Addison Trail advances past Hoffman Estates
Nicci Scorza had a personal fourth quarter to mirror the collective performance of her Addison Trail teammates.Monday night in a play-in game at the Class 4A Batavia regional girls basketball contest, Scorza scored all 12 of her points in the final quarter as the Blazers equaled their entire output of the first three quarters — 27 — to down Hoffman Estates 54-47.Eighteenth-seeded Addison Trail (10-17) will face No. 3 Batavia (24-5) in the first semifinal Tuesday night.Hoffman Estates, the No. 15 seed of the Conant sectional complex, ended its season at 10-19.Scorza had two of the Blazers’ three fourth-quarter three-point plays to keep Hoffman Estates at bay.“I think I really needed to step up in the last quarter,” the sophomore said. “We brought it up (in the fourth quarter) as a team. I felt there was a difference in our intensity and our energy level (in the final quarter).”Four of Hoffman Estates’ key players virtually played the last quarter with four fouls apiece.The Blazers showed little mercy as three of the Hawks — Kate Mongold, Jennifer Nailor and Janiah Fowler — all were disqualified in the waning moments of the game.“We talked about it halftime that they were in a hurt right there (with foul issues),” Addison Trail coach Rob Schader said. “The fouls really kind of affected us,” Hoffman Estates coach Mike Koester said.Hoffman Estates twice came within a single-possession game after scoring on consecutive trips to start the fourth quarter.But the Hawks came no closer than 2 points the remainder of the game as Addison Trail used second-chance points to create separation in the fourth quarter.Scorza had a putback to start her fourth-quarter run, and it served as a springboard for the team.“At the end of the third quarter, I told the girls, ‘Girls, we have got to rebound the ball; they’re killing us,’” Koester said. “It is not the way to come back.”Addison Trail sixth-man Diamond Pikulyk sparked the squad, including two perfectly executed pick and rolls for easy scores, with a team-high 14 points.The Blazers would assume their first of four double-digit leads moments after a Pikulyk mid-quarter score, and the Hawks only came within 47-41 on a Monraia Wilson 3-pointer.Unfortunately for Hoffman Estates, though, the Wilson field goal from the arc came after 22 consecutive misses from the 3-point line to start the game.“Not just (the misses from beyond the arc), but we rebounded a lot of those,” Schader said. “We did a nice job of not giving up second-chance points. We pushed the tempo in the fourth quarter.”Scorza then supplied the backbreaker with less than 90 seconds to play with her second 3-point play to trump the Wilson 3-pointer on the previous possession.Maria Koulogeorgas’ 3-pointer gave Addison Trail an 18-12 lead at halftime.The senior guard was the glue for the Blazers with her ballhandling and 13 points.“We just had the motion and energy to pump each other up,” Koulogeorgas said.Wilson, Nailor and Erin Hanson were all in double digits for Hoffman Estates with 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively.