When Stevenson was trailing by 7 points in the fourth quarter, the Patriots needed a pick-me-up to get back into the game.
The girls on the bench came up with a vocal answer to the problem, chanting, "D-Up, D-Up!"
On cue, the players on the floor responded with defensive stops. Ashley Richardson had a key late steal and layup at the end of regulation, and she followed with another in overtime along with a decisive 3.
Richardson had 9 of her team's 11 points in OT and had 18 of her game-high 20 in the second half and OT as Stevenson rallied past Maine South 51-45 in the quarterfinals of the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic in Carpentersville on Tuesday afternoon.
The Patriots (11-2, 2-0 ) next meet Naperville Central in the tourney semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Naperville Central upended New Trier 48-44 on Tuesday in its quarterfinal.
Richardson made something happen for the Patriots when she was called upon by her teammates.
"It just comes down to big moments, I love them and live for them," said Richardson, who finished with 4 steals and 5 rebounds. "It was a team effort, and the adrenaline gets me to do it. It was definitely hard to score (in the first half). I kept shooting, but it wasn't falling for me. I kept shooting and I knew eventually it would fall."
In the extra session, Richardson increased a 1-point lead out to 4 with a spot-up 3, making it 45-41 with 1:18 left. Maine South's Olivia Latreille (14 points) made a short jumper to pull the Hawks within 45-43 but they got no closer.
Richardson went 6-for-6 at the line and Klaire Steffens (12 points) made her 2 free throws.
"I wasn't here when she was a freshman," Stevenson coach Ashley Graham said. "She was something special at 14 years old. She is so experienced and so composed.
"She has the will to win."
Stevenson had to climb back into it after Maine South (8-5) forged a 24-14 lead by halftime. The Hawks still led 34-27 lead at the end of the third quarter. Maine South shot 8 of 11 from behind the arc, led by Hayley Semple (15 points) and Nicole Scales (14), each with four 3s.
"Maine South is such a tough team," Richardson said. "They run such good sets and they run so many of them. Bottom line, their kids executed so well. Give them a lot of credit, they took it to us for three and a half quarters on the offensive end. We finally found some composure and hit some very big shots. It was one of the best teams we've played all year."
In that final quarter, a 13-4 run put the Patriots back in it. Richardson came up with an incredible steal and lay up off an inbounded Maine South pass in the backcourt. Richardson also was fouled, and she completed the 3-point play with a free throw and put Stevenson on top 40-38 with 49 seconds left.
The Hawks responded to tie it at 40 on a Latreille short jumper with nine seconds left in regulation.
"It's hard to maintain that shooting, and we've got three sophomores starting," Maine South coach Mark Smith said. "Stevenson has some veterans to get to the free throw line. Stevenson trapped some of our passes, but we didn't maintain our shooting and (Stevenson) kept reeling us in."
Madison Wicklund contriubted 13 points for the Patriots.