Too much height. Too much quickness. Too much physicality. Too much conditioning. Heck, too much of just about everything.
When you have that much of an advantage, as the St. Edward girls basketball team did in its Class 2A sectional semifinal over Chicago Clark on Tuesday at Guerin Prep, good things are bound to happen.
Plenty of good happened early and often for the Green Wave, who put together a 23-0 run in the first quarter. That turned out to be all the points they would need in a 79-20 drubbing of the Eagles to improve to 25-5.
St. Edward took another step closer to its first state tournament since 2007. It will play Chicago Latin School at 7 p.m. Thursday at Guerin Prep for a berth in the Class 2A supersectional at 7 p.m. Monday at Concordia University.
The 25 wins are the most for a Green Wave team since 1990-91, when the Jack Miller-coached Wave finished fourth in Class A. Current St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson was a junior on that team.
"I think our biggest thing was we wanted to come out in the sectional semifinal with a strong first quarter, and that's what we've been doing for the last couple of games," said senior guard Maddie Spagnola, who led all scorers with 23 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"I think our strongest aspect is how well we run and how well we push the ball up the court," added senior forward Katelyn Castoro, who contributed 12 points. "Our number one goal is to push."
If that was the goal, consider it more than achieved. The Green Wave already had a 7-2 lead at 6:06 of the first quarter when they broke the game wide open with 23 straight, including 8 off Clark turnovers.
In all, the Green Wave shot 46 percent from the field (29-for-46), including 11-for-20 in that fateful first quarter. They also shot 41 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (7-for-17), and outrebounded Clark 33-30.
Defensively, they held the Eagles (19-5) to just 22 percent shooting (8-for-36), including 0-for-5 on 3-point attempts, and just 2 field goals in the first half. By halftime, St. Edward was up 47-6, making the second half basically academic.
And now the Green Wave have the opportunity to do something special, but standing in their way is Latin School, which Dawson referred to as "the real deal." The Romans beat Chicago DePaul Prep 58-25 in the other sectional semifinal.
"Trying to calm down our nerves is the biggest thing," Spagnola said of the next 2 days. "It's going to be a lot of nerves, but a good practice tomorrow, a good school day tomorrow and Thursday will be really important."
"We just have to take it one play at a time," added junior Mallory Rejman, who scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, all in the first half.