.
"I thought the refs did a good job. The regional championship game is a critical game and everybody wants it," Dahlstrom said. "We just have to give (North Chicago) credit. In the fourth, they just took off flying."
Maddy Miller finished with 7 points for Grayslake Central.
"We probably ran out of gas and there were shots that we didn't make," Rams coach Steve Ikenn said. "They got on a little bit of a run and it turned into a tidal wave that we couldn't stop."