It took St. Charles East a quarter to get the pace it wanted Thursday night against Glenbard South. Once the Saints were able to get out and run, the Raiders weren't able to catch up.
After scoring just 6 points in the opening quarter, St. Charles East put 22 on the board in the second and 25 more in the third. The Saints broke open the nonconference matchup of Top 20 teams, winning 59-44.
Five-foot-4 senior guard Marissa Urso caught fire for No. 11 St. Charles East (9-2), draining three 3-pointers in both the second and third quarters on her way to a game-high 25 points.
"I felt like once we got their team to play our tempo, we sped things up and it kind of helped us," said the Elmhurst College-bound Urso.
"They started fumbling and played our game. We're small this year but we have speed and can run the floor. We all get along really well and it helps everyone's confidence meshing and knowing when someone is hot."
No. 17 Glenbard South (5-3) went to the second quarter tied 6-6 before quickly and repeatedly getting burned by Urso. She scored the Saints' first 12 points of the second quarter on a trio of 3-point baskets and a conventional 3-point play, putting the Saints up 18-11.
After Maggie Bair's basket got the Raiders back within 23-19, Sara Rosenfeldt assisted Rose Stackhouse on a backdoor cut, then Nicole Jordan hit a 3 at the buzzer for a 28-19 halftime lead.
"They played really hard, they played aggressive, they played well," Raiders coach Morgan Kasperek said. "Ten (Urso) had an incredible night. She shot incredibly well and we let her shoot incredibly well. We lost her in transition. We had a bad game, but we had a bad game because they played really hard and established themselves early."
Urso picked up where she left off in the third quarter, swishing another 3 on the first possession. After another Urso 3 and Sam Munroe's drive, Rosenfeldt came up with a steal and assisted Munroe for a layup on a fastbreak, making it 40-25.
By the time the quarter ended, this time with Urso driving and kicking out to Munroe for a long jumper, the Saints had hit 9 of 15 shots, outscored the Raiders 25-9, and built a 53-28 advantage.
"We had a great third quarter," Saints coach Lori Drumtra said. "We knew Glenbard South had a very methodical half-court offense and you kind of have to force the pace a little and we didn't do that at first."
Munroe scored 14 points and Rosenfeldt had 13 as the Saints won their sixth straight.
"I'm very pleased with how they have responded," Drumtra said. "I'm pleased with how they seem to pick up steam as the game wears on instead of having a lull. We really haven't had that. It really does start with Sam. That's how we go."
Sarah Cohen led the Raiders with 17 points, Bair had 13 and Ally Daca 9.
"We have the ability but tonight we let a team that was strong and had good shooters completely take ourselves out of the game," Kasperek said.