True scorers don't go long without scoring.
That's what Warren junior guard Jordyn Hughes kept telling herself on Tuesday afternoon.
Hughes, one of Warren's top scorers, went scoreless in the first quarter of her team's Blue Devil Classic semifinal game against Grayslake Central.
She was 0-for-5 from the field.
"As a shooter, you've got to have a short memory," Hughes said. "You can't put your head down if you miss a shot or a few in a row. You just have to keep shooting."
Hughes did just that, and finished with a game-high 21 points, including three 3-pointers, in leading Warren to a 50-39 victory over Grayslake Central.
Warren, which improves to 13-3, will face Lake Forest today in the 4:30 p.m. Blue Devil Classic championship game. The host Blue Devils will be looking to win the tournament for the second year in a row.
Grayslake Central will take on Carmel in the 3 p.m. game.
"We want to win this (tournament) so bad," Hughes said. "Winning it last year was so great, and to get to play Lake Forest to maybe win it this year is so exciting. It's always a great game for us against them."
Lake Forest, a North Suburban Conference foe of Warren's, defeated Warren in league play earlier this season.
"We didn't play with composure. We didn't play how we normally do," Hughes said of Warren's last game against Lake Forest. "It was at our place too, so it hurt even more. We really want to play them again."
Warren will get that opportunity thanks in part to Hughes shooting out of her slump against Grayslake Central. Another key was the tough play of junior guard Kaylen Dickson. Dickson finished with 18 points and was Warren's only other double-figure scorer.
"Sometimes you have to survive," Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said. "We played well in spurts, and not so well. Jordyn and Kaylen had their moments today, both good and bad. But they stuck with it. They are pretty competitive kids. That's what makes them so good. But, especially Jordyn, she recovered (from the shooting slump) and responded the way you hoped she would."
Warren built a 12-point lead midway through the third quarter, but watched as Grayslake Central cut that lead to just 2 points later in the quarter. Amanda Larson had two 3-pointers during that stretch.
Larson led Grayslake Central with 15 points on three 3-pointers and Lindsay Brust added 11 points for the Rams.
"We knew we needed to get back in it and we were just playing as a team more," Larson said of the Rams' third-quarter rally. "We just didn't come out strong (at the beginning of the game)."
Grayslake Central is now 9-6 on the season and 2-2 in the tournament.
"You've got to give credit. Warren has two really good scorers (Hughes and Dickson) and a lot of weapons. They play hard," Grayslake Central coach Steve Ikenn said. "But I thought we fought back well and played pretty well. We just didn't take them out of their offense as much as we wanted to and that kind of got us."
Carmel 45, Lake Forest 43: Carmel was out-scored 19-13 in the fourth quarter, but hung on to get a narrow victory over Lake Forest in the Blue Devil Classic at Warren.
Carmel got double-figures out of Katie Lach (12 points) and Daija Pruitt (11 points). Lake Forest was led by Maeve Summerville (13 points) and Tori Salanty (11 points).
Phillips 53, Larkin 51: Despite a game-high 28 points from Marlee Kyles, Larkin dropped a close game to Phillips at the Blue Devil Classic at Warren.
Brianna Young added 10 points for the Royals.
Phillips had three double-figure scorers in Autian Fain (21 points), Jealissa Presswood (11 points) and Skye Minter (10 points).
Wheeling 47, Deerfield 30: Wheeling outscored Deerfield 14-3 in the fourth quarter to pull away for a win at the Blue Devil Classic at Warren.
Wheeling got 17 points from Nosa Igiehon and 16 points from Shannon Kennedy. Sophie Fishbein had a team-high 8 points for Deerfield.