2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/20/2017 10:25 PM

North Lawndale press too much for Glenbard South

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By Matt Le Cren
Daily Herald Correspondent

Glenbard South sophomore center Maggie Bair had a sense of déjà vu Monday night.

It wasn't what she had envisioned.

Bair battled through foul trouble and illness to register a team-high 13 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to save the Raiders' girls basketball season.

Western Michigan recruit Kia Brooks poured in a game-high 25 points as North Lawndale knocked off Glenbard South 58-40 at the Class 3A Glenbard South sectional semifinals.

The second-seeded Phoenix (24-7), who will play top-seeded Marshall in Thursday's final, also eliminated the Raiders last year in the same round and on the same court en route to a second-place finish in the state tournament.

"They're a really good team and we struggle a lot with breaking a press and getting past it," Bair said. "Obviously, I hope they go far.

"It just stinks to have it happen to us again, but hopefully we can learn from it and come back next year."

The third-seeded Raiders (23-6) got off to a good start, grabbing a 9-2 lead as Bair, who on Sunday was at the doctor with a 103-degree fever, scored the first 4 points of the game. Guard Mady Carli scored 5 more.

But North Lawndale, with five returning starters and seven seniors, roared back thanks to a withering full-court press that forced turnovers on the next seven possessions and 26 overall.

"We got a lead and then we got excited and we forgot that they can come back and they're a strong team," Bair said. "We let them come back and they just took it from there."

The Phoenix had taken its first lead, 10-9, when the 6-foot-2 Bair went to the bench with her second foul. She checked back in at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter with the score tied at 17 but immediately got her third foul and sat the rest of the half.

North Lawndale led 29-25 at halftime, but the Raiders cut the gap to 1 twice early in the third quarter, first on a three-point play by Bair and then on Sarah Cohen's 3-pointer that made it 32-31 with 4:55 left.

But the Phoenix responded with an 8-0 run.

"It was the press that killed us," Glenbard South coach Morgan Kasperek said. "We didn't make great decisions and we didn't help each other out. That was our Achilles' heel all season."

The Phoenix stomped on that heel at every opportunity. Back-to-back baskets by Bair cut the gap to 42-37 early in the fourth quarter, but North Lawndale made the Raiders pay for every mistake after that, ending the game on a 16-3 run.

Jada Thorpe had 13 points and DeAsa Almon 12 for the Phoenix, who shot 16 for 18 from the free-throw line.

"Glenbard South is a great team," North Lawndale coach Corey Morgan said. "They're very methodical, so we had to figure out a way to try to make them play faster than they generally play.

"We think our speed and athleticism is to our advantage, so we tried to use it to speed them up."

Cohen finished with 10 points, while Carli added 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for the Raiders, who will return their entire roster.

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