Streamwood's philosophy seemed simple.
Why shoot a 2-pointer when the 3 is a viable option?
Collecting 8 treys including 7 in the first half, No. 9 seed Streamwood shot its way past No. 8 Crystal Lake South 40-21 in first round action of the Class 4A Prairie Ridge regional Monday night in Crystal Lake.
South defeated Streamwood 48-40 in the first game of the season at the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 15.
Streamwood (8-19) advances to the semifinals to play top-seeded McHenry Tuesday at 6 p.m. while South ends the season at 7-21.
"We won because of defense," said Streamwood coach George Rosner. "We played very well at the defensive end and contested every pass and every shot. We played a much better game this time around against South. We had the right people shooting the 3s early and I have an open policy for kids to shoot the 3. I will let them know if they are bad shots. We know McHenry will be tough but we will be ready to play. We will have to play better."
The Sabres' first 4 baskets of the game came on 3s. Maddi Exline and Andrea Bracy each buried a pair of shots from beyond the arc as Streamwood stormed to a 12-4 lead with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
Streamwood, 7-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half, added 3 more treys in the second quarter. Exline, Bracy and Rebecca Roncone each added 3s in the second 8 minutes of play.
Streamwood, which held the Gators to 2 points in the second quarter, led 26-11 at halftime.
Bracy, with 12 rebounds, led the Sabres with 14 points including 3 treys.
"Myself and the whole team was nervous before the game," said Bracy. "I loosened up when I hit my first 3. Coach (Rosner) always gives us the green light to shoot the open 3. Coach preaches defense and we knew we had to play better defense this time around against South."
Exline, with 3 treys, scored 13 for the winners.
"South was giving us the 3 early in the game and once I hit the first one I felt confident," said Exline. "Our man to man defense was aggressive the whole game. We made sure South had to take tough shots."
Roncone, with 7 points, collected two 3s while Mandy Mien scored 6 points with 5 assists.
"We start 4 seniors who won regional a year ago," said Rosner. "These kids have been through the wars and played with a lot of confidence tonight."
The Sabres' biggest lead was 36-13 on a layup by Exline with 4:55 left in the game.
Lauren Schoen led the Gators with 8 including a pair of 3s.
"Our Achilles' heel all season has been scoring points," said Crystal Lake South coach Mark Mucha. "We were out of sync offensively. It was a frustrating night. Defensively, we got out too late on their 3-point shooters."