Most coaches believe the start of third quarter is crucial to victory.
That was certainly the case Thursday night in Crystal Lake.
Nursing a slim 18-14 lead at halftime, Rockford Boylan's girls basketball team outscored Huntley 15-3 to start the second half, which propelled the Titans to a 54-39 win over the Red Raiders in the championship game of the Class 4A Crystal Lake South sectional.
The Titans (27-4) advance to the Class 4A Judson University supersectional to play Geneva Monday at 7 p.m. Geneva defeated rival Batavia 48-24 in the title game of the Addison Trail sectional Thursday.
Huntley, fourth in Class 4A last year, finished its season 27-4.
During the crucial run which broke the game open, Boylan connected on 6 of 7 shots and was 3 of 3 from 3-point range in turning a 4-point intermission advantage into a 16-point, 33-17 lead with 3:32 left in the third
Jensen Blassage, who will play college basketball at Division II Florida Southern, the same school Dundee-Crown graduate Ali Sanders plays for, scored 6 points, while Kayla Steward canned a pair of treys and
Halle Stull connected on a shot from beyond the arc as the Titans seized control of the game.
"We are a streaky team and to start the third quarter we penetrated better and were more physical," said Boylan coach Paul Perrone. 'We also got better looks on 3."
The Titans' biggest lead was 21, 41-19, after a 10-footer in the lane by Blassage with 1:45 left.
The Red Raiders (27-4) didn't cave in and scored the final 6 points of the quarter on 4 free throws by Samantha Andrews and a 10-footer by Paige Renkosik to cut the Boylan lead to 41-25 after 24 minutes.
Huntley got to within 10, 47-37, with 2:22 remaining after a 3 by Kayla Barreto, but couldn't get any closer.
Boylan's effective diamond-and-2 zone stymied Ali and Samantha Andrews, holding the talented Red Raider sisters to 5-of-20 shooting for 25 percent.
"It was a pleasure to play at Huntley," said Samantha Andrews, the senior who scored over 1,000 points in her career, which she will continue at Division II Truman State.
"We didn't handle their pressure very well."
Samantha Andrews, who was 1-of-9 from the field, led the Raiders with 13 points, which included 11-of-16 from the free throw line.
Ali Andrews scored 12 and Barreto had 10 with a pair of treys.
"Their defense was excellent all night," said Huntley coach Steve Raethz of Boylan. "Give them credit. They were very physical and they did a good job on Ali and Samantha. Offensively, they have multiple kids who can score. They executed well on both ends."
Blassage, who scored her 1,000th career point in the fourth quarter, led Boylan with 16 while Steward scored 13.